Tuesday, May 3, 2022

VIOLATED!



Dear readers,

It was brought to my attention that another website has been copying several of my complete blogposts and reproducing it in its entirety on their site. By the time I was alerted, I had a trip planned and have not able to address the situation until now.

First of all, I would like to personally thank the author of I-Luv-Dolls for bringing this whole sordid incident to my attention and keeping me informed over the past month. I would also like to thank the author of Black Doll Collecting for her efforts and information on combating this problem. 

Since January of this year, myself and other bloggers, have been victims of "bot scraping" by a website that professes to report doll news from around the world. Bot Scraping or Web Scraping is the practice of using programmed software (bots) to extract large amount of data or content to post on another site without crediting the source. And while all of my identifying tags were left intact, if someone were not familiar with my blog, it would be easy to surmise that Fashion Doll Stylist is produced by some sort of publishing group WHICH IS NOT THE CASE!!!!! Moreover, by publishing my blog on another site, I am robbed of visitors to this page.

As all of you are well aware, my blog which is in its 10th year, (on the Blogspot platform) is completely produced, written, photographed and published by one person....ME!!! I do not receive any money for my hard work or the materials I use in producing my doll fashions. My blog is a labor of love. I do not mind sharing my knowledge, my love for dolls, all my experiences with others. I only ask that before reproducing anything, I am informed prior and that credit is given to me. That's all.  And for the most part, whether it has a photo or a tutorial, most of the time others have complied and I thank you for that.

But in this case, I am particularly upset because the people behind this website never requested my permission or that of any of the other blog authors from whom it has STOLEN content. Moreover, it REFUSES to take down content when requested!

With that, I urge anyone else whose work is susceptible to be impacted, to read the April 6 post of Debbie Garrett's Black Doll Collecting for a detailed idea of the problem and what she tried to do to regain control of her work.

If you have a blog on Blogspot, you might want to go to the offending website to see if your posts have published without your consent. Then return to Debbie's April 10 post "Updated Settings"  for a few updated ideas as to how you might stop this from happening to you.  w

I will be publishing this first before changing my settings so that should this website decide to "scrape" this post, they will alert their own readers as who really produces Fashion Doll Stylist and how I feel about their practices. And then I will adjust my settings in hopes that it will put an end to future work being taken.

We'll return with our usual type of fashion related posts shortly.

April



Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Oscar Buzz 2022


It was certainly great to see the Academy Awards return to an in-person event. The stars were all out in full glam mode and my girls were quick to head out to the red carpet in their own dolly versions! What we noticed about this year's trends was voluminous many of the dresses were. After two years of confinement, what better way to celebrate the world's most famous red carpet rendez-vous.

Ariana DeBose was regal in her head to toe Valentino red. Her look is comprised of evening trousers, a matching bra top and a coordinated flame red cape. Tamron didn't like the look of the molded bra cups over the breast, so we created what we felt was a more flattering version of that top. Since I couldn't see the detailing of the cape, we improvised and added a full ruffed collar. 

The comentators were every bit as glamorous as the celebrities they were interviewing. Liu couldn't take her eyes off of Sophia Carson's full tulle regalia by Italian designer Giambattista Valli. It resembles a modern version of a Dior "new look" gown with its full, ballroom skirt and the asymmetrical tulle sweep over one shoulder. 

In her nineties and still heating up the red carpet....actress and Broadway star, Rita Morena inspired our girl, Anna with this black one-shouldered gown. Ours began with a one shouldered black jersey dress to which we added layers of flounces along the neckline. I gave this version a more paired down version of the bell sleeve so as not to overwhelm Anna's tiny body. We did love the feather hat on Ms. Morena, but on Anna, we felt it was a tad bit overkill. 


While we admired Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive's Tiffany blue gown, me and the girls were not so crazy about the taffeta "tire" around her middle. Instead, we saw more promise in the Louis Vuitton gown worn by Caitriona Balfe. The original gown is cut from a softer fabric, but the one we created for Marpessa, is made of taffeta. We wanted the ruffles to bounce more around the body and we were not disappointed. This is essentially a slip dress with a train. The "surprise" is the ruffle placed near the waist which connects to the train on both sides. It results in a very pretty "frame" over the hips.

