Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Dolls Eye View: New York Fall/Winter '19 Fashion Trends

There is still a lot of craziness on the catwalk. But I am happy to inform you....the end is near. On the horizon--the first glimmer of what appears to be the return to REAL Fall Fashion!!! Once upon a time, many moons ago, designers created clothes to be worn by real people. The fabrics, the colors, the silhouettes were inspired by the season itself. Fall fashion was the more interesting of the two seasons. As a fashionista, I looked forward to gorgeous wool fabrics in neutrals and the colors of leaves. I looked forward to clothes that would keep me warm yet render me beautiful. And though there is still an overabundance of circus like chaos on the catwalk right now, my girls were fixated on the beauty of what they hope will be the return to gorgeous fashion...New York style!!!

This report is a bit long because I was inspired by clothes I understand from a season I once cherished. These are clothes I, personally, relate to that my dolls were all to happy to show off.

It's  Man's World
This is a group based on the theme: men's into womenswear. This is about taking traditional menswear fabrics and using them for feminine silhouettes. We like the mix of glen plaids, tweeds and herringbone patterns--occasionally worn with a pop of color. When shopping for fabric for doll this season, look out for lightweight wools in plaids and checks. Or...look for the same types of patterns in silk and linen.
For Jourdan, I selected this great combo designed by Oscar de la Renta. Her dress is a herringbone patterned silk which explains why this flared "slip dress" drifts over her body so beautifully. Her coat is a kimono coat cut from a basic grey wool with a glen plaid linen scarf thrown around her neck. (Note the fringing at the hem!)

Skin in the Game
What would autumn be without leather! Be it coats, jackets, pants or dresses, these garments are fairly basic. But we like that because they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Oh, and by the looks great with fur!
 Yvette fell in love with this black leather dress and its "glove length" sleeves. For Yvette's dress, I used a stretch faux leather fabric and used it to make a sheath dress (as opposed to the bodice-skirt dress). She tossed a faux fur cocoon over her shoulders, donned a pair of black "leather" gloves, mimicked by a pair of shirred boots and voila....she was out and about!

And if you look closely, the dress also has a distinguishing detail....a "leather flower" on one shoulder. All by itself, it's still a very chic, basic dress.

Animal Crackers
Animal prints and teddy bear plush have become the new Fall basics. The silhouettes are nothing new, but the print is what takes a basic garment sizzle!
This fabric is actually a cotton square I found in the bin set aside for quilting! But sometimes you see coats made from flat fabric (like canvas) lined in faux fur. Sybille's coat is a basic double breasted coat. Instead of using trimming with velvet edging, I cut edged her coat with a tiny strip of short haired faux fur. I had fun with the upper collar by using a long haired faux fur. The matching "boots" are actually spats worn over heels. 
'Tis the season to take this look over the top with a great big Cossack hat!

Upper East Side
There was a time when women dressed up to go downtown. In Manhattan, the area around Bloomingdales was once abound with chic fashionistas who looked as though they had just emerged from the pages of Vogue. This is about a the look of luxury.
I had a really good time with this cape designed by Dennis Basso. This started with the basic cape cut from a chunky tweed. I trimmed it with a lush border of long haired faux fur then further embellished it with embroidered lace! What is interesting here is the combination of textures and grey fabrics from the wool and fur to the dark silver lame boots.

Mocha Latte Grande
We love the return of brown in all of its splendor. It is a nice break from black and adds a warmth to autumn fashions. These browns are from the lighter register of this color. Think cocoa, cappuccino, lattes when you are choosing soft or silky fabrics. And don't hesitate to mix fabrics in a single look.
Gail's outfit was a lesson in what you can and cannot make for a doll. For myself, I loved this comfy, warm look of multiple layers, but as I struggled to put the look on Gail, I was forced to simplify! Aside from T-shirt material, knit fabrics will never be thin enough to pull off the original look. I chose Gail to model this because she is one of the skinniest models in the house. But the look quickly overwhelmed her body and I was forced to start over. Here, she is wearing a dolman sleeved, T-shaped top (which could double as a short dress), worn over a long skirt and "ankle warmers." There is a cardigan sweater tied to her hips tied with a shawl! Well..her outfit was cut from recycled least she's warm!!!

