Saturday, February 2, 2019

Six of One, Half Dozen of Another....

Six (plus one), these Barbies were the start of my doll collection.
Today Fashion Doll Stylist celebrates six years since the launch of our blog. As usual, I like to look back and reflect. Before I do that, I would first like to tip a hat to another anniversary. This year is the 10th anniversary of Mattel’s Barbie Basics Black Label—Little Black Dress edition. These dolls mark the beginning of many doll collections including my own! Personally, I never cared for the classic Barbie with her long blond locks, syrupy sweet smile and hourglass bodies. She was too "old" for me when I was a child and too silly looking after I grew up. But the Barbie Basic dolls were different. They were svelte (just like real fashion models), sexier and came in a variety of skin tones and hairstyles. And, of course, they were clad in those amazing little black jersey dresses!!! They were Barbies for adults and a must-have for people like me who've enjoyed a lifetime career in fashion!

Collection # 001 featured 12 dolls in total, of which I purchased seven for $20 (US) each. Target stores in the U.S. put out a special edition of three clad in red jersey dresses, two of which I bought.
Complimenting the first two Barbie Basics collections, Target store put out mini-series of Barbies in their signature color, red.

 I favored the ones with the more sophisticated hairstyles and interesting facial morphologies. Of course I did not realize the amount of dopamine packed inside each doll. Each purchase created a hunger and a new trip to the store to buy another one of her friends. And yes, it did help that it was easy to find stores nearby selling these divas! Seeing them in person meant no bad surprises and often, they were better looking in person! How could I resist!
My first SIS dolls, the first ones had elbow articulation and bend and snap back knees! 
One day I found myself in between Mattel collections with nothing to buy. My addiction led me to another set of dolls who are also celebrating their 10th anniversary this year: “So In Style” Barbie.
SIS--So in Style Barbies were completely articulated and came in cool hip hop gear. The first three collections inspired by Rocawear, Pastry and Kimora Lee-Simmon's "BabyPhat" fashions.
These were a younger set of ethnic dolls of varying skin tones designed by Stacie McBride-Irby for Mattel. They too, had different personalities, hairstyles and facial features with fuller lips and rounder noses. Though their urbanwear gear was not my taste, I soon discovered how beautifully they redressed in my own...black dresses!
The SIS Barbies can be dressed in young teenage fashion or high fashion!
The S.I.S. dolls were perfect fashionistas that only cost $7-12 each at the time they were sold (2009-2017).  Each time I went to the store, I could hear them calling out my name!!! I made excuses for bringing a whole set home like, "I need dolls to model my clothes" and "It's cheaper to buy a doll than a dolly dress form" or "They don't cost anything. Lattes costs more." (Makes perfect sense in doll logic!) In no time, a whole village of them moved in, including their articulated hip hop sisters dressed in BabyPhat!
Barbie Basics Collection #2: Jeanswear
Since that first dozen dolls, Mattel put out four more Barbie Basics series: 1.5: three dolls dressed in black party dresses, 2: jeans collection which included three Ken dolls; a Target red edition (3 dolls) complimenting the jeans collection, and finally the swimwear collection. Representatives from each of these groups, except for 1.5 are in my collection.
Barbie Basics Collection #3: Swimwear
As tempting as it is, I have left all but a few of my Barbies with their original bodies. True those Model Muse bodies are not articulated, but those dolls know how to strike that perfect pose! Why mess with a good thing! Today, many of the those 10 year old dolls have increased in value. A quick glimpse on eBay reveals a 50-100 percent rise in the price of most Barbie Basics Collection 001 dolls.
 
Some of them (numbers 5, 10, 8 pictured above) are selling for as much as $70-80! If you are fortunate enough to own the AA Ken doll from Collection 002 (jeans) shown below or his AMC Cheerleader brother, know that your $20 doll is now listed for $190!

But getting back to our blogaversary…today marks our 362nd post. Early on, a question was raised. “How long do you think you can keep a blog like this going?” I responded by pointing out that fashion was a living breathing entity and thus renewed every six months. I assumed I would have a treasure trove of inspiration.  And to a certain extent I was right. Over the past 72 months, we have produced  tutorials, fashion reports, trips to fashion exhibitions and red carpet events.