And, off to the side there she was....Zoe Kravitz looking like a modern day Audrey Hepburn in a powder pink satin gown. We loved the top with its bow tied to one side of the bodice but we wanted something a little more sophisticated than the original "prom dress" vibe. So the two-piece dress we made for Belle has a narrow sarong skirt.


We just loved the 1930's glamour girl look to Jessie Buckley's pale pink gown. We don't know who the designer was but Kym knew she wanted something similar. Since we have done this bodice treatment many times, we decided to change up the neckline treatment. The dress is a simple strapless sheath flared gown with a train to which we added satin straps around the shoulders. 


Another lady in red...Kristen Durtz shows off very pretty gown by the house of Christian Lacroix. (Haven't seen that name in a long time!) We couldn't resist trying out the technique we showed you in our post "Pucker Up." Our version: a simple strapless, flared gown with a permanent pleated fabric treatment using polyester organza tacked over a silk base. The result was spectacular! Ariana is thrilled! 




What a fabulous finish to our Oscars Red Carpet report, starring actress Laverne Cox. Getting the look for Gail was easier than it looks. She wears a simple stretch velvet gown with an off-centered asymmetrical point in the front. Over her shoulders....an oversized sweep of crinkle taffeta as a stole!


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Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Dolls Eye View: Paris Fall Trends 2022

We can always count on Paris for a wide diversity of looks. But as was the case with Milan, there was not a lot to fall in love with. But within the dumpster dive of concept clothes and flights of fantasy, the girls were able to find a few things worthy to come home with. 
For the most part, designers here were not generous with color, preferring black and grey over a palette of bright autumn tones. 


 Warm Leatherette
One trend we could pinpoint....leather. Either as an all-over look or used in touches or for accessories, next fall will see generous slabs of leather (or leather look-alikes) crafted into dresses, vests, thigh high boots. 

Two things to note here: super long blazers and super short shorts! Both are trending and can be teamed together or worn separately for a combination of looks and styles. This is largely an exercise in styling. Here Estelle wears a simple halter neck top belted over wool shorts. Topping it off...a classic leather blazer in a long, hip grazing length.

Dorian, on the other hand, wanted something with a little more cutting edge style. Her dress is cut from stretchable faux leather. It is an asymmetrical fitted sheath dress where one side traces her body down one side, while the other side is fitted but has exterior seams closing like a clam-shell. Of course on a 1/6th scale, the "leather" won't drape, so we took the liberty to fold and tuck the "ruffle" along the seam line. 

The Revenge of the Classics
As pandemic protocols are dropped and offices reopening, look for the classic suit and its variants to return. The Chanel show this season, was criticized for looking a tad bit matronly, but when the girls looked closely, they saw many classic staples they felt could be restyled into something more exciting.

For example, Sonia opted for this classic Chanel tweed suit worn with a super long "Chanel" charm necklace and bracelet. She swapped out the thick socks for lurex stocking boots. And take a look at what happens when she opens up her jacket!
There's a silver satin top for those late day dates. We lined the jacket with the same silver fabric as the top! 

Orange Is the New....
A trend we first spotted at New York Fashion Week.... Orange is trending for next fall. From bright tangerine to mellow pumpkin and blood orange..... this is a color your dolls will be demanding, no matter the time of day!

La Belle et La Bete
Be it faux fur or feathers, the nocturnal animals are on the loose. Once again, they are found in jackets and coats of all lengths and looks. Look for feathers at night.


One of the coolest ways to wear a fur jacket....here's grace in a black "chubby" fur worn over leggings.

Cocooning
Not interested in getting skin in the game? Cocoon coats and jackets provide a fur-free alternative. Quilted coats and jackets have been elevated into high fashion status. Look for satin coats and nylon cocoons to shine next winter. 


For Latoya, we constructed this cocoon coat based on the pattern we created for the Patrick Kelly cocoon. The jacket doesn't require much fabric so I made my own quilted fabric. I began by tacking on  sheets of soft, non-woven material to the lining, layering on satin and then top-stitching. Then we laid down and cut out our pattern. Our jacket is not perfect. Next time I will plan the stitching pattern better.  (We plan to make others jackets in the near future which we promise to share with you.) Neither me nor Latoya liked the washed out jeans worn with the original jacket. We wanted something more elegant so we teamed our white satin cocoon with navy blue taffeta stovepipe pants.


