Monday, October 24, 2016

Doll's Eye View: Paris Summer 2017 Trends

Ordinarily our Paris trend report is presented in two parts: experimental and classic. But as in the case of London, many designers became lost in experimenting with new shapes and looks that we felt were difficult for the doll (and humans too)! So, exceptionally, I have consolidated everything into one report. I've said it before--fashion is about change. And moving to a new style aesthetic can be as chaotic as current politics! Designers are pushing away from the skinny, sexy looks we all have been enjoying and moving towards big, loose, and (in the words of my dolls)...somewhat dowdy! If you're 20 -something, and love to experiment with clothes a la Miley Cyrus, maybe this works. But when you are a 12 inch fashion doll accustomed to dressing drop dead's going to be a hard sell! Even worse, color seemed to be overlooked this season. Lots of black and subdued tones had my dolls scratching their heads in bewilderment. Summer SHOULD be about color! So we had to put all our heads together and scour the catwalks for interesting textures, details that excite and fashion messages that inspire to do something similar but with a bit more verve.

Left Bank
For a spring collection this looks a little overdressed and dark though we did like the concept of layered skinny dresses, more fringed denim and a Technicolor skirtwaist dress tossed over the shoulders of a little neutral toned T-shirt dress underneath. 

Uptown Girl
Meanwhile on the other side of town..... the women are back to their classic black and grey. (Great looking fall collection designed for spring ?) The girls chose these looks because they're timeless classics cut in pure lines that go everywhere.
Nadja loved this suede jacket worn with its crisscross cummerbund belt and satin trousers. The cut-outs were intriguing, but honestly, after cutting out the jacket in suede which fitted her perfectly, I was uncomfortable about going through with the cut-outs. But here is a question of trompe-l'oeil. Were those tan toned patches, strategically placed to give the illusion of cut-outs or was it skin we were looking at? Inasmuch as I had no suede left should the cut-outs not work, I chose the optical illusion and used flesh tone patches instead!

Crème Chantilly
Yum, yum dollops of frothy whipped cream applied to hemlines or covering the entire body! We loved the denim trimmed with big medallions of cotton lace. (This resembles a coat we duplicated from last season's Italian fashion week.) We love the tiers of lace dribbling down from empire waists or tacked on--decoupage style--to a simple A-line dress.
Grace's dress began with a simple A-line tent dress. I cut out medallions of lace from an old garment and tacked them on so they would flutter about. The dress opens on the side at the neck. In front of this opening, I tacked on layers of small lace trim and a little bit of tulle!

Pure and Simple
There was so much craziness going on in Paris so naturally, I went looking for something the French are great at....classic clothes in clean lines. There is something so classy, so effortless, so....French about each of the three garments above.
Brie's outfit was easier to make than at first glance. The top is essentially a sheath dress where I have stitched only the top of the darts, leaving the bottom open. A deep V neck is cut out and I cut a 1 inch strip of fabric cut on the bias for the collar. The success of this garment lies in the fabric. Choose a good quality cotton or wool.

Aztec Nation
Inspiration from blankets and tribal prints, this is a simple look perfect for early spring and summer. Think of using small scarves or men's neckties as fabric sources for geometric and abstract prints.

Let's tango, let's cha cha, let's put the spice back in dolly's wardrobe with ruffles and flounces that dance around the body in solid tones or floral prints..

Scarf Tricks
It's starting to look like summer. Easy, breezy scarf prints in silks and sheers are the way to go. Again look for scarves in vintage shops for inexpensive fabric sources!
Both Aayeessha and Tyra's dresses were made with scarves suspended from a neck ring and a single seam down the back!

Cross My Heart
An extension of our scarf dresses, here are a few more options with a twist and.... wrap around the neck! Patterned or striped silks provide a festive edge. When cut in black, the same easy look goes high fashion and classy!
Dorian wears the scarf dress, but this time it's cut from black crepe and suspended from a halter neckline. Her dress is cut in one piece with a seam down the back for this classic look. We added a jewelry at the throat and gave her a vintage "chapel veil" to toss around her shoulders. Antique fairs, garage sales and second hand shops often have "out of style" accessories that can be used for dramatic wraps or accent pieces for dolly!

Chez Maxim's
The turn of the last century iconic restaurant--where kings and courtesans dined, wined and made merry-- is the inspiration for these sophisticated vintage looks. Here, texture and fabric is key and black is the color of choice. We like the spider lace, the flutter of organdy petals against a backdrop of lattice work ribbon or black sequins on satin.
The girls and I agreed that the Alexander McQueen collection presented more interesting fashions. The theme was based on folkloric Celtic costume, out from which a number of textured ensembles emerged. Here is Sybille in a black lace with netting draped across the front. The pants are a sheer micro pleated fabric with bands of black lace. Long strands of black beads are mixed with black chain and worn around her neck.

