Sunday, February 2, 2020

Magnificent SEVEN!


02/20/2020. (The "palindromic date reads the same forwards and backwards in all countries...first time in 909 years!)

And so here we are….alive, well and still around in the year 2020 with seven years to our credit! Thank all of you for helping us get there. Your continued support, kind words and encouragement are appreciated much more than you can ever know. I embarked on this adventure seven years ago at a moment in my life when I needed to return home to look after an aging parent. This environment that I have created for myself, "Fashion Doll Stylist" together with all of my glamorous models, helps me to focus, remain relevant and stay connected to a field for which I have maintained a passion since the age of 16. The life of a caregiver is not always an easy one, but my world of dolls, 1/6 designer fashions and you, the dolly community, helps me through each day. Thank you for being there.

Looking back over the last year... the number of posts we published in 2019 remained about the same as compared to 2018. There continues to be a lot of turmoil on the fashion scene which makes my job—translating current styles into 1/6 chic wear for our dolls—a challenge. It is still, quite difficult to find real inspiration. So basically, we’ve been playing everything by ear, at times reaching back in time for ideas. We continued with our classic themes—catwalk trends, red carpet events and, of course, tutorials. However I must note...coming up with new ideas is not all that easy in that my dolls have everything they’ve ever dreamed of from fur coats to fancy frocks, designer luggage to sexy lingerie.
Still, this past year, we made another dolly dream come true….. footwear for everybody! We arrived at making shoes and boots for every doll in the house no matter the size or shape!

Twenty-nineteen was a year we went back to basics. We took simple silhouettes and dolled them up by adding items like string, bows, and lots of shimmying fringe.

On the model front... fewer new faces were adopted into our family: Catherine (FR Emerging Rebel Kyori), Kym (FR Resurgence Nathalia), Noora (FR Rayna), Iman and her twin sister Beverly (FR Annick Vandale), Denise (FR Lady Aurelie Grey Champagne) and Matt (FR Suspense Lukas Maverick).

For Catherine (Emerging Rebel Kyori), I bought the head only. Some poor collector had tried to redo her makeup and removed one of her eyes instead. I was able to repaint that eye back on, then later found a replacement body. I rebodied Denise (FR Lady Aurelie Grey Champagne) onto a 12 1/2" Nuface body and loosened her hair. The Lady Aurelie collection is, in fact, dolls from the 1950's. This is not only reflected in their wardrobes, but also in their proportions. I fell in love with her beautiful green eyes. But when she arrived, her head seemed a tad too large for modern proportions to my eye. Everything I dressed her in looked so.... prom girl. The extra half inch as well as looser hair really made a difference!

To my surprise, I won a doll (FR Captivating Anja) who I renamed Priscilla. (She reminded me of Elvis Presley's widow.) I've also included my first (and only) doll of 2020, Khadija (FR Venom Jordan). Technically she was presented last summer and the right to buy lottery announced in late December, but the dol only arrived about 3 weeks ago.

There were a few more dolls  I had hoped to buy but unfortunately, I didn’t win certain “right to buy lotteries” and the prices on the aftermarket  for those same dolls were exorbitant! I realize now I fortunate I was to have begun my collection when I did. Rarely are their "cheap" dolls on Ebay. Even the older dolls.

At this point, my collection of 120+ dolls I already have a wide variety of looks and faces in all colors and ethnicities.

 I don’t have any more must-have “holy grails” at this point and I find, it is getting harder to find an interesting look I don’t already have (who works within the style of fashion I like). Besides, my divas have successfully built a coalition to block most of my bids on EBay! (Clever little devils!)



On Tuesdays nights, I host a #dollchat live discussion (around (9:30-10pm Eastern Time) on Twitter. There are only a few of us but anyone can join in on the discussion or make comments after the fact.  (Look for the hashtag #dollchat.)  Though we do go off on a tangent at times, the point of this chat is to discuss dolls. And one reoccurring theme involves changes we've noticed. From 2013 to now, the dolly scene has changed. To blog or not to blog…. That’s the question some of us have wondered for awhile now.  Many have left the scene including the very popular website, DollObservers.com. This was my first introduction to the world of fashion dolls beyond Barbie. Now a shadow of itself, this site which once drew a thousand enthusiasts together, finally closed down, resurrecting itself as a mere Facebook Community page!