!!!!!!!
These are skinny, slinky looks in black...straight up!!! Think slim fitting dresses, straight pants or leggings....all in the noteworthy color of......black!
The orignal look consists of a draped top over wide trousers. Creating this look appears easier than it really is. Because we are working in 1/6 scale, the fabric won't drape quite like the original. After three attempts with two types of fabric, I decided to simplify. So for the dress created for Amalia, I started with an ankle length jersey sheath with funnel collar cut from a thin, nylon jersey. I draped a separate piece of this fabric extending from the tip of one shoulder, diagonally across the body and caught into the opposite side seam. 
By now you know my divas....They LOVE everything that sparkles and shines. As such Sophia couldn't pass up this modern day version of the flapper dress. A basic strapless sheath dress worn with shiny vinyl boots. 


Hot Hot Hot!!!

Everybody is talking about the color of the year....Hot Pink! At the Valentino show, more than half of his show marched out to the vibe of this single electric tone! A few other designers also picked up on the on the trend. So this Fall...Think Pink!!!

We didn't have the same feathers as the original dress. (We used turkey feathers instead.) So while the spirit of the look changed, Simone, the newest model to join our staff, still loved the resulting look.....bird in paradise! The base is a tent dress with feathers tacked on one by one. 

The Tuxedo
The look--a feminine version of the tuxedo--made famous by the late, great Yves Saint Laurent, gets an update and comes back into the spotlight for modern times. On the left, a long, curvy blazer over shorts and thigh high, leather boots. On the right....an exaggerated, squared off androgynous version of Yves' iconic look.


Again, this is a question of styling. Here, Morgon chooses the more feminine version of the two options, worn over a short skirt instead of shorts.


Love Me Tender
None of these looks says fall/winter fashion. However, in contrast to all of the hard edge looks, almost masculine air of the upcoming season, these pretty little dresses provided a sweet, flirty counterpoint.  
Chrissie LOVED this dress. It is so young and fresh and has a vintage vibe. Admittedly though, I was heavy handed with the flounces and my dress flutters more. 
There is really nothing new here. It is a classic Grecian style gown we've seen over the decades. An elegant, easy to construct (halter neck tent dress) belted and worn with contrasting opera length gloves. Pure high style!




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Thursday, March 17, 2022

Dolls Eye View: Milan Fall 22 Trends

 

There wasn't enough collections of interest in London so the girls headed straight for Milan. They didn't find lots of clothes, but what they found were very special pieces. Instead of doing a lot of clothes, we chose to spend the time recreating what we thought would be keepsake fashion. 

Pretty Young Things

These are very simple, very pretty, early Autumn looks. It consists of an elongated jacket (wool or leather) buttoned over a soft, curvy short skirt. We love the simplicity and ease of this look!

This look for me, is about styling. Me and Natasha love the idea of a long daytime jacket buttoned over a flirty little evening wear skirt. I didn't fashion my jacket after the ones in the photo. Instead I took one I had already made. It is a basic grey wool fitted blazer with frayed edges. I did make a skirt for this. It is a series of a series of grey sheer squares turned on the diagonal, each point stitched together onto a grey lace waistband. The possibilities are limitless. Think about blazers teamed with lace or tulle skirts. You can even take this to another level by making the jacket in evening fabrics: silk, satin, brocade or metallic for the jacket and anything sheer for the skirt.


Livin' Large
As the weather gets colder, silhouettes get longer, looser and wider. Note the volume of the trousers and the fullness of the jackets. Even larger...the swash-buckling coats with scarves tossed over the shoulders. 
You can take any full coat and add a scarf to get this look. Here we took a swing coat to toss over the shoulders of Nadja. But instead of using the same fabric for the scarf, we chose a matching patterned silk to recreate the soft folds of the original Fendi coat. 

Animal Rites

Faux fur is always a logical choice for winter fashion. But you can also think of using fur or animal prints in touches. The girls LOVED Fendi's modern rendition of an early 1920's elongated silhouette topped with rows of shaggy fur trim tacked onto a shawl. And if we had access to a similar animal spotted print, we would have made that sensational Roberto Cavalli jacket over tights. But you don't have to use all of that to get into the spirit of this group. Animal print boots with a little black dress looks just as on point as the rest!

