Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tatiana's Doll House: The Bedroom

In the third instalment for Tatiana's doll house, I have the bedroom! Every house needs a nice looking bedroom to rest and relax and Tatiana's is no exception! Of course it is always in the style laid out for the rest of the house - black & white.

The bed and bedding are from the Fashion Royalty Loft collection furniture. This line of furniture was a hit with collectors and most items are very sought after. The bedside tables, trays, striped vases and lamps are from the Jonathan Adler Barbies.

Tatiana repainted lamp bases and trays that were originally hot pink (Barbie anyone?). The bench and vanity table are solid wood shadowbox frames cut with a miter saw - I can see she uses shadowbox frames a lot for making benches or side tables. For the vanity top she inserted a real mirror in the small wooden photo frame.

The Panton miniature chairs came with the Dynamite Girls convention chair pack given to the attendees of 2008 FR Convention. Integrity also sold a pack of chairs in an assortment of colours. The curtains are table napkins. 

The closet door is from Barbie House by Mattel. The hinges were broken by Tatiana's girls beyond repair, so she just cut them off and the closet was born! The fluffy white carpet is a piece of craft fur. The white vases, telephone and basket came with various Mattel play-sets, which Tatiana then repainted. The silver tea set is Re-ment and the tea tray was just a purple no-name doll accessory. 

The wine bucket and bottle are Gloria, the glasses are from a Fashion Royalty convention accessory pack. The small silver cushions came with a jewellery box that looks like a mini sofa - these are easy to find in accessory shops in various styles and colours.
I hope you enjoyed this month's room from Tatiana - back next month with another beautifully decorated room in black & white!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dollz in Oz event presents two new Integrity dolls

This year's Australian major doll date was again the Dollz in OZ event. Held at the Sheraton Four Points in Darling Harbour, it was a day full of dolls for Australian fans. The event dolls were made by Integrity: Regal Estate Agnes was the event doll and Magnetism Monogram was the companion doll.

Regal Estate Agnes is a dressed doll wearing a black bustier dress with a cream coloured jacket and a black belt over it. She comes with fishnet stockings, clear blue pumps, blue stud earrings and black-and-blue necklace. Her face screening is a softer version of the Festive Decadence Agnes that was the second W Club doll last year. Her hair is long and lose. To me she looks hastily designed and produced. She does not remind me of Agnes at all.And blue with cream and black? The theme was Hollywood, but she would not get a chance there, even in daytime.

Magnetism Monogram doll is a tooted red haired doll, with a very classic make up look - brown and gold eye-shadow with red hot lipstick. She is wearing a gorgeous pink satin gown with matching pink and black shawl. The gown is decorated with a huge bow and it has a matching belt with a gold buckle. A golden cuff bracelet decorated with rhinestones and matching earrings compete the picture. Her shoes (not shown in photos) are emerald green with ankle straps. To me she is very Old Hollywood meets YSL glamour and would get her in an instant if I could.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nouvelles Icônes - Des Poupées Pandores aux Sybarites - Exhibition at Musée de la Poupée in Paris

Le Musée de la Poupée-Paris is delighted to be celebrating the fifth birthday of iconic doll range ‘The Sybarites™’ a product of Superdoll_collectibles™, London with an exclusive six-month exhibition. It opened on the 14th of March and will go on until 19th of September 2010.

Not since The Pandores, luxurious fashion dolls created in the XVII century and the Second Empire Parisians, have we seen anything like the Sybarites™. During the Ancient Regime, the Pandores were the equivalent of Paris fashion ambassadors to the European Courts. The Pandores wore the latest creations in order to tempt the aristocracy to commission the couturiers to create a life sized version. These dolls even had Diplomatic immunity: during times of war, the dolls had a royal pass to cross war torn borders.The aim of this exhibition is to travel, hand in hand with the fashion doll, from the last two centuries until today. You decide; utility item? play-thing? ...or highly coveted objet d’art?

