Saturday, March 11, 2023

Cool Blue

At the beginning of the 21st century, a beautifully creative collaboration between Tonner Doll Company and Reverie Publishing began: High Style magazine.  Each issue featured exclusive photography and stories, and, most delightfully, accompanied a limited edition doll from Tonner's Tyler Wentworth line. For the debut issue 20 years ago, 2003's High Style, published by Thomas Farrell and Krystyna Goddu, spotlighted a blonde goddess in an ice blue gown fit for a James Bond movie! And who else but Sydney Chase

With an asymmetrical Sassoon-style platinum bob, blue eyes (a first for Miss Chase), and her wildly popular pout in deep rose, Sydney wore a silk and Lurex long sleeved gown with a boat neck collar and a glimmering fishtail skirt, cut on the bias. But what made (and makes) this gem of design grand are the expertly achieved cut-outs at the sides of the bodice that gather at front center in an illusion knot embroidered with ice blue bugle beads. The look was daringly sexy, proud of its sparkling blueness, and strong. Not every 20 year-old gown can claim to be ready for any red-carpet event today, but 2003 High Style magazine's, in our opinion, does.

Dolldom was very lucky to be part of High Style and produced, in harmonious collaboration with Goddu, many features celebrating the world of Robert Tonner's Tyler Wentworth

Today, we celebrate High Style Sydney with yet another exclusive portfolio. This time, though, the delight with which we undertake this feature is even more, for as time passes, one cannot but idealize further what was a pretty ideal time in fashion doll collecting, when in-person trade and doll shows abounded, when photography was still made with Velvia 50 slide film, when the quality in doll making made it evident that the sky was the limit. 

Here's to High Style magazine in all of its fabulousness. Here's to Sydney Chase in all of her eternal mystique. Here's to the power of fashion doll play. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

The Company You Keep

Lilli Lalka is enjoying her return in the company of David Rose, textile designer extraordinaire, who has collaborated with doll maker Julian Kalinowski in the creation of prints that take us back, as if by time machine, to the world of mother lode of all fashion dolls in the 1:6 scale. Also collaborating in this project is legendary milliner Waka Murai, whose straw hats add texture and saturated color to Lilli Lalka's wardrobe.

In such great company, Kalinowski's Lilli Lalka is bound to make spring flowers swoon! 

"Pet Smart"
In comfy knits and a warm and fuzzy coat, Lilli Lalka walks the pooches.

"In and Out"
Prints by David Rose for coming and going in style!

"Always on Sunday"
Lilli's tennis dress stands in a blouse along with a full A-line skirt in a David Rose design. 

"Cuando calienta el sol"
When it gets warmer, Lilli Lalka will pull out her cuffed short and a cool gauze blouse. The straw hat by Waka Murai imparts even more punch to this casual look.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Friday, February 24, 2023

Fashion Model Ideal

When in 2000, Mattel debuted its Barbie Fashion Model Collection, conceptualized and designed by Robert Best, a new chapter in the Barbie doll history began. The Barbie Fashion Model Collection was a major coup for Mattel as it was referential of the 800 and 1600 lines designed by Charlotte Johnson and featured a beautifully sculpted, resin-like Silkstone body with Barbie's 1959 face sculpt. Barbie was again a luxurious doll sold in a slender box along with separate, richly-accessorized, boxed fashions. 

The Barbie Fashion Model Collection is, to date, the most coherent expression of a designer's point of view, steadfastly anchored in a palette of browns and creams, pinks, blues, gold, silver, and black. With its conclusion in 2020, the line has become a period upon which to reference Barbie's ever-evolving style as current prices on the secondary market confirm. 

Dolldom celebrates the achievements of this groundbreaking design epoch with the first installment of a portfolio of the line's highlights.

"LBD Supreme"
"Black Enchantment" from 2002 is worn by a Lingerie #6, restyled by Bobby Taylor.

"Petites Fleurs"
"Classic Cocktail Dress" from 2016 is a total look victory from hair to make-up to dress. 

"Grand Bal"
"Provençale" from 2001 set the bar high. Iconic? Absolutely. It's the right modifier for it. 

"Bon Voyage"
"Boater Ensemble" from 2013, is a tailoring tour de force. The little straw hat is an amazing piece of Barbie millinery. 

"Blue Chiffon Gown" from 2017 was a glamorous vision in the line's signature hue. 

"More is More"
"Classic Black Dress" Barbie dolls, from 2016, exemplify design expertise. Only one dress (on seated doll) was released as part of the line as all others were made for international conventions.Yes, there's Dovima's gown in the background and no, it's not by Mattel.  

"It All Started at the Beach"
"Black and White Forever" from 2019 is a tribute to 1959's bathing suit color scheme.

"Glam Gown", from 2016, is a platinum silver hair, brown-eyed stunner.

"A Lesson in Timeless Style"
"Blush Becomes Her" boxed fashion set as worn by a Lingerie #1 doll is a combo made in fashion heaven. 

"It's Possible"
"Gala Gown", from 2012, is an amazing achievement in doll couture. Exquisite realization of an exquisite concept. The factory got it all right. Even the hair. Bravi, tutti!

"Pink Pride"
"Proudly Pink", from 2019, is a chic play of Barbie doll's signature color.

"This Suit Is Made for Walking"
"Walking Suit", from 2012, is another design and manufacture tour de force. And Barbie's make-up is fierce perfection.

"Eleganza Extravaganza"
"Boulevard" from 2001 set the golden standard for boxed fashion sets: suit, coat, hat, shoes, hose, jewelry, purse. A level of detail that today seems mythical. It is modeled by a Wonderbilly repainted "Sunday Best" Barbie. 