Master Class
Honestly.....When I did the post "Basic Instincts," I had no idea this would show up on the catwalk. We saw, in fact, a fair amount of looks that scaled way back to a well cut, basic silhouette. And, for my eyes, this totally works because it can be morphed into so many different looks. Now is the time to pull out all of those accessories you have accumulated and have a good time!
And that exactly what Radiah did! This is a basic jersey dress cut from a 2-way stretch rayon stretch fabric which has been scooped out over around the shoulders. Radiah dressed it up with a pair of animal spotted gloves and matching boots.
About those gloves.....The advantage to dolls with the FR bodies is that their hands are detachable. You can also find extra hands on EBay. I made these gloves using an extra pair of hands that I painted on the pattern mimicking the fabric I used for the glove extensions! 

Snow & Ice
White, silvery, shiny, sparkly or simply flat white is another winter staple. Think of it as "cleansing the palette" from the excesses of past seasons. The look can be as simple as the Brandon Maxwell dress or as glamorous as the sparkly, silver lame Monique L'Huillier, originally worn by Keri Russell at the 2019 Golden Gloves (modeled by Natasha).

Satin Doll

Silky, slinky, drop dead glamorous....satin makes a comeback in a big way. Here it's worn alone, under or over other materials (lace, fur, jersey).
This is simply a freestyle drape. My fabric store is far, so I found an inexpensive rayon scarf instead. This was loosely draped around Katoucha's body with a few tucks and nips. If you are using satin, get a fairly decent quality. As I worked the fabric around Katoucha, this fabric literally started falling apart in my hands. 

Velvet Underground
Velvet also makes an encore appearance this Fall. Short or long, look for lots of golden Hollywood looks: draped detailing, a touch of embroidery, or simple and stunning column dresses.
I had not planned to make this dress. And then my Barbies filed a complaint, accusing me of no longer making clothes for them. (Lies, all lies!!!) I made this dress in ninety minutes! The dress is a simple strapless sheath cut from stretch velvet. If you use sharp scissors and cut clean, you don't have to hem! The sleeves were made from a single strip of velvet--sewn into small tubes at each end, while the middle part wraps around the neck! 

 Amethysts & Tourmalines
And yes, there is color. This group is largely about those very popular jewel tones likely to be everywhere next autumn. Amethyst and tourmaline....semi-precious stones that lend their hues to simple, yet stunning eveningwear. My thought is that these tones won't be reserved only for after-five wear. We're likely to see jewel tones all over the street.
You've heard me say it before....the simplest styles are often the most difficult to pull off. This is a slip dress with what appears to be a chain mail scarf draped over one side. Of course I didn't have any chain-mail handy so I had to improvise. I slathered a light layer of hodge podge over a piece of silk and sprinkled on the sparkles. The glue, of course, hardened the fabric which I then folded in the drapes. This piece is stitched onto the slip dress underneath!

Orient Express
Flashback to the better end of the 1960's are these regal looks. The girls loved the oriental patterns of the embroidered trim as well as the richly colored brocade pantsuit. With a simple pattern and the right trim, these looks are very easy to recreate.

Fleurs d'Hiver
These dresses are like those rare winter flowers that spring up on a late autumn morning... The colors are muted pastels and the details are like parts flattened petals and other floral parts. These are dresses I would like to bookmark for a future post to try. 

