Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Official 5th anniversary Poppy Parker doll is revealed!

Has it already been five whole years since the Poppy Parker phenomenon was unleashed to the world, batting her pretty eyelashes adorning those doe eyes, pouting her cherry lips to perfection? It must, because Integrity Toys just revealed their official 5th anniversary Poppy Parker doll - albeit as a W Club exclusive.

Item # PP070
Joyous Celebration Poppy Parker™
Fifth Anniversary Souvenir Doll 2014
W Club Exclusive Limited Edition Size: TBA
Special W Club Suggested Retail Price: $120.00
Estimated Shipping Date: Approximately Fall 2014

Doll Tech Specs:
Scale: 12-inch / 1:6
Head Sculpt: Poppy Parker
Body Sculpt: Poppy Parker
Skin Tone: FR White
Hair: Brunette
Quick Switch Feature: No
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-Applied

The Fifth Anniversary Poppy doll wears a gold and cream brocade gown with pink multi-tiered tulle underskirt, long white opera gloves, pink and gold jewellery, pink satin shoes and matching clutch bag. Her dark brunette hair is swept up in a braided bun. Poppy Parker is a 12-inch fully articulated vinyl doll with a rooted hairstyle. A doll stand is included. For adult collectors ages 15 and up.

What can I say? She's fantastic! Just the Poppy one would expect for such an important anniversary. She looks like a Bergrdorf Good man Poppy Parker clone (the one that was sold on Fashion Night Out and is a rare collectible now): she has the same skintone, screening style, the eyelid colour. She has slightly darker lips and better looking eyebrows. For me, she looks much better than BG, who looks a bit washed out next to this one. Her eye shadow looks airbrushed. If it is, she will look even better in real life.

I would have liked something extra with an anniversary doll: a second, day outfit, matching this in tone and style. Like a suit with a portrait neckline. That would have made a great gift set for this occasion. But it would mean a higher price. The accessories are nice but nothing to write home about. A better designed  pair of shoes (sling backs maybe) would have been so much better.

The dress is actually a close copy of a Francie by Mattel gown released only in Japan back in 1967 (code DS2240). Francie rarely had gowns of her own by Mattel and this is quite an expensive collectible: the actual outfit sells around US$1900! Below is a photo of it. You can see it has a brocade upper part (but with a halter neckline that ties in the back) over a ruffled taffeta skirt - in orange red instead of pink. It also had an orange sash to tie around the waist, white plastic clutch bag, short white tricot gloves, graduated pearl necklace, low soft white heels and an eyelash brush. An interesting detail is that the same brocade was used in both Barbie's 911 Golden Girl 1959-1962 and 961 Evening Splendor 1959-1962 outfits, however, it has now been turned inside out (Barbie info from

Photo of Francie gown from eBay auction of user goddessofasia

**All photos (except otherwise noted) and information (except the Barbie info) contained herein is copyrighted Integrity Toys, Inc. and Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC 2014 and may not be reprinted or disseminated without express written permission. Please note that the photos are of a prototype doll and subject to changes and modifications. **

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Wall Of Dolls unveiled in Milan during Men's Fashion Week

A Wall of Dolls. Just this one sentence makes a doll collector salivate with anticipation, like the Pavlovian dog of science. But this is not about doll collector fancy. This is a charity affair. "The Wall of Dolls" exhibit in Milan was unveiled during menswear fashion week to help spotlight increasing violence against women, as WWD reported.

“The Wall of Dolls” at the Cultural Center in Via de Amicis.

Fashion designers, celebrities, journalists and writers from Italy collaborated on this event. Fifty fashion designers, among them Missoni, Etro, Max Mara, Trussardi and Eva Cavalli are taking part with their own designed dolls. The beneficiary is human right association Intervita and other nonprofit organizations. The dolls are exhibited on a wall of the Cultural Center on Via de Amicis.

Antonio Marras' doll at “The Wall of Dolls” exhibit

Intervita was founded in Milan back in 1999. According to their mission statement, "Intervita is a non-profit non-governmental organization for development cooperation, recognized by the Italian Ministry of foreign affairs; we are independent, non-denominational and apolitical." "Intervita works in Italy, Asia, Africa and Latin America to support children, women and local communities in the fight against poverty and inequality and to promote sustainable development." "Intervita collaborates with a network of other civil-society organizations to give the most vulnerable people a voice on the Italian and international political agenda, and we are involved in the main networks protecting children's and women's rights."

The Eva Cavalli doll was made by the talented Magia 2000 doll studio

The principal creator of the event, Italian journalist Jo Squillo, said the decision to set up the wall during men’s fashion week was meant to raise awareness among men. The wall is to travel to other Italian and European cities. The initiative was included on the calendar of the Italian Chamber of Fashion with the patronage of the Milan municipality.

The Missoni doll with the obligatory multicoloured stripes

Best thing about the exhibit: everyone can add their own doll to the wall. I would love to see what people create and put on the wall, either simply to participate or for someone they know that has suffered from violence.

Etro's doll with their characteristic prints

All photos by Lele Sandrini for

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Isaac Mizrahi designs dolls for Madame Alexander

This collaboration was announced way back in January 28th this year but I only just got wind of it. Isaac Mizrahi, one of the most likeable designers from USA (and very talented - back in the late 80's some of his collections were simply genial) announced that he and The Madame Alexander Doll Company will make a new collection of dolls, doll apparel and accessories. Isaac says: “Dolls have a special place in my heart. In a way, I began my design career with dolls. When I was a young, I would use my dadʼs sewing machines to create little puppet dolls. Now, itʼs coming full circle by working with Madame Alexander. They have always represented the highest-quality and most beautiful dolls in the world.”

