Sunday, April 7, 2019

Dolls Eye View: Milan Fall/Winter 19 Trends

Milan! How my girls love you! Again, there are still some wild and crazy things on the catwalk, but it seems, the Milan we once knew and love is making its comeback. Lots of tailored jackets, head-to-toe coordinated ensembles and some very pretty dresses sums up what we found in the Italian fashion capital. Let's get straight to the point. If you can only make one thing for your doll next fall, plan to make a jacket! And the fabrics you should put at the top of your priority list: plaids, tiny checks, herringbone and tweeds. Hint: head for the menswear fabrics!

The Jacket
The best way to wear a jacket---long, lean and slipped over the shoulders of a sweet, short mini dress. Silhouettes here are simple with sharp shoulders. The garments underneath are girly and flirty.
We love contrast of this look. A chic leather blazer combined with a tender girly girl peach satin tent dress. The original garment features a white shirt under her leather jacket. I dolled up Billie's outfit with a white satin scarf and a long rope of pearls.

Coat Check
Outerwear becomes an integral part of the over all ensemble. A coat or cape with matching trousers or even with matching fabric boots. This is called dressing from top to toe....a look that is timelessly chic. Everything is in the color of the winter skies...shades of gray to midnight blue. 
Liu was attracted to this coat with deep cut front and a hardware belt. I've seen this type of coat before and always thought it was curious how it exposed so much of the shoulders and bust. But dolls don't have to worry about that, so I made this version out of a menswear, pinstripe lightweight wool. It has matching straight legged trousers. And because this is for Fall/Winter season, Liu wears it with a funnel collar sweater..though for fancy evenings, this would also look wonderful with a black lace top!

Urban Nomad
Faux fur, fleece or shaggy knit...we're on an excursion at the tundra with these cold weather looks. If any of you knit, the first two are for you. My girls love the monochromatic look of a shaggy sweater coat over a silk dress or plaid jumpsuit. This tone-on-tone, top-to toe-looks is a reoccurring trend for next winter.
Tiah shows off her best polar vortex set.... a white chunky tweed jacket and matching shorts with a fur boa tossed around the shoulders and held in place with a beige fanny pack! Her boots are made from the same fabric as her shorts suit.

Pure white as the driven snow..a trend we first spotted in New York..has made it over the Atlantic in grand style. Coats over jackets, jackets over trousers... this is a story of layered, Frosty the Snow Dolly, complete with jacket, pants and overcoat. White on white as a "total look" is on point for next winter. Note how pants have grown in volume as have the shoulders of the jackets!

Plaid Your Case
Men's into womenswear...this theme plays with fabrics typically found in monsieur's closet: plaids, checks, tweeds and all variations in between. And yes, there is the traditional tailored jacket over skirts or pants, but you can have fun and use these patterned wools into unexpected softly draped silhouettes.

For Angelina, we compromised. Her look starts with a fitted, shawl collar blazer in plaid over a herringbone mini skirt. I've fringed the hems of both to add a soft, feminine edge and added a white lace scarf to feminize the overall look. Then over this suit is a great, big, swashbuckling shawl tossed over the shoulders. And yes, that is a smart watch on her wrist!

Thick and Thin
If you look closely, you will see a departure from some of the past trends. Silhouettes have grown wider, looser and longer. Pants are decisively wide and long...sometimes with raised waists. Be careful not to go so wide, the garment swallows your doll. (Make your pattern a little more narrow than what you see.) So even though there are wide elements, the look should still come off as long.
The trick is, however, to keep the doll from being swallowed by her outfit. And you do this by respecting the scale of the doll in relation to the fabric you choose. I love the big, comfortable shapes of this Agora pants ensemble. That everything is kept in a soft, pearl grey tone, the model is not overwhelmed. But I was concerned this might not translate well for Carla, a Barbie Model Muse (with the original body). So instead of using the plush fabric of Carla's coat all over, I cut the straight loose top and straight legged pants out of silk in the same color. The result is "wide" for the doll, but still "slim" enough to pull off for her scale. By the way, her straight legged trousers are 1" (2cm) wide seam to seam.

