Thursday, November 14, 2019

Dolls Eye View: Paris S/S 2020 Fashion Trends

As expected, Paris had something for everybody. It wasn’t as « pretty » as the Milan collections, but there were plenty of ideas, no matter where your esthetic sensitivities lay. This is a very large report, so much so, we decided to present it in two parts. For this, part one, we look at the somewhat edgier side of Paris style. Much of this does not look like spring as there is lots of « Parisian » black!!! The girls were more intrigued by the designers’ ideas presented. But don’t worry. If this is not your cup of tea, stick around for part 2 when the classics return!

For this group, the design isn’t really all that extraordinary. It’s more about the material involved. A leather dress, a bustier and pencil skirt that puts skin to skin... we liked the simplicity of silhouette and the richness of the leather.
Again, we all loved the simplicity of the garments spelled out in soft, supple leather. For the doll versions, no need for all of the seams. (It's there in the full scale dresses due to size of the pelts in relation to the pattern pieces.)

Power Play
This is about the power of a jacket and trousers drenched in the color black. It’s the pantsuit in its purist form presented in everything from leather to sequins. 

For Margot, we chose a classic leather power suit: blazer and straight-legged trousers.
Graphic Language
We take black and cut it with white—whether expressed in color blocking or etched in stripes—for an eye popping contrast. 

Boyz Club
Men’s into women’s wear, androgynous dressing, or transgender mode—it’s all about mixing it up by looking in monsieur’s closet and putting your own spin on things. The man’s jacket can be cut away to expose its girly side. And who knows, sometimes HE might invade HER closet for a most unusual look.

Noor was quite intrigued by what first appears to be a jacket over slim Jim pants with cut-aways over the hips. In actuality, this really appears to be a jumpsuit. In order to bring this to life for Noor, I created this in two pieces: the top (which closes in the back) which is attached to waistband, also holding up the trousers at the center point. I added in another « faux waistband » to give the illusion of the cut-outs over the hip bone! Originally I did not add this waistband in. The overall look was VERY sexy—a little too much for Noor’s taste! So we decided to adhere more closely to the original look!

Edge of Night
This is really a walk on the wild side where punk, Goth and an assortment of looks with a hard edge reside. Most are wearable except for the one look Anna chose!

We were both quite intrigued by the way this « bondage » look wrapped around the torso. I cannot image the human version (unless the straps are attached to a flesh tone foundation) because the slightest gesture would result in milady completely falling out of the top! Anna has a very tiny body with almost no bust.  I made this in two parts: top and pants. The fabric is stretch and the straps over the front are attached to a solid back bodice. This was fun for the pix, but I’m not so sure she’ll get much wear out of this outfit1 

Soft Serve
Another edgy theme, largely based on the exotic esthetics of Japanese avant garde. More art than fashion, all of the ribbons, the handkerchief points, the cut-outs make for a very interesting conversation. 

With a Twist!
Here are basic styles with at least one element that is slightly askew. It can be a top where one side falls off the shoulder in a twist, or perhaps a simple black sheath given a jolt with a twist of color!

Upon close inspection, the original dress looks as if it might be part bra, part asymmetrical gown. For Noor’s version, I cut the dress in one piece and changed the colors of the insets to something more interesting: fusha and mandarine orange. I used ribbon for those insets and decided (in contrast to the original), to let the ribbon stream down the back of the gown.

We are not finished yet with Paris. I have few more outfits to finish. Paris Part 2 should be up in a few days!  Afterwards, the girls have decided to stay in Paris for a little rest & relaxation. They’ll be reporting on the sights and events around the City of Lights!

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Dolls Eye View: Milan S/S 2020 Trends

It has taken me awhile to get back online because.... the girls fell in love in Milan. Unlike NY and London where I had to send them back for a second or even a third trip just to find something to their liking...Italy was love at first sight!

Desert Storm
The classic look of safari wear is always a winner with me and my girls for summer. In this group we loved shorts teamed up with animal print bras and the super fun look of a fringed sued jacket and mini skirt. If your diva doesn't have a safari jacket in her wardrobe already...this is something you must make for her!

My dolls do have one of those safari jackets, so they opted for this "safari meets western" ensemble. This is a simple jacket with yoke bouncing with a lot of fringe, worn over a wrap skirt. I do have that pinstriped shirt but due to the difficulty of getting it on underneath this suede jacket, I decided instead to make Zoe a strapless bustier instead.
These flirty little gathered shorts caught the eye of Kate. We gave her a simple bra top cut from animal print jersey that match her shoes and topped everything off with a long swing coat.

Animal Magnetism
Let's face it, animal prints have become a classic. What is new here is the all-over, top-to-toe, matchy matchy look. We absolutely love the same print in different fabrics--from sheer to matte--sometimes all worn in the same look! For some of your dolls, it is too much, but for those who dare....more is more!!!