Margiela Couture
Moshino
I would be lying if I didn't admit it gets harder to produce a post with the passage of time. Over the past twelve months, I’ve slowed down a bit.  Not for of lack of interest but largely for three main reasons. First of all, there is an enormous amount of content on this blog already. I have covered nearly everything that relates to today’s style in the simplest of ways--which was the initial mission of the blog. I try to keep the tutorial simple and easy to follow. Sometimes simplifying a look or technique takes a lot of experimentation and thus a lot of time! At this point, I am competing with myself.
Moschino
Viktor & Rolf

Secondly, It is really difficult to be inspired by aesthetics I cannot understand. What I see on many runways today are costumes being passed off as fashion. While I believe the craftsmanship involved in Haute Couture is an art, clothes in themselves are products made to be worn. They are not art. Lifestyles have changed and so have the customer buying fashion goods. Today's fashionista has a different relationship with clothing as compared to her 20th century counterpart. Fashion was something used to enhance, embellish one's overall look. It was a way to show who you were or who you aspired to be. Now, catwalk shows have been transformed into a spectator sport to a generation content to sit back and relax in jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts and sneakers as they watch the show! There's nothing wrong with it. It's just not the focus for this blog.


Finally, I’d rather take the time to create posts that are interesting, aesthetically pleasing and perhaps even inspiring, rather than crank out stuff just for the sake of posting every week. I’m aiming for three posts per month. But if somehow I don't meet that goal, please understand. We are grateful for readers like yourself who come from countries all over the world to see what we are up to. You've logged on nearly three quarters of a million times since the start! So we will assume, you are happy with what we do. And for that we thank you for your visits and your continued support.

Love to all of you,
April and her girls (and guys)

P.S. Don't go away.....we've got another post ready to upload in about a day or two!!!



23 comments:

  1. Brawo! Brawo za wszystko, co robisz i pokazujesz na tym blogu! Uwielbiam tu być, czytać i oglądać! Jestem zachwycona prezentowaną tu Sztuką, bo przedstawione tu stroje to Kreacje z najwyższej półki!
    Zaprosiłaś też do siebie piękne modelki!
    Gratuluję wspaniałej Rocznicy i życzę dalszych sukcesów ♥♥♥

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    1. Olla wrote:
      Bravo! Bravo for everything you do and show on this blog! I love to be here, read and watch! I am delighted with the Art presented here, because the clothes presented here are creations from the top shelf!
      You also invited beautiful models to you!
      I congratulate you on the great Anniversary and I wish you further successes ♥♥♥
      Olla, thank you so very much for extremely lovely comment. Coming from you, extraordinary blogger that you are, I am so touched, so very honored by your words. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for your continued support!

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  2. Bonjour April, c’est avec grande attention que j’ai lu ton nouveau message ... cela donné à réfléchir sur la mode d’aujourd’hui....
    Pour ce qui est des Barbie basic the little black dress, j’en ai eu 3, puis l’en ai gardé une seule, c’est le modèle Teresa (cheveux noir court) modèle jeans, j’en ai 2 et maillot de bain, j’en ai gardé une seule. Mais merci de nous rappeler que cela fait déjà 10 ans que cette collection est sortie .... 10 ans comme le temps est passé très vite. Mais il faut que je fasse la surprise ... c’est juste un3 question de temps ...

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    1. Shasarignis wrote: Hello April, it is with great attention that I read your new message ... it gives us pause on today's fashion ....
      As for Barbie basic little black dress, I had 3, then I kept one. It is the model Teresa (short black hair) jeans model. Of the 2 swimwear models I only kept one. But thank you for reminding us that it's been 10 years since this collection was released .... 10 years...my, how time has passed very quickly. But I must make a surprise as well... it's just a matter of time...
      Shasarignis, it is so very good to hear from you, my friend. Yes, time has passed so very quickly. It seems just yesterday that I discovered those marvelous little fashion icons. When I look around me I see how far I've come from the first photos I made of them to everything I do right now! It's good to hear you are feeling rejuvenated and that we can expect something new and exciting coming. Thank you for your friendship, my friend.

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  3. I'm new to your blog, and ...This was a very interesting post----for me. I'm really not a 'doll collector' but a doll rescuer---sometimes for the fashion they are wearing or their face/body. You have brought up some interesting points in---where can it all go now. I concentrate on probably the surroundings and the stories behind having normal pretend lives. My doll's are -eeking out a living and trying to be fashionable at the same time.
    Great overview on the dolls, which I will now keep an eye out for.

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    1. Welcome to my blog, Sandi. I have the utmost respect for those of you rescuing dolls. There is plenty of love to give to dolls who end up in attics, garages, yard sales or resale stores. If your dolls are trying to be fashionable on a shoestring, you've come to the right place. This blog has a lot of ideas for creating the latest in fashion trends for our 12" friends including quick ways to change up their makeup, how to rub off patterns of existing clothing to make more clothes to accessories and simple patterns you can create to bring your rescue friends into the thick of current style trends. Thank you for your visit and come back as often as you'd like!