The doll collection will consist of both limited-edition "collectibles" and 18-inch play dolls. The dolls will be available in June 2014 (are they?) at specialty and department stores as well as select websites including (still on a coming soon notice). 

Limited Edition 250 dolls. SKU 68280. The Collection Doll, ages 14+ Isaac Mizrahi Classic Iconic – $199.95 

Based on a classic lsaac Mizrahi runway look, 16" “Alex” doll is dressed in a white ribbed tee shirt and long "Isaac pink" taffeta ball skirt with a pink tulle under-slip. Topped with a short orange and pink striped puffer jacket and brown faux fur trapper hat, this classic is completed with black motorcycle boots. The doll comes with an illustration card drawn by Isaac Mizrahi. 

Limited Edition 75 dolls. SKU 68285. The Collection Doll, ages 14+ Isaac Mizrahi Modern Iconic –$999.95

Designed by fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi, this 21" fully articulated Cissy doll is dressed in a modern iconic dress inspired by one of Isaac's recent designs, an elegant red and pink satin dress with self belt. Sunglasses, watch, bracelet and clutch are based on accessories from the Isaac Mizrahi New York Collection. If you peek under her skirt, Cissy wears a polkadot, panties and crinoline. An illustration card, drawn by Isaac Mizrahi is included as a special bonus. 

According to Mizrahi, the decision to collaborate with Madame Alexander was a very organic one. He first learned to sew by making another type of childhood toy: puppets on his dad’s sewing machine. “That’s what my first creative endeavours were. Puppets of all kinds,” Mizrahi told “I know a lot about making miniature clothes and things, and for me this is a very natural association.” The 21-inch limited edition Cissy doll is dressed in a pink and red satin dress inspired by one of Mizrahi’s current Mikado dresses.

However, Mizrahi’s favorite is Alex, dressed in a design inspired by one of his early 90's collections. “That’s my favourite just because of the hat and the whole idea of the perfection, the way they captured the exact spirit of the outfit,” Mizrahi said. The rest of the dolls pictured are the play-line 18" dolls that sell for $69.95.

The only doll that would remotely interest me would be the 16" Alex doll and just for the chance of owing one Mizrahi outfit for my dolls - plus it is from his good period. But the price is too much for just one outfit, even though it is a Mizrahi one. Maybe I will be able to find it on the secondary market for a lesser price.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Le Petit Théâtre Dior - Haute Couture in miniature

On the 31st of May, Dior unveiled the exhibition Le Petit Théâtre Dior in Chendgu, China (open until the 20th of June). It is the first stop of this travelling exhibition, inspired by Théâtre de la Mode, a 1945–1946 touring exhibit of fashion mannequins, approximately 1/3 the size of human scale, crafted by top Paris fashion designers. Now, for the house of Dior, twelve installations retrace the history of the House and present miniature versions of the Bar suit, the dresses Schuman, Muguet, Miss Dior and many more. Minutely sewn to the millimetre, they resemble the originals down to the tiniest detail. It's not just an exhibition that's heading off around the world, it's the Dior spirit that's travelling, too.

So why is Dior making these miniature dresses, crafted with full-scale precision? "In a time when everything is tending to the machine. Dior should be more like an artisanal laboratory than the ideal of a factory" Christian Dior wrote in his memoirs. Even before founding his own House, the couturier recognized that the noble professions exercised by the artisans were inseparable from Haute Couture.

Pale pink and white silk bustier ball dress worn by Jennifer Lawrence for the 2013 Academy Awards.
Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2013

At the time of the original Théâtre De La Mode exhibition, Christian Dior himself was working for Lucien Lelong, a venerable French fashion house and it is believed that he had a hand in making some of the original dresses. In the modern reinterpretation, even at only a third the size of the original model, each miniature dress in the Petit Théâtre Dior is produced with the master's exacting standards: based on a cotton toile in the purest Haute Couture tradition and with the same precision and rigour as the magical creations worn by Dior's clients.

J'Adore: Backless dress in nude-coloured silk chiffon, Belle Epoque gold necklace.
Special creation, 2011 for Dior perfume ad.

In couture ateliers time seems to stand still: embroidery is done by hand, as in the 18th century (and mostly in specialised small firms such as Lesage), miniature silk fabric flowers are made by hand, with delicate precision almost matching a can see them on the original Miss Dior dress, designed in 1949, as well as on the miniature version,made especially for this exhibition. To achieve this result, le petite main carries on as part of a long legacy; fabric petals are cut out by hand with a punch tool and the embossing is done with a period tool. Then both are fixed around a brass stalk to make the final flower.

The detail is so breathtaking that it seems the miniature dresses are even more exquisite and precious than their life-size counterparts. I wish I could have all of these made for my dolls and photograph them as couture models of this era. What a lovely assignment that would be.

White organza evening dress embroidered with “Pointillist” layered chiffon.
Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 2012.

Aventure: Black wool button-up skirt, black-and-white hound’s-tooth jacket with gored back.
Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1948, Envol line.

Opéra-Bouffe:  Short evening dress in candy-pink silk taffeta.
Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 1956, Aimant line

Schumann: White silk tulle ball gown trimmed in Valenciennes lace. Cascade of Dior roses at the back. Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1950, Verticale line.

Display at the exhibition - notice the oversize thimble and pin cushion contrasting the miniature dresses.