Madame Alexander is not your run of the mill doll company. They have been around since 1923, producing dolls for collectors and children alike. Their fashion doll collections have never been top of the trade though, mainly due to lack of promoting and too classic styling of dolls and fashions. They have also produced some excellent replicas of movie stars in this line, like Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich (which I both own) and also replicas of Audrey Hepburn costumes (yes yes I own two of them as well!) and of course Scarlett O'Hara.
When they announced that a collaboration with Jason Wu, the famous fashion designer and doll designer extraordinaire for Integrity Toys, it fell like a bomb in the fashion doll forums. Everyone was dying to see the end result while FR collectors cried "foul" seeing their beloved designer working outside the confines of the company that nurtured his talent. He first designed some Cissy dolls for them and then came the main dish: he would re-vamp their 16" fashion doll line, the Alex dolls. With 17 points of articulation they look like a cross between the old Alex dolls and Avantguards. The collection is now online for pre-order so let's see what is the fuss about. All dolls are a Limited Edition of 150 pcs each. If you pre-order now, they are expected to ship in November and December 2010.
First up is 'Mahogany Alex'. She is a completely re-sculpted Alex. She has rooted side-parted auburn hair, "blue eyes dramatically arched eyebrows, gorgeous lips, and lovely lashes" (that is what they say on the site, you cannot see through the sunglasses) She is wearing a khaki-colored twill skirt paired with a nude-colored ruched blouse,has black lace panties and a thigh-length faux-fur coat. Her accessories made of black pleather include full-length gloves, a belt, and a handbag. She is sporting lace-up open-front ankle boots, a five-chain gold necklace with pearls and black beads, a gold bracelet, diamond rondelle earrings with diamond stud posts, and black sunglasses which of course do not let us see how she really looks. Pity.
Next is 'Graphic Content Paris'. Paris is a friend of Alex's. She has dark, olive green eyes and waist length black hair. She wears a hat made of black eyelet that wraps around her head and is finished with a bow on top. Her sleeveless, full-skirted dress of twisted tulle is combined with a fuchsia satin bodice overlaid with a sheer, black velvet windowpane fabric that’s threaded with silver. A fuchsia satin sash at the waist, black lace panties, pink pearl teardrop, with gold studs, earrings, a black clutch detailed with an over-sized bow and flocked turquoise, ‘wrapped to the ankles’ stilettos (which should have been deep purple or lime green to look amazing) that are finished with a bow at the heel, complete her ensemble. She actually looks great and probably is the only one I might have bought if I had a bigger doll budget this year.
The second Alex of the collection is 'Virtually Stunning Alex' . This one is blond with hip-length hair but has locks cropped to frame her face and bangs as well. She is wearing a black outfit with punches of colour: black lace cocktail mini with black bead detail, paired with black fishnet stockings and black pleather handbag. Topping it off is a black straw hat decorated with magenta flowers. Her shoes are gold faux-alligator pumps with metallic-look gold heels. Matching bracelet and earrings complete the ensemble. She looks a bit boring and the "fishnet" stockings personally turns me off.
The second Paris of the collection is 'Going Platinum Paris' She is dressed in a creamy white tulip long skirt with matching sleeveless high-neck bodice. A black satin belt marks her waist, with a hook-and-eye rhinestone closure at back. Around her neck she sports a ruffle of white pleated crepe and black pleated netting finished with a black organza bow. On her feet she wears open-side black crepe pumps with black platform sole and heel, metallic gold-braid ankle straps ,and gold leather binding at center back of heel. Accessories include white pearl drop earrings with metallic gold studs, two metallic gold chain and white pearl bead bracelets, and a clutch with applied fuchsia fabric flower petals. Classic and elegant.
The Alex Signature Collection is completed with the 'Luxe Finishings' Accessories pack. This is the only item that will be shipped next year. Included are; a sleeveless, black satin bodysuit, a short, black and white checked, silk skirt, a gold and crystal bracelet with matching tear drop earrings, knee-high, black pleather, high heeled boots, pink pleather, high heeled bootines that feature a cut-out pattern and lace up the front, fuchsia, high heeled bootines that have an open toe and are detailed by a cut-out pattern and black plastic sunglasses. Doll shown is not included - and her legs are so much like the old Alex it looks weird (also notice the different knee articulations, someone is bad at photoshop). This is something that Integrity should have been releasing regularly for their dolls like they did in the past, I think it would be very successful.