Attention spans are brief as readers ditch blog and website platforms in favor of quick and easy eye candy on Instagram and FB Community pages.  And even there, I've noticed how the numbers seem to have diminished amongst adult collectors. Fewer likes, fewer new followers, fewer “sophisticated” dolly posts…. Is the whole doll thing waning? Was this just a fleeting trend? Have collectors moved onto new horizons or have they simply retreated into hibernation mode? Are we becoming so fragmented, so specialized, electing to see only what we collect without regard to what else may be out there in dollyland?

That said, it is worth noting a few bloggers have returned to the flock after a brief hiatus: (Linda’s  Yeye Dolls, and Jaye's Doll Space are back!). I'm also happy to see more recent posts from Jano's Hiyadolly and Olla's Blog o Barbie Fashionistas  Both bloggers were faced personal challenges but somehow found the strength to continue entertaining us with their talent and their dolls. As for this blog, I can assure you, me and the dolls are not going anywhere. While we participate in platforms (Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter and Pinterest), we still find value in maintaining a blog which allows us to take the time and space necessary to produce more detailed tutorials or provide a maximum of information and images on current fashion trends than is possible to do with a handful of photos on social media.

Photo: Courtesy of Mattel
Ten years ago, Mattel drew many of us into the world of fashion dolls with its Barbie Basics, an iconic collection of individually coiffed, diverse svelte Barbies in classic “little black dresses” and pumps. This provided a ground zero for many doll collections and ignited a newfound passion for fashion dolls. Now, almost 10 years later, Mattel has launched Barbie BMR1959, an eclectic collection of gender free dolls clad in colorful urbanwear.  New dolls, new expressions for a new generation of doll collectors! The question is….are these new kids on the block enough to attract new enthusiasts and keep the fire going?

In the year ahead, Fashion Doll Stylist will continue to do what it does best… bring you the latest information and inspiration from major sources of style: international catwalks, major red carpet events, and exhibitions…all altered and tailor made for our foot high divas. As things catch our eyes… or we stumble upon amazing wonders of the past, we’ll  find ways to capture their essence and present them to you as well. “Life is a cabaret, my friend. Come to the cabaret…” Let’s have some fun. After all…..the 20s are back!!!

Preview of coming attractions!!! 
Big dollie hugs,

April and the gang!

19 comments:

  1. Gratulacje!
    To wielka liczba! To magiczna liczba!
    Jesteś, i zawsze byłaś i będziesz, dla mnie inspiracją! To wspaniałe, co robisz, jak przedstawiasz modę dla lalek, jak tworzysz swoje arcydzieła, o których inni mogą jedynie pomarzyć!
    Masz niesamowity dar realizacji projektów, jesteś ogromnie kreatywna! To wspaniałe!
    To wielki dla mnie zaszczyt, że mogę być w gronie Twoich przyjaciół i czerpać z Twoich pomysłów i tutoriali!
    Brawo! Działaj i twórz ! ♥♥♥
    Serdeczne pozdrowienia :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olla wrote: Congratulations!
      This is a great number! It's a magic number!
      You are, and always have been and will be, an inspiration to me! It's great what you do, how you present doll fashion, how you create masterpieces that others can only dream of!
      You have an amazing gift of project implementation, you are extremely creative! It's great!
      It is a great honor for me to be among your friends and draw on your ideas and tutorials!
      Bravo! Act and create! ♥♥♥
      Cordial greetings :-)

      Oh Olla, I am so touched. Thank you for your very kind words and compliments. I too am happy to be counted among your friends. Thank you for sharing your talent with us and thank you for always coming by to say hello. Big kisses.

      Delete
  2. Happy Anniversary! This article is wonderful aswell as the fashions, as always you never fail to impress us! Keep doing what you do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the love and support. I'm going to try to keep the fun, the passion and the surprises coming!!!! Dolly hugs. April

      Delete
  3. Linda, your kind words and compliments mean so much to me. In this dolly community I feel like we are all family. And isn't that a wonderful thing...to have family all over the world who share the same interest in dolls! Thank you too for sharing your talent with the rest of us as well. And thank you for your friendship and continued support. Big hugs, April

    ReplyDelete
  4. J'aime toujours regarder votre blog, chaque article est lu avec grand plaisir, merci beaucoup.Je prends aussi bonne note sur votre façon de faire les patrons..Je possède des poupées de toutes marques et de toutes tailles donc votre aide pour agrandir ou diminuer un patron m'a été de grande utilité.
    Bonne soirée Fanfan
    I always like to look at your blog, each article is read with great pleasure, thank you very much. I also take good note on your way of making the bosses. I have dolls of all brands and all sizes so your help to enlarge or reducing a boss has been of great use to me.
    Good evening Fanfan traduit avec Google

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Je vous remercie enormement pour votre vos tres compliments et de votre aimitie. Je suis contente les informations dans ce blog sont utiles. Bisous, bisous.

