Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Barbie gets heeled by Christian Louboutin!

For Barbie's 50th birthday (boy she looks good for her age!) shoe designer Christian Louboutin is designing pumps in iconic Barbie Pantone 219 Pink. The shoes will make their debut at the special runway show that Mattel Inc. is staging during New York fashion week next February.

Fifty as-yet-undisclosed designers will be producing Barbie-inspired outfits for the runway, and each of the 50 models showcasing them will be wearing the pink Louboutins at the show.

The designer himself, my favourite shoe guru alongside Manolo Blahnik, said "I guess I always had a little 'girlie side' who liked Barbie. She needs to wear great shoes because every girl needs to wear great shoes."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Miss Lanvin Collection

Last year, Albert Elbaz, the designer of the veritable fashion house of Lanvin, had decorated the Faubourg St. Honore store's windows with mannequins wearing his designs. He then release six porcelain dolls (more like figurines really) with Lanvin fashions taken right out of his sketch book, reminding us of the Theatre De la Mode era, back after the 2nd WW, when French designers dressed miniature mannequins with their designs and travelled them around the world.

This year, Monsieur Elbaz releases the second wave of Lanvin porcelain dolls. It features six looks from the Spring/Summer 2008 collection plus one from the Bridal Capsule collection (the dress that Sarah Jessika Parker wore in the Sex & The City film). They are limited to 800 pieces, made by Chinese craftsman Franz. They look like they're around 10-11 inches tall, maybe smaller. Each one costs 250 Euros (ouch!) and they can be found in Lanvin stores and major department stores in fashion capitals around the world. I wish I had all these fashions for my dolls!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fashion doll stories

From time to time, Integrity has contests about their dolls, which involve writing about particular situations involving one or more dolls from certain lines. I enter some of them (and have won a couple) but this time, I was a bit more inspired from the situations we were called upon to improvise. I find the two stories I wrote really interesting, so I thought I should post them here too for all to read (no, I did not win this time!).

Here is a story involving FR Veronique Perrin and searching for an outfit:
Hearing the door bell ring, as it did every time a customer entered the shop, I raised my head from the counter, where I had been folding a very expensive silk scarf, and looked at the woman that had just appeared. I almost gasped.
-Ms. Perrin, welcome to Velvet. What can I do for you? I immediately said, still not believing in my eyes. She walked towards me, with that famous feline walk, her sapphire blue eyes steady on mine, her lips almost smiling.
-A lot, if you please. I have a minor emergency in my hands and you can help me overcome it!
-Please let me know how, I smiled.
-I have an unexpected engagement tonight, a small cocktail party for a select few friends, thrown together by another, just because i'm in town. So I need something to wear, but not only that. I need the whole works: accessories, jewellery, the whole shebang!
I smiled. It was my lucky day: I could make her look like a million bucks and have a living advertisement of my boutique walking around a glamorous cocktail party. I tried not to show my excitement and lead her to the inner part of the shop: the lounge area. She sat down and I asked my assistant to serve her some refreshments. I immediately proceeded to pick a couple of elegant dresses I had received the day before: it looked like they were made for her.
-I think you should see these two first. I said, holding the dresses up for her to see. She left the china cup she was holding on the lacquered table and stood up. She approached me with a smile and picked the black one.
-Don't you think black would be too obvious?
-Not in this fabric, I replied. This is Balenciaga. It is wool crepe, but lined in neoprene. Look at the form.
She held it in front of her, while looking at the big mirrored wall opposite her. Framed with a gilded weathered huge wooden but simple frame, it reflected her image back at her.
-I must try this! she said excited! My assistant showed her into the dressing room and i stood waiting for her. When, after a few minutes, she appeared, I felt so good. I had chosen well. The slim elegant line of the dress, the list on her right thigh, the cut-out shoulders, all made her look like a super heroine ready to blast her enemies away. And God knows how many of these she has.
-I looooooooooove this! You're a genius! She winked at me and continued enjoying her look in the mirror. But we have to accessorize this!
-Not a problem, I said calmly. I went behind the counter and picked a small black pillbox hat, in a diameter much smaller than one would expect fitting on one's head. A huge black silk faille bow was tied on it, making it look like a bird ready to fly.
-Try this on!
To my surprise, she did just that. And loved it. My assistant helped her pin tha hat on her elegant and impeccable chignon: she looked amazing. But I already knew that. I handed her the Balenciaga strass necklace and bracelets that I had ordered for the dress. A match made in heaven. With the d'Orsay stilleto's in silver and black, with the thins straps crossing on her little elegant feet, she was ready to meet her friends and be the soul of the party. Any party!
-Thank you soooo much! she said as she air-kissed me, going out the door a while alter, with a smile. Send the things to my suite at the hotel... and please call me tomorrow! We simply MUST talk!
I waved her goodbye as she entered her limousine and was whisked away. As I closed the boutique door behind me, I knew another door had opened for me.
-Close the shop, I said to my assistant. We're going for lunch!
And of course here is the outfit in question (the hat I describe is less art, more fashion):