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  4. Happy 6th Anniversary! Here's wishing you many more years of fashion doll stylist blogging.

    I enjoyed the look back at Barbie Basics and SIS dolls' 10th Anniversary and seeing the ones you added to your collection. I was selective in the ones I chose and have duplicates of some. I need to check out the eBay selling prices for the duplicates, none of which unfortunately are the AA guys.

    dbg

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    1. Thank you so much for your well wishes. I am honored to receive a message from you, a real icon in the doll community.
      I don't have duplicates of the Barbie Basics but I do have a LOT of the SIS dolls which have also increased in value. (In Europe, they are worth even more!) My one AA guy, I bought after the fact--nude for $30. So I'm still very much ahead!!!

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  5. Thank you for this. I am always curious about your doll family, and their origins. I'm always happy to read a new post, and have spent some time swimming in the archives. This blog is yours, and it should make you happy. we get to enjoy the results. Thanks again for all the good stuff

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely compliment, my friend. I'm always happy to hear from you. It did not occur to me until last year, just how much content was on my site. My first thought...OMG look at all the stuff I've done!!! So now, I'm going back to take another look to get ideas on what I might think of updating! Thank you so much for your friendship and the support you show to this blog!

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  6. Happy sixth blog anniversary (blogiversary?)! :)

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    1. Thank you jSarie. You might be right. I wasn't even sure this was a real word!!! Thank you for your continued support and thank you for your friendship!!!

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  7. Congratulations! It's a nice anniversary! I hope despite these difficulties you mentioned you will still be here for another years. :) I do love you blog and all your ideas.

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    1. Thank you my dear Kamelia. You too are such a good blogger who does beautiful work so your kind words mean a lot to me. As long as there are wonderful friends like yourself, I'll be here. Even if I don't see anything new...there are beautiful fashion from the past. Lots more things to explore!!

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    2. It's so wonderful to read this! :) I'm very happy. :)

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  8. Happy blogoversary! You were so lucky to grab those dolls when they were available. I'm glad they inspired you to make doll clothes and share your creations with us through this blog. Thanks to you not only do I learn about doll clothes, but about human fashion as well, which I would never be compelled to do in another context :D
    I have just one of the Basics, the denim no.14 my husband found for 35 euro in TRU France of all places. I often looked on ebay for Basics as well as SIS (which never made it to Europe as far as I know) but they were just way out of my budget. The Fashion Fever dolls had more diverse looks as well, but their head and body proportions were like in toy Barbies. I have two of those, both the Lara sculpt.

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    1. Thank you BlackKitty, for your very kind words as well as your friendship. In hindsight, I have been VERY lucky. When I see the terrible quality of the playline dolls sold today...or when I see what the dolls I bought are worth today...I wonder if I would have started a collection. I had assumed that dolls were dolls and the price would always be the same!!!
      When the Basics came out, I did note that the prices in France were 2x more than the US. And I never saw the SIS dolls over there which were dirt cheap in the US. Silly me, I have no business sense. I should have bought a bunch then put them up on Ebay (France). I could have doubled the price which would still have been cheap for the Europeans and a 100% profit for me. Unfortunately, the playline dolls of today, are hardly keepsake.

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  9. Happy Anniversary 🎉 I love your blog, you creations are beautiful. I haven't had much doll time the last 5 months as we have been getting our house ready to sell and preparing to move a ross the state. My girls are packed away for now but I can't wait to break them out soon.
    I understand the difficulties in keeping a blog going, especially one as informative as yours. It is definitely a labor of love.....thank you for taking the time and effort. I look forward to many more years and ideas.

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    1. Thank you so much for your well wishes and very kind words, Chris. Even though I feel the doll blog thing has peaked somewhat, I still believe there are enough of us who simply have a passion for dolls to merit a blog like mine. After all, when you buy these little vinyl ladies, you have to do something with them! Besides, this keeps me busy and engaged and I do enjoy belonging to a community that is so very NICE!!!!

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  10. I congratulate you on your great anniversary. I love reading your posts and watching the genius creations created by you.

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    1. Thank you so much Dlubaniny, for your very kind words and your friendship. I enjoy being a part of this doll community with such nice people like yourself.

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  11. Happy belated anniversary April! Greetings from Africa. Thanks for keeping us inspired. Lots of love and good health to you. Naomi

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    1. Hi Naomi. Thank you so much your your kind words. Wow--I did not know this blog reached as far as Africa. Thank you for your friendship and support! Big hugs. April

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