"Le Rouge to End All Rouges"
"Ravishing in Rouge" from 2001was an FAO Schwarz exclusive. Those were the days, my friends. We thought they'd never end...

"Let's Déjeuner" 
"Luncheon Ensemble" from 2013 featured a flowered turban. "Fashion Designer" from 2001, another FAO Schwarz exclusive, did not, but thanks to LizRetros, Barbie rocks it in these photos. 

"Fashion Designer" was an FAO Exclusive from 2001 that lovingly played tribute to Edith Head. 

"Let's Misbehave"
"Midnight Mischief" was another fabulous boxed fashion set from 2002. Modeled by a restyled Number 3 Lingerie, it's a testament to quality - from fabric selection to factory execution. 

"Platinum in Black"
Reminiscent of the classic combination of a 1964 platinum blonde Swirl Barbie in "Black Magic", "Cocktail Dress" was instantly iconic.

"Liquid Lunch"
2000's "Lunch at the Club" is part of the historic introduction of The Barbie Fashion Model Collection. This very first suit fashion set was cut slim and fitted and was accessorized to the hilt - even a bouquet of roses. 

"Everyone's a Fashion Editor"
The referential tone of the line extended beyond the legacy of Charlotte Johnson to include details - such as the large round black framed glasses of FAO Schwarz exclusive "Fashion Editor" - a nod to the iconic Carrie Donovan. Here The Editor approves of 2009's "Parisienne Pretty" bubble dress as modeled by 2016's "City Chic Suit" Barbie doll, restyled by Bobby Taylor. 

"Italian Nuptials"
"Principessa" from 2018, worn by a Lingerie Number 2, is the ultimate wedding ensemble for it makes the very chic decision of not doing another long wedding gown. 

"Afternoon Suit" from 2011 was a BFC exclusive - membership had its privileges, right? - and a sensational take on Dior's New Look. And 1965's American Girl Barbie's hairstyle. 

"Haute Everything"
2007's "Haute Monde, another BFC exclusive, is a gorgeous redhead in another triumphant interpretation of the little black dress. Though there is nothing little about this one - it's utterly gorgeous and very much a grand gesture. 

"Simple Pleasures" 
2016's "Camel Coat" illustrates how Best kept Barbie wearing real clothing that is beautifully was fad-free and functional. 

"Empire of Pink"
2016's "US Convention" is a title that does not convey the beauty of this empire-waisted gown inspired by late 1960s party couture.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Tallulah! Dah-Ling!

Joey Versaw's recent venture into the world of vintage pulp fiction novels has yielded a richly diverse cast of characters ready for action. One of such personnages is the gorgeous Tallulah

What's in a name? Everything. 

Tallulah Bankhead ( "A star more than an actress, a personality more than a star, a celebrity before the phenomenon of celebrity had been identified." - Robert Gottlieb)

Tallulah Rue (Dolldom's Muse and Spiritual Guide)

Referencing the original bad girl allows Versaw's Tallulah to inherit quite a bit of an attitude on life, for, after all, our dolls reflect our dreams and ideals.  What better way to enjoy this new entry with Pulp Dolls Inc, Tallulah than with some of Miss Bankhead's iconic utterances and an exclusive portfolio?

“Here's a rule I recommend: Never practice two vices at once.”
― Tallulah Bankhead

Tallulah arrives with a colorful mini mumu and all the attitude you can take. 

“Say anything about me, darling, as long as it isn't boring.”
― Tallulah Bankhead

In a festive silk gown by Rosina Haskell and a Monique wig, Tallulah enters. 

“I'd rather be strongly wrong than weakly right.”
― Tallulah Bankhead

Tallulah is truly darling in Candi's gown by Mikelman. 

“Fill what is empty, empty what is full, and scratch where it itches.”
― Tallulah Bankhead

And that's clearly attained in this Lizretros' vintage Lurex wonder. 

“ I'd like to kiss you, Darling, but I just washed my hair. ”
― Tallulah Bankhead

Tallulah is wonderfully seductive in her lizRetros' vintage brocaded gown and a thrift-store wig find. 

But wait!

“The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner”
― Tallulah Bankhead

To be continued...

Credits for readers:

Saturday, January 21, 2023

New Moon, Full Moon

Tomorrow's new moon marks the beginning of Lunar New Year. And Dolldom celebrates this festival in grand style with Virtual Doll Convention's Grace doll. 

Bountiful Hearts
To begin the festivities that will last for fifteen days, until the moon completes her cycle and is full, Grace wears a scintillating red and gold brocaded silk dress. The cheongsam-inspired bodice pays tribute to tradition while the A-line flared skirt imparts a contemporary vibe with its above-the-knee hemline. 

But as Grace turns around, she reveals the ultimate surprise: a rhombus cut-out design. The fully lined dress closes at the neck and upper back with hooks and threads and with a zipper at the waist.

The Gilded Cage
This pair of platform high-heeled shoes features a gold honeycomb lattice pattern framed in gold faux patent leather. A fashion essential, these pumps keep Grace and her friends on a golden path all year long.

Precious Footsteps

Silver and gold and knee high, these are the boots to begin 2023 with a bang! Crafted of metallic Spandex, the easy to slip on and off design gives a modern edge to anything in Grace's closet.

Year of the Rabbit
Vivid red cotton plays foil to yellow graphics creating a sensational T-shirt for Chinese New Year. The logo's festive design features traditional firecrackers and a cute rabbit head. New Year Happiness!

For more information of the Grace doll, visit Virtual Doll Convention's Grace Boutique