And here is the second story, this time about Gene Marshall and accessorizing her turquoise Colour Deal outfit:

As Gene Marshall entered the boutique, I rushed to assist her. It was not everyday she came here, but she was a regular customer and a very valued one at that. Having only been here a couple of months did not matter to her: she always asked for my opinion, frequently elaborating
on various fashion ideas. This time it was no different:
-I need you to help me pick some accessories for this turquoise dress, I think I have worn it with white a little bit too much! she said. It is an informal event but I do not want to look too casual.
The gleam in my eyes must have shown, cause she gave me one of those beaming lovely smiles only Gene Marshall could give.
-I might just have the thing for you, I replied. I went to the back of the shop and returned with a number of small elegant boxes. I placed them on the counter and started opening them one by one for her to see.
-See? First we have this elegant pair of the softest kid gloves you have ever seen, in black.
-Black? she asked. Isn't that a bit much?
-Of course not. It will make the whole dress look different, sharper, more glamorous. And you will also wear this matching belt with it.
The belt was made of patent black leather, shiny as jet, very thin, with a lovely silver buckle. The gloves had a similar miniature buckle on the wrist, matching them perfectly.
-Wow! I already see myself in this! And would you agree that I need something from the jewellery department to match these?
-Sure! I have just the thing, I replied, producing the most gorgeous jet brooch this side of the Grand Canyon. And we also have the earrings to match, I said, pointing to the smallest box on the counter. But you must pick a pair of fine pumps too.
-I think I see just what I need, she smiled. I followed her look and my eyes stopped on a gorgeous pair of high heeled slingbacks in patent leather. And guess what? They had buckles too.
-Must have ordered these with you in mind then, I said teasingly, going towards them to pick them up for her. And just look what else is in store too, I smiled.
I raised my arm and pointed to a shelf beside her. A lovely black raffia handbag with silver circular handles was resting on it, just waiting for her it seemed.
-I think I never was readier for my close up! she beamed at me. We had done it again! A perfect look for a perfect lady!
This is the photo that inspired me for the colour combination:

I hope you enjoyed the stories!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fashion Royalty: Bewitching Hour Luchia

A few days ago, the Fashion Royalty W Club announced its second doll of the year. The W Club dolls are the ones sold only to club members, and made in numbers according to the orders placed. This year, they had two dolls announced, and Bewitching Hour Luchia is the second much anticipated doll. I must say that the Luchia sculpt is not one of my favourites of the Fashion Royalty line - it is the reason I only have one Isha (the original character with this face) so far in my collection. But with this doll, I might just change my mind after all.

Jason Wu had hinted at the FR convention that the new Club doll would be a familiar character done in a different way. Was he right! The revamped Luchia is done in a colour palette reminiscent of the Mademoiselle Jolie OOAK charity doll, a truly different and beautiful look for Ms. Luchia Z. She does indeed bring to mind Angelina Jolie (in her blonde days), which is the main reason I really like this doll. According to the Club description, the doll models a "super-villain" inspired look mixed with true haute style.