Last Fling with Bling
Our love affair with sparkle and shine is coming to an end. A few "red carpet" holdouts did catch the girls' eyes, however. We loved the idea of a metallic corset that could be worn over a swash-buckling satin skirt, tucked under a tuxedo jacket or even worn with a pair of black denim jeans. Then again for the holidays, the girls are egging me on to make the strapless sheath covered in rhinestones.

The original "Barbarella" corset is a bit over the top. For Tamron, we toned things down a little. Her corset is made from leather which we foiled in areas then topped with a silver toned metal bird.

Here we are at another iconic site where fantasies are born....Versailles. Soft sheers and laces make for dreamy evening gowns. Silhouettes are soft and float along the body. Again these are looks with star quality.

We found the Alexander McQueen collection most interesting. And though I couldn't find the same type of lace, I chose a sheer micro pleated sheer instead and used it to cut a sheath dress with sleeves. But the real story here is the mini vest. The proportions of the one Angelina is bigger than the accident. I had thought to turn down the edges but decided against it at the last minute since I had to attach shoulder straps. Of course I'm limited to the size of studs and stickers found in the craft stores. And I wished I had a smaller bead for the trim. All that said....when I finally finished it, me and Angelina were both quite happy because it loks like no other garment in the house. The studded leather against what looks like a lace trimmed sheer nightgown is a standout!

It has been an interesting fashion month!

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  1. Pokazałaś tyle wspaniałych projektów, kolorów, fasonów, że nie wiem co najpierw podziwiać! Przepiękne stroje kobiece potrafiłaś tak doskonale przerobić na kreacje lalkowe! Jestem zachwycona! Ubrania są perfekcyjne, jestem oczarowana :-)
    Pozdrawiam Cię serdecznie!

    1. Olla wrote: You showed so many great designs, colors, styles, I do not know what to admire first! Beautiful women's clothes you managed so well to convert on a puppet creations! I am delighted! The clothes are perfect, I am charmed :-)

      Thank you so much Olla, for your very kind words. When I bought my first fashion doll (a Tonner Esme), I'd look at her but couldn't figure out what to make. So I turned to catwalk shows to look for ideas. Over time, I have begun to figure out what works for 1/6 scale. I am always amazed how, in many cases, human clothes look even better on the doll! Thank you for your visit!

  2. Your idea on dolls's outfits in Summer 2017 is amazing! ^_^ Alll of the black outfits are for me the best, but this white one looks also great and sooo original! Ohh... your dolls are lucky!

    1. Thank you, Aya. I tend to gravitate to black and white. So naturally, those are going to be my preference. I was hoping to get more ideas for color. But still, I'm happy with the results.

  3. Oh my, they are all just so beautiful I can't pick a favorite! Great job, April!

    1. Thank you Chris. Paris was a bit of a challenge, but I found ways to make the dolly versions work for my divas. Glad you enjoyed.

  4. Summer 2017!!! Oh my time is flying way too fast. I actually looked at the runway fashions this time since I'm in design mode. That Paula Ka white outfit stopped me in my tracks. I was hoping you chose to do a version of that. And you did! Love it and the rest of your creations. I may have to make Dasia one of those Paula Ka outfits.

    1. I am flabbergasted as to how fast time has gone by. When I think how long I've been following fashion, it doesn't seem possible that we are now looking at 2017! The Paule Ka outfit is exactly what I was hoping to see more of with the Paris collections. I think Dasia would wear that collection well!

  5. Hi April, gorgeous design and a fantastic effect <3 As always I am full of admiration :)

  6. Thank you so much Urszula. I am so happy you enjoyed this post.

  7. Waw ! C'est tellement magnifique, et très inspirant. Il faudrait nous faire un tutoriel pour savoir comment faire. Encore bravo.

    1. Merci Sharasarignis pour tes gentils mots. J'ai commencé une poste pour expliquer les astuces pour réaliser certains looks clés des collections d'été. À très bientôt.

  8. Wow! Nobody does what you do April, bravo! Keep up the great work! I have a question, I get stuck and can't decide who to sew for, there are tons of barbie and tonner dolls, and I've got lots of pattern pieces of fabric cut waiting to be sewn. It's overwhelming! Any advice? Thank you so much in advance! Love this site! :)

    1. Wow, great question. When I first started out, I would look at my dolls but couldn't figure out what to make. To get the wheels turning, I began by draping pocket hankies around my dolls in different ways then photographing them. This gave me the incentive to make slopers for them and eventually clothes inspired by existing fashions. Hence the story of my blog. Start perhaps with your Tonners because pattern pieces for them are larger & easier to sew. Start with simple styles but using interesting prints. Once your confidence is up, attempt your "designer" outfits. When you finish, try them on different dolls to find the one who wears it best. In other words, start with the outfit, then select the perfect model!

  9. Can't wait to see what you do for the girls this Christmas, last year's was pretty awesome! :)

    1. Thank you. Well for starters I've been taking photos of the Christmas windows in Paris. I'll have to see what next comes to mind. Stay tuned!


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