Belle really love the retro look of this dress and shawl. She refused to let me make it in any other color but grey and black, even though I didn't find a sock with the cable knit to mimic the look of the original outfit. Her dress is a simple stretch sheath over which I made a simple shawl. I cut 1/8 inch (5mm) front rows from a piece of shaggy black faux fur (found in a craft store). I lined the outer edge with the trim and then made diagonal rows over the surface of the shawl. I love the finished lok even though I am not so thrilled with the knit from the sock I cut up to make this. It didn't occur to me until I was nearly finished that I could have (and should have) used any other fabric to create the same look. The appeal of this dress is that it has a casual elegance by using a knit. However, it could be equally as gorgeous (or even more so), if you recreate it in a fancier fabric!

Straight Up

We've started noticing a trend towards narrow, long silhouettes, be their skirts and tops or pantsuits. Jackets are cut close to the body. Hemlines are heading south. And pants, though somewhat loose, are  everywhere. 
It is, however, difficult for my girls to leave Italy without something from Giorgio Armani and this trip was not exception. He is still doing his refined tailor jackets, but for next fall, Armani has loosened up and presents a more easy to wear elegant lines. Priya couldn't resist the look of a simple silk sarong top work over sequinned trousers. 

The Dark Side
With all of the serious things happening around us, it is no surprise to see a "heavy" sense of fashion trends that border on Goth. What makes this look work, however, is the layering of textures and treatments--matte corset over a matching tunic topping shiny vinyl; a bomber jacket with hardware on the sleeves worn over a bandeau top and men's trousers.... 
Samantha loves these edgy styles. She chose this Versace ensemble. We thought the dress could be a little more interesting. So instead of a basic dress with swollen shoulders, we went with a kimono wrap dress with dolman sleeves pushed up with opera length gloves. We cut the corset pattern a little wider than usual. We then created columns of tucks from the center out.  Each tiny column of  fabric is pinched on the exterior and stitched. 
In the original photo, it appears the model is wearing vinyl tights. Our vinyl wasn't as stretchable, so we settled for well fitted stovepipe pants. 

Nite Clubbin'
A twilight extension of the above group, we remain in the black but with lots of dark sparkle. Think black sequins, beads and even black shiny vinyl. This can be as small as a bare midriff top and shiny skinny pants or a full fledged warrior outfit exploding with sequins of different sizes and shapes.
As soon as we spotted this dress, the challenge was on. I loved that there was so much going on here. Almost like a collage of different shapes and sizes. I began with a simple A-line dress made from a sheer fabric dotted sparsely with flat sequins. I then added rows of sequins looped from the center front to either side of the dress. From the waist down, I patched in a few rows of rectangular sequins. One sleeve was cut from a piece of mini-sequinned fabric, while the other sleeve was cut from vinyl. I added some seed beads around the hemline and looped bugle beads over one shoulder. For her footwear...we felt there should be nothing less than thigh high shiny vinyl boots! 

One more stop ahead..... The girls finish out fashion month in Paris!  A bientôt!!!


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Friday, March 4, 2022

Dolls Eye View: NY Fall Fashion 2022

With life getting somewhat back to "normal," it seems we will be able to report on Fashion Month the way we like to.... that is, one city at a time. There are some designers are continue to show whenever they want, but for our purposes, we will only look at those who show within their own market's fashion week. You will notice that, exceptionally, most of the looks for this report were taken from a single fashion house: Michael Kors. We love this very simple collection because it is the face of what was, for many years, the face of classic Manhattan chic. These are timeless, no-nonsense clothes that flatter the modern working woman and never disappoint. The younger generation has been raised on the shock and awe of "concept clothes" and Met Gala mayhem. But that is not how the average professional woman puts herself together. Think of this as a "palette cleanser" of simple fare. A sort of "reset" button that goes back to the root of New York style. There is nothing "original" or "creative" here. Just fashion basics that are easy on the eye.

You will also notice that, throughout the various themes, you see the same silhouette but in different colors or fabrics. That is how ready-to-wear collections are constructed. The designer begins with an idea,then imagines that sole idea in a variety of colors, fabrics, lengths, treatments and detailing. In a show these looks are then grouped by color, fabric, category (casual, dressy, formal). One-off designs are limited to couture.

As a doll dressmaker, these are easy to make silhouettes. Have fun with the material or fabrics you. Have fun with the accessories.

BUTTERSCOTCH

(Otherwise known as CAMEL....) This is a rich, classic color that renders everything delicious.  The girls loved the monochrome color story spelled out in a number of rich materials: jerseys, suede, leather and wool. The coats and jackets with the portrait collars are roomy and super sumptuous. But the real focus here is the COLOR!!!! Dolly will want something in this tone, no matter the fabric! (Just ask her!!) 