Luchia is dressed in a mini dress in the palest of pink hues, accented with micro-pleated detail at the bust. Her black knee-length trench coat stands out with a number of fabulous details including buckles that highlight the three-quarter sleeve and an oversized "leather" studded belt with lace-up closure. Black gloves, earrings and a black chrome cuff bracelet round out the ensemble. The look is completed with potentially the hottest footwear ever done for Fashion Royalty, a pair of mile-high strappy gladiator boots that would make even Carrie Bradshaw jealous! Luchia's golden blonde locks, blush skin tone (a first for Luchia) and vampy makeup palette add the perfect complement to her "haute" outfit! The clothes look very stylish and the leather belt stunning - not to mention the gladiator boots (please do not try them at home!). So this looks like a winner to me!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Queen V - when will she appear?

I finally decided to post the pictures of Queen V, a Fashion Royalty Japan Exlusive doll, given through Dollybird magazine for dolls. It is an exclusive for their tenth anniversary and was the object of a lottery for those able to obtain a copy of the magazine and send back the application form inside it. The edition size is 450 dolls. It was announced in mid-April 2008 but the doll has not materialized yet - and Veronique has changed face!

The doll looks amazing : I think it is the best Veronique ever made. In a very pale, almost white skin tone, with hair in a marvellous up-do, with matching face-paint, she is the epitome of Royalty. Her outfit resembles an Elizabethan era gown, from the corseted bodice to the high starched lace collar around her delicate neck. She has a tiara with the obious W on it, a huge necklage, drop earrings and two rings, and also a lingerie set. Oly a scepter and an orb are missing from the Queens trusseau!

Her exorbitant price plus the high costs of shipping and customs charges from Japan made her unavailable to me (and many others I guess). I am really jealous of hte people getting her - though the must have loads of patience!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Heist: The Fashion Royalty Convention collection!

Last week at Pittsburgh, the Fashion Royalty convention for 2008 took place. Titled " The Jason Wu Event V: The Heist", it lasted from October 2nd until the 4th at the Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport at Pittsburgh. As the Integrity site said:

Mysteries abound, tragedy has happened: a precious heirloom from the Perrin family jewel collection has been stolen. Who did it? How will the Perrins get the precious stone back and where will this adventure lead? Join us for a fun-filled weekend at the Jason Wu Event V: The Heist and help find an important part of the Perrins’ precious heritage

Are you ready for excitement? Your convention host, Alain Tremblay invites you to join him and his team on an adventure worthy of some of your favorite spy novels, leading you to fabulous Russia in an intrigue totally worthy of Fashion Royalty! Who’s behind it? Is it Natalia and Kyori, or perhaps some mysterious new contender? Now you can be a part of it all! Meet Jason Wu and the rest of the Integrity Toys team and take part in a fun-filled weekend which will feature a special treasure hunt set in the totally stylish environment of FR!
Lots of dolls were unveiled at the event, with new characters appearing and older ones getting the Royal treatment. The concept was influenced a lot from James Bond, especially his Cold War - Russia elements. Lets see what temptations Jason Wu decided to unveil to eager collectors:

First off, from the convention collection, the Hopelessly Captivating Luchia Z. Styled with a 30s look, she reminds me a bit of Chicago's Velma Kelly . The influence of Mel Odom's Gene dolls is very strong in this year's collection as is the opposite.

With her black bob, raised eyebrows and severe suit, she could play in any 30s film noir! I think it is the first Luchia that I kind of like. Her bag is to die for and the pink booties look cute!

Finally, after listening to many collectors demands, an Asian male doll was released! Mission Moscow Takeo Mizutani, dressed in a pinstripe suit and carrying a samurai sword ( I hope it is included in the accessories) strikes a dashing note among the FR males. He does look like Lukas a bit. I hope it is the hair that does this and the sculpt is different. From the official photos, he still does not look too Asian.

A giftset of two new ladies was presented,Elements of Surprise, Lillith and Eden Gift Set - two dolls together, with funky outfits, very 80s style. The colours of the outfits almost hurt my eyes.

And one of the most glamorous Adeles made, The Muse - she looks something between Grace Jones and Naomi Campbell. Very French chic, she could model for YSL anytime. She reminds me of his 70s collections.

The first titled Royalty of the evening was Baroness' little sister (?), Giselle Diefendorf, in a Masterpiece Theatre incarnation. I must say she is quite an improvement over her first release last year. Young Nicole Kidman anyone? (she shares the Agnes sculpt).

