Thursday, December 26, 2019

Black Is Best

As the decade closes, The Barbie Fashion Model Collection also prepares to close its atelier. The line that catapulted the Barbie doll back into the fashion stratosphere with its attention to details, classic couture, and the introduction of the Silkstone body sculpt is coming to an end. Under the direction of Mr. Robert Best for the past twenty years, The Barbie Fashion Model Collection has given us a myriad of delights, making this line one of the high points of Barbie style.

Best in Black Barbie doll is the first offering for the last year. In her mini dress with leg-of-mutton sleeves, Barbie cuts an ultra-sophisticated figure, rather stark, and classic. The calf-high sheer stockings add a playful touch and Barbie's gorgeous mane, gathered at the crown, is a mix of varying shades of sunny blond. It is an elegant look that stands on its own as well as lends itself to the addition of embellishments.

For this Dolldom exclusive, Best in Black Barbie opted to add some golden touches: the chain necklace with Maltese cross charm from Dusk to Dawn and a chain bracelet with classic Ponytail Barbie charm offered with Début Barbie.  

Best in Black Barbie is ready for anything: cocktail party, lecture at FIT, book signing event, even a visit to a place of worship. For who in the human realm would not be delighted to have Best in Black Barbie attend one's wedding or, by the same token, one's funeral? Dolldom firmly believes in stylish beginnings and stylish ends.

Note: Best in Black Barbie's hair was given a blowout for these photos.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

A First for a First

Mattel Toys celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2020. To commemorate the achievement, the Barbie Team at the famed toy maker has designed, under the direction of Bill Greening, a tribute to the doll that started the revolution of fashion dolls back in 1959. The very first Barbie doll, known as Number One 1 Barbie, is the jewel in many lucky collections. Magical and mysterious, the doll is a cultural icon of sorts. With white irises and blood red lips, the look of the very first Barbie doll is drama condensed.

As the Barbie doll has had milestones, Mattel has produced versions of the first Barbie. One iteration failed to materialize in spite of it being imagined by many collectors since the inception of the Barbie Fashion Model Collection and created by many doll artists using dolls from this line. But finally, as the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close, Mattel regales its collectors with the very first Number One 1 Barbie doll made of Silkstone.

Made with care and with vintage collectors' mindset in mind, this latest iteration brings together the heft of the resin-like material, finely-detailed and beautifully manicured fingers, the famed bathing suit cut to fit like a glove (no double sided tape to hold it on Barbie's bosom), and a daringly intense make-up design. This new Number One pays tribute to the legacy of Ruth Handler not by intending to be a copy but rather by ushering a new way to enjoy a quality doll that channels the essential allure of Barbie's first look.

This exclusive portfolio of portraits is dedicated to the memory of Dolldom friend Franklin Lim-Liao who shared many a Number One 1 Barbie doll with us.

Dolldom thanks Pretty Dollz Inc for their support in the making of this entry.