For Emanuela, we kept things simple. A stretch jersey ribbed dress (cut from a sock) and a matching coat with a collar big enough to be worn as a hood is cut from suede. And yes...she insisted on the matching suede over the knee boots!

FRUIT PUNCH
It's always refreshing to see color in a Fall collection. Think tangerine, pumpkin, saffron, cherry red, fuschia, lemon. Again, the silhouettes are simple and quite tailored. And if you can get your hands on some cheerfully colored faux fur..go for it!

For Sybilla, we chose a simple orange wool sheath dress and throw a matching coat over her shoulders. What I did differently here was to borrow the rounded silhouette from the white version of this coat (featured near the bottom of this page). 

At the last minute, we swapped out the red dress in the lineup in exchange for this one which Akure thought was more interesting. This is a tunic with a shawl over the top, worn with trousers. The original dress has sleeves, but we felt it was a bit too much. Instead, she's wearing long leather gloves.

GREY SKIES

The skies may be grey but the overall look is anything but gloomy. The better the fabric, the more refined the look. Yes, it's basically the same as the looks in the themes above... but in shades of grey. 

A striped faux fur coat worn with a ribbed knit dress and stove pipe pants....such a subdued way to wear glamour in the middle of the day.

CITY SLICKER
Me and the girls love the shiny vinyls that have crept into mainstream fashion. The trick is to not do all fitted clothes so it doesn't come across as trashy. It should be styled like any other garment. Also notable...the sleek look of a black knit dress; the flare of an ankle length circle skirt belted over a jewel-neck bodice; an asymmetrical sweater with a corset belt worn over a side draped skirt.

For Domina, we went the way of this over-the-knee shiny vinyl 2-piece dress. The original dress has a cut-out on one side which is not only unnecessarily complicated, it doesn't make any sense. For Dovima's dress: the top has a dolman sleeve and we played around with the front volume, tacking it to one side. It is belted over a pencil skirt. I do admit that the end result looks very.... Thierry Mugler! (And yes, those are matching boots).

For Morgan, we made this funnel neck jersey dress designed with a single sleeve. We did not, in this case, cut a slit in the front because this is a winter collection.

ANIMAL MAGNETISM

My girls love the chubby jackets with the mid-thigh skirts, head to toe leopard spots and the sheen of leather or reptile embossed "skins." 

I confess. For this coat, all I had to do was to borrow one of my Hommes' jackets to toss over the shoulders of Iman. The craft stores once sold embossed squares, but to find something similar now you'll have to look online (Amazon). 

Again, this is another "styled" look. The elements are simple and you probably have some of the pieces already. A funnel neck stop, a wrap skirt and a chubby fur jacket. Since this is a winter collection, Veronique has chosen to thigh high boots! 

You don't have to use faux fur. We thought we'd have some fun with this look by J. Mendel. Instead of a curly fur jacket, Anna opted for one made with yarn. Pure fun.

A TOUCH OF LUXE
These are simple, classic looks with just enough fur to wink at Hollywood. Think fur collars, boas or even a rim around the shoulders. 

We love allure behind this look, but Margot wanted to tweak it just a bit. So instead of lavender we used a light blue denim, trimmed with white fur instead of brown. The dress consists of two parts, a corset top over a pencil thin skirt worn with matching leather boots.

We love white worn with black leather stocking boots. So for Nicki, we slid a fluffy white faux fur coat over her black dress and boots. (Note the silhouette of the white wool jacket. That was the inspiration behind the one we cut from tangerine wool in our second theme!)


MIDNIGHT IN MANHATTAN
Measured glam. As we emerge from the pandemic, there is the desire to reach for the luxury fabrics and dress up to the nines. But easy does it! It is not the time to go to the extreme. What works now are simple, elegant and somewhat understated column dresses. 

We've seen this silhouette before. A one shouldered gown that wraps around the shoulder into a single long sleeve. This one is cut from black iridescent sequins. Chic! 

The cherry on the cake...this red carpet satin dress by Badgley Mischka. Noor loves the ribbons on this strapless sheath. Even more, she loves the ribbon topped matching gloves. 

And at the back of this dress, we went one step further and added a big satin bow at the back!

Next up: the girls are headed to Europe.


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