The Baroness herself could not be absent from the proceedings (she is an event doll after all). Drama Behind the Drama Agnes Von Weiss is probably the most stunning doll of this collection, with an outfit that reminds me a lot Madra Lord's Postcard From Cannes gown. With that face paint and hair, she's a dead ringer for Nicole Kidman.

In the close up photograph below she looks like she could use some retouch - or simply powder! What next, Botox? She's a doll! I love the fabric of her gown and the embroidered detail.

Thursday at Convention was filled with intrigue and excitement. The dinner event was staged around the storyline that an heirloom jewel was stolen from the Perrin family and attendees were transformed into agents trying to assist in the jewel's return! Each "agent" attendee received an exciting spy kit, perfect for use with the new Takeo Mizutani doll! It included a carrying case, Ninja mask, rope, safe, cell phone and other cool spy gear! Also, there was the centerpiece doll for the evening, a beautiful raven-haired Eugenia. She looks somewhere between a 40s gal and a Versace late 80s model - quite stunning. So here is "Fine Jewel Eugenia":

At the Friday Luncheon at the Convention, Integrity announced the second character in the Hollywood Royalty line: Josephine Baker. Call me anything you like, Josephine is no Hollywood Royalty, she's European Royalty. I was expecting someone from the golden era of Hollywood like Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn or Ginger Rogers. Big disappointment this one and to top it all, she does not look like Josephine any more than the Lana doll resembles Lana Turner. Some lucky attendees had a chance to purchase a very special Josephine Doll, which recreated her famous "Banana Dance".

In addition, every attendee walked away with, Life of the Party, the convention fashion for the FR ladies. It is modelled here by Luchia Z (see top of post), again a very 80s look with a 21st century twist. And very nice mix & match possibilities.

A sneak peek at the new Valia, Pivoine, was also one of the convention highlights. This version of the doll has an updated body with increased articulation. The new body has the same sculpt as the previous body, but now has 15 points of articulation, including at the wrists, under the bust and at the upper thigh. This newest doll was inspired by Lisa Fonssagrives and has a more intense facial screening than the previous dolls. Valia Pivoine is exclusive to Haute Doll magazine , so visit their website for details.

The convention finished up Saturday with more dolls unveiled and also the convention doll (the one included in the attendee package). First of all, Eltin, the newest addition to the Dynamite Girls line was presented. She is supposedly a rock star and her first outfit is from her performance in Moscow. 60s galore!

Shirred, Not Shaken Vanessa (an obvious homage to James Bond) was the centrepiece doll of the evening. Stunning doll but she looks a lot like Obsidian Society Vanessa and the outfit reminds me too much of Agnes from last year's convention along with the Dressmaker Details outfit you can see one of my Vanessa's model here.

So who was the convention doll? A new character was added to the FR line, called Tatyana Alexandrova. Looking like a million bucks in an outfit again very YSL (this time the early 80s) she reminds me oh so much of Victoria Beckham. One very good reason NOT to get her. Victoria must be very happy.

The jewellery is magnificent - earrings, a hat pin, bracelet and ring - what more can a girl ask for? The blue blouse is magnificent.

A direct exclusive Integrity doll was also there: Nadja De Vries The Illusionist - simply stunning in her African regalia:

And finally the Onyx Veronique Perrin was given to the Deluxe Package holders - she's a basic platinum Vero, dressed like her fellows from the Glamorous basic collection.

Many more small gifts and stuff were given to the attendees and of course many dolls from the regular line were present along with customised ones from the attendees, making for a varied and eventful convention.

All pictures are copyrighted by Integrity Toys and are published with their consent. They are not to be used for any for commercial purposes such as ebay or to sell the any of the dolls. I am not affiliated in any way with Integrity Toys.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Katy Perry is a doll! Honest!

Integrity Toys and Jason Wu are once again collaborating with Capitol Records rock/pop phenomenon Katy Perry! Remember that Fashion Royalty dolls (Ayumi from Nu Face line) starred with Katy in her ironic video "Ur So Gay" (check it below) earlier this year and now Jason Wu has created a doll in Katy's likeness.