Flights of Fancy
And is midnight in Manhattan and the sky is black..... Our glamour girls are back in stand-out gowns that command attention. Some are like rare birds.
As soon as we saw this dress, designed by Oscar de la Renta..we knew exactly how we would replicate it. Grace's dresses is in two parts (bustier and circle skirt). I used taffeta which I crinkled and slashed into rough cut fringe to create the texture. 
Next up.....the girls are already in place taking a quick tour of London Fashion Week. They've promised me the next report won't be quite as long! See you there!

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  1. Fantastic clothes. I was most charmed by white-colored dresses.

    1. Thank you Dlubaniny. There were so many nice looks this season, I could have been tempted to make them all! :D The white garments are quite beautiful but I didn't have any really gorgeous white fabric on hand. Happy you enjoyed this post.

  2. I am always amazed at your ability to replicate and/or put you spin on runway looks. I also appreciate the return of clothing that can actually be worn off the runway.


    1. Thank you Debbie. I've really advanced in this craft since I first started 6 years ago. I studied fashion design and have sewn for a long time. But when it comes to is such a different experience--so much so that I've had to re-teach myself. I'm old enough to remember a time when each fashion capital had its own unique look and contribution to the world of style. I looked to NY for chic, wearable clothes. So I hope this first glimmer of real clothing will be a lasting trend!!!

  3. All are absolutely stunning. I'd have to say my favorite is the shiny Monique L'Huiller. The dolls dress is even more fabulous that the models!

    1. Thank you so much and very happy to see you again. After seasons of not finding much to make, it was so refreshing to see so many clothes that really inspired me. The nice thing about the dolls is that they are "perfect" which means they enhance everyhing I make for them. I suppose that is why they always outshine their human counterparts! :D

  4. Ok, this post is just so great! All the creations from catwalks are amazing. I just love them! And your versions too, of course!

    1. Thank you Kamelia. This was an exceptionally outstanding season. London is still having problems, but as you will see, there are more beautiful looks coming up in Milan and Paris. I was quite inspired!!!

  5. Wszystko, absolutnie wszystko jest fascynujące i wspaniałe! Dużo z tych ubrań mogłabym sama założyć i wyjść na miasto! Rewelacyjne suknie, płaszcze, żakiety, buty! Skóropodobne tkaniny, wełenki, futerka oraz idealne kolory!
    No i jeszcze Twoje propozycje dla dziewczyn... super! Każda z nich to "modowy poemat"! Nie wiem, który piękniejszy! Brawo!

    1. Olla wrote: Everything, absolutely everything is fascinating and wonderful! I could put a lot of these clothes on and out of the city! Sensational dresses, coats, jackets, shoes! Leather-like fabrics, woolen, fur and perfect colors!
      Well, your suggestions for girls ... great! Each of them is a "fashion poem"! I do not know which is more beautiful! Bravo!

      Thank you so much Olla. As you can see, I was most inspired this season. These are clothes I would love to wear myself! I loved the fabrics and the colors and every outfit looked so good on my girls. It is a pleasure to see them all so well dressed. Big hugs. April

  6. I love seeing your take on the new fashions better than seeing the shows on TV! You always make your versions reflect the feel of the designer. I always find that I like fall/winter clothes the best! The styles are classics and more wearable. Thanks for the preview!

  7. Hi April, I just started collecting Tonner dolls a couple of years ago. I've been creating outfits for them and your blog has been inspiring. You do a much better job of following the runway shows than I ever could. I recently started posting my creations on my old jewelry blog and I wanted to ask your permission to use the Dennis Basso Animal Crackers photo--linking to your blog, of course. I made versions of the first three outfits in the picture (and have the perfect fabric for the fourth) and I would really like to post the inspiration photo along with them. I would love for you to see them.

    1. Hi Nancy. You have my blessing! Go on and post. It's always wonderful to know I've inspired someone and I'd love to see what you did and how they turned out. And if you don't mind, please let me know the name of your blog so I can stop by and visit.

    2. Thank you! I finally got it up. It's the second post down at

    3. Thanks for the info. I'm heading your way to take a peak!!!!!


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