The Sybarites™ were the first manufactured doll of then couturiers Charles Fegen and Desmond Lingard; they were born out of the void in the doll-world in terms of the quality and beauty that C&D were looking for in the dolls they wanted to buy and, ultimately dress in their fabulous gowns. Through painstaking development, clandestine market research and their strong vision, C+D crafted the doll of their dreams: Clone 0101 Venus D’Royce. Initially there were two breeds of clone and since inception in 2005, these have expanded into the double figures, however some remain unseen by the public eye.

Oh how I want to visit this show... but then again, seeing so many unattainable dolls together in one place would probably make it a heart-rending experience.

P.S. You can listen to this blog post if you download the audio file from the right column - see the section titled Audio Blog Posts!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Integrity On-Line Event exclusive dolls: Mini Avantguard clones!

Every time Integrity hosts an event for presentation of a new line, it has an event doll. It was the same again with the on-line event this year, but this time there were two of them - and they were mini-clones of the 16" Avantguard dolls Androgyny and Aphrodisiac that Integrity released last year.

They both look very much like their larger counterparts. The dolls use the Monogram line face sculpt and NuFace body (i.e. smaller bust and without waist articulation) so that makes them so much less articulated than their bigger sized sisters.  The reproduction of the fashions looks excquisite - I like it but already have Androgyny in 1/6 size so I had to pass, even though the price was really good for two dolls. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Integrity Toys 2010: Poppy Parker

The Poppy Parker line was a hit last year, the dolls and fashions becoming difficult to find in a short period from their release, each new doll greeted with glee from the collectors who found a new doll to feature in their collections. This year, the collection is about Poppy's arrival in New York, the naive ingénue becoming a city girl. There are four dolls and two fashions in the collection. And one of the dolls is a gift set. Poppy's make up is a little bit changed this time around, no painted separate eyelashes but eye-liner in the 60's style, a move that divided the collectors.

So the first doll is Coney Island Saturday. Poppy is dressed for a day out in Coney Island, with sailor style outfit, curled bangs, ponytail and side-glancing eyes. She's cute and reminds me of the retro styled FR gals from the Style Du Jour collection of 2007 - a mix of Bueno Sera Kyori's and High Tide Vanessa's outfits.

Of course New York in the 60's means beatnik scene is in it's heyday - so Poppy of course has the Beatnik Blues. With a blue suit and a black turtle-neck typical of the era, accessorized with the ultimate beatnik hat, the French beret, Poppy shows the intellectual side of her. Black flat shoes, tights and a leather belt complete the outfit. If I could get a second Poppy, this would have been the one. Unusually brilliant!

Up next a Poppy that looks so very grown up in relation to the other dolls of the collection. The Look Of Love Poppy wears a layered tulle beaded gown that reminds me a lot of Franklin Mint's first Elizabeth Taylor Vinyl doll. She does carry a clutch! Silver sling back shoes, a diamond bracelet and matching stud earrings complete the look.

The fourth doll is the gift-set that makes the difference. A more limited edition than the other Poppy dolls (350 while the rest are at 500 dolls each), She's Arrived! gift-set gave it's name to the collection and presents us a blonde Poppy that reminds me Grace Kelly and January Jones as Betty Draper from Mad Men - but in a younger version maybe. The set is comprised of a fuchsia typical 60's suit (very Jackie Kennedy) worn with a white sleeveless blouse, white gloves, clutch, pumps and diamond stud earrings...

... and yes, she has a nice turquoise suitcase with white trim to carry! And that is not all! She can mix and match this with a nice geometrical print dress with boat neckline with a bow and a  circle skirt, turquoise belt , pearl necklace  and a shopping bag. The shoes are cute pink ribboned mules.

As mentioned earlier, there are two fashions included in the collection and, as with the Fashion Royalty one, the prototype doll wearing one of the fashions became a hot topic among the collectors. A Night To Remember fashion is a belted butter yellow sleeveless gown with white bolero jacket and appliqué flowers scattered on it.