The 12 inch-tall Katy Perry doll uses the standard Fashion Royalty body. It will be sold through Integrity Toys Direct. The doll, which will retail (currently sold out on pre-orders but there is a form for availability information in the official page) for $49.99 (plus shipping/handling/tax) is immediately recognizable as a signature fashion look, featuring Katy's belted gold mini dress with accordion-pleated skirt, inspired by the wildly popular and 5 times MTV VMA nominated "I Kissed A Girl" video clip, below.

Katy Perry has her own blog and also an official site (Warning- LOUD music).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

FR Nippon Gothic Dream collection

Integrity Toys have a special outlet in Japan for their Fashion Royalty line called FR Nippon. As the tastes of the Japanese public are much different then their American counterparts, the dolls sold through FR Nippon are quite different both as dolls but also as outfits, from the main FR line.The FR line there is called Misaki. There are three characters, all looking very much like having stepped out of a modern manga or anime. They have bodies that look like the Nu Model line of Fashion Royalty, with different feet (flat) and hands. In total, they look more cartoony and cute than their vampy American colleagues.

The new line released for fall is inspired by Halloween. It is called Gothic Dream and consists of five dressed dolls, two of them special exclusives for I do not have full bodied photographs of the exclusives, Red Rabbit & Paranormal Willow, but Fashion Royalty send me photos of the other dressed dolls, so here they are:

First we have The Outsider - a dressed doll with an androgynous look, with an outfit inspired by school uniforms - but probably from a school with Bela Lugosi as a headmaster. Love the coat.

Then it's up to Pure Evil, a doll dressed in an all-white suit that looks partly inspired by Marlene Dietrich - a witch in the cabaret! Probably the best looking doll in the series. Amazing coat and the baton is a great accessory - I hope it is included.

Witchie Witch has a fitting name - the cutest witch this side of the Pacific! If the broomstick is included, it will be a treat. I love the purple dress and the fluffy curly hair!

All pictures are copyrighted by Integrity Toys and FR Nippon. They are not to be used for any commercial purposes such as ebay or to sell any of the dolls. I am not affiliated in any way with Integrity Toys or FR Nippon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gene Marshall Convention 2008 - the convention dolls!

The 2008 Gene Marshal Convention, titled "The Girls From Dream City" took place in Orlando, Florida, from the 11th to the 13th of September, drawing a big number of Gene fans as usual. As the official promo release read:
Join us this year as we travel through the decades and explore the fantasies created by Monolithic Studios for our girl stars. The sound stages and studio costume shop of Monolithic are our destinations at this year’s convention. Welcome to the Thirteenth Annual Gene Convention; welcome to Monolithic Studio’s Dream City.

Are you ready for fun? Your convention host Alain Tremblay invites you to join him and his team as we follow Gene Marshall, Madra Lord, Ivy Jordan and other famous Monolithic megastars from set to set as they explore various genres from romantic comedy to fantasy during the most awaited collector event of the year!

Meet Mel Odom and the Integrity team for a high-energy, memory filled weekend September 11-13, 2008 in sunny Orlando, Florida! Limited to 300 guests, this convention is open to all Gene collectors and their guests.
As in every convention, there is a collection of dolls unveiled. This year the quality of the collection was very high, with excellent dolls presented and a variety of styles, outfits and characters shown. So let's see those Girls From Dream City:

First of all, the lovely Blue Horizon Gene, a dream of a doll, with centre parted hair, left with long curls at the back, dressed in blue (of course) and looking like a million bucks. She reminds me of a modernized version of Midnight Romance Gene from the AD years. She looks a lot like Ginger Rogers too!

Then we have my favourite of the collection: the dreamy looking Slender Threads Gene Marshall dressed doll, wearing a lovely suit, accessorized with a leather bag, pearls, headpiece and gloves - a picture of 50's elegance. I do not know if it is the suit, the face paint or the hairdo (probably all of the above) but this looks to me like one of the best Genes ever made.

The next one is Madra, of course: here in a very strange style for her, the Pool Pose Essential Madra dressed doll, with a pink outfit reminiscent of Ester Williams in her glory days. I would have expected to see Gene in such a costume, Madra looks a bit out of her depth in this (pun intended). She is wearing a bathing suit and a skirt over it. Seeing convention pictures, I must say her face looks lovely and cute, nothing like a fierce Madra would look like. Love the shoes.