Garden Party
Whether you like them or not, my girls were pleased to see a collection that really resembles spring! We like the "garden party prints" on contrasting backgrounds, the all-over florals in shocking, bright colors. But the one my girls really fell for is Blumarine's floral on pink satin worn with a kitten soft sweater top! (Sorry, couldn't make this because I didn't have the fabrics!)

Art Smart
Figurative or abstract, hand painted fabric is a great way to express your inner artist and it makes for interesting fashion!

It's In Her Jeans
Not only is the color blue a trending color, the return to good old fashioned blue jean denim is making a big comeback. The other news here is the return of 1980's big shoulders. Put the two together and well... This is what this looks like. My girls weren't around back when Claude Montana's football sized shoulders were in vogue, so for them this look is really a big deal (no pun intended)!
Radiah loved the jacket but not so much the baggie jeans and cowboy boots. So I high fashioned it up a bit and put her in a pencil skirt made from the pocket of my dad's old jeans. The jacket is an elongation of the classic jean jacket but with exaggerated shoulders. Take a close look and you'll find the denim flower on the yoke which adds to the whole couture concept.

In a number that was clearly inspired by the movie, "Grease," we see a lot of leather on the catwalk. What the girls liked best was the 1950's interpretation of the leather look...jackets with over-the-knee pencil skirts that evoke both tough chic and feminine sophistication;
From the moment Morgan saw this on the screen, she began begging me to make it for her. The look is really quite simple...a motorcycle jacket over a long pencil skirt with cargo pockets and a furry pouch hung from the waist belt. For this outfit, I used a faux leather fabric with a bit of stretch. The texture is perfect and convincing and, unlike real leather, sewing was an absolute dream! (I will be buying more of this fabric whenever I see it again!) I couldn't keep everything close to the body without bulges or bulk, so I dressed Morgan in a wrap white cotton bare midriff top instead.

Suits Me
It's the return of the pant suit, but with loose fitting trousers cut from soft fabrics. If you are interested in pulling off this look for a 1/6 scale doll, make sure your fabric is soft enough yet still has a bit of body. Generally speaking, rayon fabrics are a good bet.

Suits Me 2
Taking the theme of the suits a step further, consider coat dresses or super sized jackets worn over the briefest of mini skirts. As you can see, lengths don't matter so long as it looks good on the doll!  
This is a classic example of why fabric matters. Liu is modeling my doll sized version of Salvatore Ferragamo's jacket and skirt. The original is made from a soft fabric...perhaps rayon. In my mind, I assumed linen would have the type of body I wanted to make the jacket look crisp and sharp. I thought a softer fabric might be too "frumpy." The end result surprised me. Liu's body is quite tiny but the bulk of the linen (and yes, I did use an interfacing) proved to have a life (and a silhouette) of its own. Liu is still happy, but if I were to make this jacket again, I'd go with a softer fabric to make the look more feminine.

A Star is Born
The monochromatic look of silver grey is another big hit in my house. (My girls love to sparkle and shine!)  
We already have tons of silver lame, lurex and leather outfits so there is really no need to make more. But Waris was intrigued by the texture of this Blumarine mini dress. To make an otherwise boring dress quite special, we decided to create our own texture with the help of medallions of beaded lace cut from the fabric and our own bead embroidery. The dress underneath is a grey sparkle tulle to which we added the lace medallions. Then we filled in the "spaces" with silver beads. We added crystal stars to Waris' hairstyle and gave her dark silver lurex boots. No need for any more jewelry because the dress itself is quite a gem!

Lady Sings the Blues
This is Giorgio Armani's sumptuous take on the whole blue forecast for next spring summer season. Had I had more time and the right fabric, I would have been tempted to make a few of these looks.
 Nadja was not going to let me out of making this look for her even though this version is white. We both loved the almost "whipped cream" topping over the slinky sequined dress. The dress is quite simple...a long sleeved sheath with a V-neck lined in ruffles. The shawl is a triangular piece of sheer polyester organza covered in ruffles.
 To keep from having to hem the fabric, I flamed sealed the edges instead.

All A-Flutter
My girls loved the light, simple look of these dresses that, thanks to ruffles and feathers seemed to take flight. We see a pink version of Armani's ruffled gown, along with two other summer beauties.
Another Tonner girl came upstairs to see what the commotion was about. When everything was said and done, she walked away with this version of Ermanno Scervino's pretty little dress. With Gunilla (a 16" doll), we began with a foundation garment and then added lace medaillons to literally build the dress. I added bits and pieces of frayed fabric for texture, then tacked on a bit of marabou feathers over a row of gathered tulle under the hem.