Dance, dance, dance!!! These are hot party dresses that are pretty classic...starting with the strapless sheath to a 1950's corset and tulle skirt as well as everything in between. The girls like slippery, shiny fabrics that shimmy and twirl.
For Natalia, who was looking for a modern day princess look, this two-piece dancing dress consists of a corset--lace and ribbon on tulle worn over a full tulle skirt marked with a red satin belt.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have Samantha who loves the edgy look of leather. But instead of biker babe, we dressed this strapless sheath up by adding a belt that wraps into a bow, long leather gloves and a frilly shawl to toss over her shoulders in the wee hours of the morning. We both love this dress because it can be dressed up or down, paired with soft or hard fabric accessories, worn strappy pumps or knee high leather boots. 

Twilight Hour
And then there is that one thing that sets the Italians apart from all the other capitals.....their ability to make a doll look drop dead gorgeous. For Fall, all is fair in love and war....from velvet and lace to satin and sequins. We love the lace but could not resist making a 1/6 version of Alberta Feretti's black paillette dress.
I only had time to make one dress, ladies!!!! Sophia models the one we all loved. It's an evening length slip dress covered with rows of paillettes separated with sequins and dotted with few beads and a whisp of tulle. Ciao Bella!!!

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Next and last stop on the fashion month train: Paris! See you there!!!!


  1. Angelina's outfit is simply insane. I am delighted with both the fabric and the cut. Revelation!

    1. Thank you Dlubaniny for your kind words. I do admit, it was pretty exciting to work with these "old fashion" patterned fabrics.

  2. I like Samantha's dress the best. It's super simple, but the bow and the accessories make it a little bit more special.
    Is it me or some of the fashions look very "early 2000s"? I guess fashion is a circle and everything ends up making a comeback.

    1. Monstercrafts, I LOVE that black leather dress because you can do so many things with it. I started not to make it because it is so simple, but it is a dress that I know I'll be using with other jackets and looks.
      I've been around the fashion block for a long time so, for my eyes, many of these fashions are early 1980's. For the past several years, there has been a lot of experimentation which, frankly, has not advanced fashion trends very far. So even though nothing is really new here, it is refreshing for me to see clothes that recall an era when designers were more concerned about producing clothes for real customers as opposed to entertaining crowds at catwalk shows. And yes, you are right, fashion is a cycle..what's old becomes new again.

  3. Ok, I'm not sure what I like more. Or no. I just love everything! :)

    But especially the outfits you made for Billie, Angelina and Carla. They are just perfect.

  4. Kamelia...thank you for your kind words. This season, I have had such a good time making clothes that I love and....if I were 12 inches tall...I'd wear myself!!!

  5. Excellent interpretations from inspired work. Love the "peek-a-boo" lace trim hiddent behind the black and white tweed jacket. The AGONA inspiration, though "simple" in style would be complex to make - the soft draping and even softer folds, in small scale, took a lot of skill. Wonderful!

    1. And thank you so much for your very kind compliments. I have had such a good time, this season and I'm pretty content with the results. And you are right...the simpler the design, the harder it is to make on this scale. With frills and ruffles, you can "hide" mistakes, but simplicity puts it all on the table in clear view! These simpler styles have provided me the opportunity to learn more about fabric weight in relation to this 1/6 scale doll fashion.

  6. I just discovered your blog while looking for free patterns for doll clothes-- you're an AMAZING fashion designer! Keep up the good work!

  7. Well, I cannot imagine what a science fair has to do with doll fashion, but thank you for the lovely compliment. As you can see, we have a lot of fun on this site!!! Thank you for your visit.

  8. I love all of these! Another great review! How do you decide which outfits to make and which to alter the photos of? With all the detail you have to spend a lot of time prep for each of you wonderful post! Well we all enjoy them. So don't stop doing it! I might not ever get to fashion week but I fell like I was there when I see your post.

  9. Powiem Ci w sekrecie, że gdybym miała wymiary jak modelka to z wielką chęcią założyłabym te stroje! Są naprawdę rewelacyjne!
    Wykonałaś ogromną pracę z przedstawionymi tu ubraniami! Nie mogę wyjść z podziwu, z jaką precyzją szyjesz i tworzysz te stroje!


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