Gene again. All About The Eyes Gene Marshall doll is a dressed doll with a blue (again) outfit, in halter neck style, with a disc hat and golden gloves, belt and shoes. She looks very fifties. I love her hairstyle, very glamorous and sexy.

Looking like it escaped from the Flash Gordon set, the Imperial She outfit was part of this collection (doll not included). It even has a golden gun to complete the look - Darth Vader beware!

Gifts to the attendees are an essential part of a convention. One of them was the above costume: After Hours. A pink dress with a big collar and a longer skirt, white bag and shoes. The back of the dress is pleated, you can see it in detail below:

Isn't the bag to die for? And such poise! Go girl! Read below for the inspiration of the outfit.

Another great Gene: Twilight Girl. Her style is so chic, her hairdo perfect, her make up impeccable. I love the simple outfit and accessories, she looks like she stepped out of a Hitchcock film. In fact, she is inspired from a Twilight Zone episode with Anne Francis (Twilight Girl - got it?). Anne Francis is dressed like the doll and another actress is wearing the After Hours outfit seen previously (the episode is called After Hours too! Thanks to GeneMarshallFan-Ray for the info).

The Friday luncheon had a gift and a centrepiece: a costume and a dressed doll as a centrepiece. The costume is Cocktail Hour, a 40s inspired outfit (doll not included), with stripe detailing and the typical skirt of the era. Look at the detail of the bag, it is amazing! I love the clashing green against the blue. Very YSL.

Of course Ivy Jordan could not be absent! And here she is, in Tea Dance, another 40s style outfit, with beaded jacket and flower print dress. She reminds me of Joan Crawford here.

Ivy was also presented as a director, for those who got the Upgrade package. She reminds me of both Garbo and Katherine Hepburn. The chair was not included (it is the old Gene director's chair with different lettering which looks suspiciously photoshopped).

The new character that was much anticipated was finally presented at the W Club Luncheon. Her name is Zita Charles and she is:
"...a major star of the late silent era, Zita Louise (as she was then called) was the epitome of the Jazz Age glamour. Known as the "Too Much Girl", Zita forged a reputation as a party girl and was a favourite of the Hollywood gossip columns. Counts and "princes" seemed always to be proposing to her in front of a fountain while the cameras were rolling. Everyone and anyone just wanted to be with Zita Charles!"
With her vampish look, sassy style and elegant vintage inspired gown, Azalea Ice is the very first Zita Charles doll, and the second entry in the Gene Marshall 24K collection. Azalea Ice will be offered exclusively through FAO Schwarz's on-line catalogue division (at starting approximately October 15, 2008.
Zita Charles has a new sculpt, an "older" face. Her hair is streaked, probably to give her the age edge. She is wearing a mid 50s one - shoulder gown with detailing at the bust matching the gown's pink train. Zita's outfit comes with matching gloves, shoes and jewellery. From the face style, I am thinking we will see her in 20s outfits soon, as her younger self.

The Convention Souvenir Doll was unveiled at the final event, inspired by the 50s sci-fi films. Distant Venus Gene Marshall is wearing a gown inspired by one that the famous Hollywood designer Adrian made for Greta Garbo in the film Inspiration. Only that one was in black.

A close up of Distant Venus and, below, Garbo wearing the Adrian dress that inspired it.

The final event did not have only one doll. There was a lovely centrepiece doll too: Dripping moonlight Gene Marshall dressed doll, a platinum haired Gene that comes dressed with Postcards From Cannes Madra outfit in white (and exactly the same accessories).

Her hair and face paint are impeccable. A great looking Gene again!

Overall, and having seen most of the dolls and outfits in "real" convention pictures too, I can say that the quality and design of Gene dolls is once more one step ahead. And judging from the response of Gene fans in the relative boards (both attendees and not), it seems Integrity and Mel Odom got it right again!

All pictures (except the Garbo photo) are copyrighted by Integrity Toys and are published with their consent. They are not to be used for any for commercial purposes such as ebay or to sell the any of the dolls. I am not affiliated in any way with Integrity Toys.