      Delete
  5. Happy Anniversary. I am one of those people who have enjoyed reading your posts but haven't commented on them. I want to let you know that I read each one ever since discovering The Fashion Doll Stylist. In fact, a few years ago when I was on a train on vacation I was able to read all of your past posts. Love how you show us the outfits from Fashion Weeks and especially when you re-create some of them. Please continue sharing your knowledge, skill and passion with fellow doll collectors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for stopping by to say hello. I am very happy you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy putting it all together. It's wonderful dolly friends like you who inspire me to keep everything going!

      Delete
  6. Happy Anniversary! I love your blog, your work is beautiful and your posts are very informative. I too have noticed the dwindling numbers of active doll blogs (although I am certainly guilty of letting mine languish for a few months at a time). I prefer blogs to FB, IG and I don't even have a Twitter account, I just find reading them more enjoyable and can get a better connection to the blogger. But I do understand that they take a commitment of time. I hope you will continue blogging for many more years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Chris, for all of the kind words. And yes, as we both know, putting together a blog is a labor of love and takes a good chunk of time! I was looking through older posts and realized we don't do things we used to do like participating in World Doll Day or giving each other the Liebster awards which helped us get to know each other better. Still, I am grateful for the blogs that are still around. And I too, prefer blogs over the other social media platforms.

      Delete
  7. Wow some great stuff! I especially love that black dress with the "paillettes" (whatever those are)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Also- I do appreciate you have not disappeared like most other blogs and forums that were booming in the early 2000s. I also was drawn into the fashion doll world by Simon's blog and I am so sad it is gone.

    I have been hoping for some years now that the disappearance of blogs and forum groups was temporary and that after people got their fill of facebook and twitter they'd be back. But instead, along came Instagram and TikToc and even less personal ways of connecting with other people of like mind (or are they of like mind?). I miss the words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess I am still here because, as a former journalist, I am accustomed to media that remains around for more than a year or two. Perhaps people have shorter attention spans and only want to glance at the pictures. But for me, I need much more. I cannot tell the story of fashion week on Instagram. I cannot do a tutorial in just a few pix. Moreover, you are competing visually and time-wise with several dozen other pages at the same time. I like to see more time and effort devoted to the subject--be it a review of dolls, a doll "story" or a photo montage. I have put so much into my blog as it is a way to remain connected to the fashion world as well as the global doll community. And yes, blogs take a sizable chunk of personal time, but I personally, have found the blog format to be so much more satisfying both as someone who reads blogs as well as someone who produces one.

      Delete
  9. Congratulations! 7 is a great number and I hope there will be many, many more. I love your ideas, your creativity, all your creations, your point of view in fashion and I always visit your blog with great pleasure. The doll blog community won't be the same without you and your girls. I'm so happy that you are staying here. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Kamelia and thank you for your friendship. I also look forward to your blog as well and love all of the beautiful dolls and fashion you create for them. Being part of this doll community is pure joy. May we stick around for many many more years!

      Delete
  10. I try not to clutter all the posts I've missed, but I can't pass by your blogoversary! Thank you for seven years of 1/6th fashion and I'm happy to hear you are planning to stick around for longer. I too prefer the text blog format with detailed descriptions even though I sometimes pop on other social media with a quick question or photo. I think as long as you don't depend on this financially, you should create your content the way it makes more sense to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you BlackKitty. My sentiments exactly! I don't depend on any of this financially. I did the math early on and figured out that how many ad clicks one needed to make anything kind of decent money. I realized it wasn't work the effort and why crap up my site with horrible looking ads over which I have no control. For me, this is a fun hobby, an escape from the stress of everyday life. So I do it my way to keep it light and fun for me and everyone else who...lives life and fashion precariously through the medium of dolls...

      Delete

We love hearing from you. Your comment will be published shortly.