The outfit looks like something Doris Day would wear - Blizzard in the W Club forum mentioned the Glass Bottom Boat and I found this photo of Doris Day:

The other fashion is a print dress with matching short sleeve bolero nothing extraordinary but again the prototype doll looks so cute.

Poppy's boyfriend, Chip, is prominently featured in the stories accompanying the descriptions of the outfits - will we see him this year? I hope so!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Integrity Toys 2010: The Monogram Collection

The Monogram Collection was created to showcase real Jason Wu fashions done in 1/6 scale. The first dolls, released sporadically since the first charity-connected doll, Lifeball, did wear originals by Jason. Made in miniature scale, with exquisite detail and stylish as only models can be, the Monograms, due to their limited editions too, sparked the collectors' imagination immediately. Now the dolls become part of the regular releases - with a début collection that generally evoked a lot of praise from collectors and made the dolls highly requested - rumour has it that most dealers sold out before the timeslot allowed by Integrity to take pre-orders!

So this is actually the collection that Jason himself oversees now. This is obvious from the design of the outfits the dolls are wearing - they are not closer to style to his actual fashion collections anymore but they look like the earlier Fashion Roylaty doll fashions did - timeless, elegant, couture-like. So I guess this line is poised as the Haute Couture Line of Integrity, Fashion Royalty is the Ready To Wear Deluxe and NuFace is the secondary but avant-guard line. There are five dolls in the collection - and we start with the basic, Disclosure.

This is supposedly an underwear doll, although, as she is wearing a frilly bodysuit, she looks like she went out without her skirt - ooops! I think they should have given her one and sell her as a basic doll - I do not think a simple pencil skirt in a nice fabric would break the budget. She is rooted.

Enigmatic is the big hit with collectors. And why not? She wears a very elegant version of the little black dress, with a silk rose at the back of her waist, under a faux ocelot fur coat. Black jewellery, gloves, hat and pumps complete the look. What she is missing? A bag. No elegant couture outfit is complete without one. And tights too. The doll is wigged and looks like the mini-clone Androgyny with bright lipstick on. 

I think she looks really elegant (minus the fur, I'm all against it) and must be the best face I have seen on the Monogram sculpt. I love the necklace and the red soles of the pumps - very Louboutin! The dress reminds me of Audrey Hepburn at Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Up next is Dreamscape. She is a gain a wigged doll, with a raven bobbed wig and a couture-like gown. The draping of the skirt and the bodice are very intricate but the overall effect is somewhere between a classic overblown old Dior gown and a more avant-guard John Galliano one - it just cannot decide which. I'm not thrilled about this one, I guess it needed a starting over. It seems she did get the best shoes of all the collection.

My favourite from this collection is Incandescent: a beautiful doll with rooted short hair, sleeveless cocktail bi-coloured dress (pink and white) and matching jacket with double collar and peplum, black straw hat and dark glasses and gloves. Very Audrey again but still missing a bag. Her short hair make her even more special.

The final doll is one that has already been revealed to the public almost a month before the presentation, due to a mix up at Integrity - the dealers had her and got their orders before the company had managed to actually do a proper presentation - collectors first saw her on-line at a Dolls Magazine ad! The result is that she is already sold out before the rest of the collection was presented. She is the only darker skinned doll of this series and looks better because of it - she could look like Sade if one found the proper outfit.

Brilliance's outfit looks very 50's Dior - but I think the darker middle part would have been better if smaller and looked actually more like a corset. The stitching is not A-grade and her weird hat does not improve things. She is wigged and I am told by collectors who got her that it fits perfectly. I must say this is a major improvement over the Modern Pompadour wigs which slipped of heads easily. She is missing her bag too which again looks weird on a couture doll. She is beautiful though.

Overall it is a very elegant collection - and promising for the future. My only objection are the dolls - the sculpt is too generic and bland, and even with the brilliant face-ups it is getting, it still looks a bit Stepford-wife to me. They lack personalities, like real models in a way, especially in the last few years. The Jeffery Kalinsky charity showed us that these dolls do have much more to give. Let's hope to see more of that soon.