What attracted Violetta to this dress was the tender, nude quality of the overall look. The body of the dress is a typical couture draped gown, but using a very thin, pale fabric. I used a soft nylon sheer fabric for Violetta's dress. But I didn't have time to cut out feathers. So instead, I cut tiny, irregular squares of the sheer fabric and then tacked them onto a wedge of the dress. I then sliced up these little added squares to give a more "flutter" effect to the over all look.

Oh my oh my...Italy was so fab. I don't know if Paris can top this, but we'll go there and see!!!

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Dolls Eye View: London S/S 2020 Fashion Trends

 A little bit here, a little bit there....London fashion right now is all over the place. I suppose the problem is Brexit...Great Britain's planned exit from the European Union with all of its woes. Word is, many companies are looking to relocate their businesses somewhere else in Europe out of fear of potential problems down the road. In the meantime....what do you do! Design a collection with the idea of making a fashion statement or.....put together a collection of tried and true clothes guaranteed to sell! As a fashionista this makes finding something new and interesting difficult. The girls had to contend with pretty much a continuation of what we saw in New York...lots of chaotic concept clothes in odd shapes and mishap color palettes or.....seen that-worn-that (already) styles. Still, upon very close scrutiny when the girls were able to a find those few rare "jewels."

Neutral Territory
There is a lot of fashion left overs from the 1970's these days. Most of it me and the girls can really live without. On the other hand, we kind of like that decade's palette of neutral beige, ecru, brown and nature kissed hues. The girls agreed that the classic safari or sportswear separates: jackets, shorts and trousers are always a good bet. We even threw in a floral printed dress with "faded" prints in tones of off-white, coral and jade.
So if we have to go back in time to simple style, Giselle decided she'd opt for the timeless look of a short-set (safari jacket and cuffed shorts) worn under a chocolate brown micro coat. (Pssst....we also made her these lace-up boots in brown leather!)

The New Pants Story
 What we could appreciate in London was seeing a wide variety of pant silhouettes. If nothing else, we can have fun with pants. It's not just about skinny jeans here, but rather....loose trousers gathered into waistbands, wide pants of varying lengths and even the combination of shorts worn under sheer straight pants.

One-Armed Bandit
The one-shouldered look we saw last year, really takes off for next summer. There are lots of ways and many different shoulder treatments to explore!
Noor opted for the sleek look of a simple black jersey dress with a sheer, bias cut square added to one hip.

What's Your Point

And if you haven't noticed already...there are a lot of asymmetrical details to the hottest summer looks...especially those destined for party wear. The girls love how they almost look like puzzles that come together into sexy dresses with points over the thighs. 

Floral Kaleidoscope
Here is where things really became interesting. At first glance, this appears to be an extreme, even outrageous look. But when I stopped to think about it, I saw the resurgence of a popular trend from the 1980s....a proliferation of floral prints worn in "maximalist" mode. It started with the collection of Duro Olowu....vintage prints put together into a single outfit that somehow work together. The Erdem outfits may have you wondering...."who wears this." But again, this is about drawing inspiration from the essence of the concept, then simplifying or scaling it back into something charming, if not beautiful!
No, I would never wear Richard Quinn's dress, but I imagined how cute this look would be on a Barbie. Kimora made me promise I'd scale the look down into something she would actually wear. I also liked the idea of the matching stockings....but I went one step further and saw them as matching thigh high floral boots instead. So Kimora's outfit is a simple halter neck top and opera length gloves worn over a micro skirt bouncing with two rows of ruffles!

The original ensemble appears to be made from strips of brocade...perhaps even vintage ties. What we loved about the look is how three different prints could work so well together. Naturally I don't have those prints. And to be honest...the patchwork is too much work for a 1/6 scale ensemble. But the real message here is taking two or even three completely different prints and marrying them together into one beautiful ensemble. The trick to making it all sure there is one color shared by all prints! Inspired by Erdem, I went a step further by incorporating a "pop of color" via her gloves and shoes.

Fringe Benefits
Well... you know already how I feel about fringe! I love the use of long fringe here!. The black fringe top over the white fringe under skirt is sublime!

Easy Does It
At the end of the day...we are talking about summer clothes. So instead of super fancy, why not dress dolly in cool, easy to wear silhouettes that drop from bared shoulders and swirl around her calves. The overall silhouette is flared or one that cascades loosely from the bust or hips!

Marpessa loves the sheer simplicity of what appeared to be a strapless indigo denim dress dotted with tiny colorful daisies. For Marpessa's dress, I used a blue silk (with a twill weave) resembling denim. The dress is comprised of a strapless bustier top joined to circle skirt. Initially I had planned to add tiny white daisies cut from trim. But I soon discovered the scale was too big and there is much more embroidery detailing on the original dress than I had the time to reproduce. So instead..... I added medallions cut from a piece of beaded lace and sewed on tiny silver sequins to the body of the dress.

We're only half way through our fashion journey. Next stop......Milan!

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