Monday, March 22, 2021

Dolls Eye View: Fall/Winter 2021 Trends Part 2

The colorful autumn leaves have fallen, swept away by the wind. We now see the neutral tones of the bare trees as well as a few animals scampering along, preparing for a long winter. And not far behind, the snow arrives.... Part 2 of our trend report commences.

Hot Chocolate

A nice alternative to our basic black... we felt that brown in all of its warm, earthy tones would be a natural for Winter 2021. Climate change is fueling our fabric decisions here. When dolly decides to leave the comfort of her home, she wants to take her cocoon with her. A (faux) fur coat or fleece coat flung over the shoulders of almost anything and the easiest way to get out of the door. And while we're at it... why not a quilted suit for those rare "business" meetings!
Casual chic...After a year of yoga pants and sweatshirts, Rashumba is not going to give up her easy clothes. Now that there are more places to explore she wears a funnel neck sweater, belted over a pair of jersey leggings and leg warmers. Over it all, a sheepskin jacket in tones of frothy mocha.
You've heard of quilted coats and jackets. Chrystele works from home, but from time to time, needs to take off for an in-person meeting. While the wind nips at her nose, she stays toasty warm in her Hershey's chocolate quilted suit....a fur trimmed classic jacket belted over a matching skirt. 
Some are predicting that after a year and a half of lockdowns, thee will be an appetite for flamboyant clothes. We don't see it like that. On the contrary, we really believe simplicity is the key to winter fashion as people ease back into their pre-pandemic lives. At first, we are predicting the clothes of choice will lean towards nothing too fancy, just simply chic. Joan wears this funnel neck ribbed jersey dress over which she slips on a matching suede coat. We left the rough edges of the leather as is. The texture adds an element of interest as are her cut-fringe handbag and boots. I did not add any jewelry because anything I put on her took away from the lusciousness of the materials and the richness of the dark chocolate monochromatic color scheme.

The nice thing about a great big fleecy sheepskin coat is that it keeps everything underneath toasty warm! Here's Katoucha showing off her favorite coat. Here she wears the lapels up. She likes the contrast of texture...the fleecy interior that bubbles up from under a chocolaty suede exterior.

She can also fold them down. The cut of this coat is really, one big rectangle stretched out. That simple shape is what creates this supersized collar.  Underneath she's clad in a little black dress with a black leather harness over it. By the way...I made this coat out of a single piece of sueded sheepskin and cut two "armholes" where Katoucha's arms are placed. The sleeves are made of a lightweight suede in the identical  color. The sleeves are then inserted and stitched in. There are no side seams. This leather is not easy to sew, so the fewer the pattern pieces, the better.
One of the things we've all fallen in love with has been the sweater. For next Fall, we believe the sweater becoming a very important part of dolly's wardrobe. It can be dressed up or left casual. But at the end of the day, we are still talking...comfort with a dash of glamour. Here, its part of a monochromatic scheme... Jordan's coat is made from strips of rabbit fur I found on sale. It is a basic,no-frills pattern with row after row of fur sewn on. For those of us who cannot knit.... her dress  was created from a sock.
At first, I had not planned to do any type of evening wear as a stand alone entity. We believe the average person will take something out of their daywear and then doll it up for night, this Fall. As a result, most of what we have presented are looks that can always be augmented with some sort of jewelry for a late day rendez-vous. But here, the girls decided to indulge. because there will be some fashionistas who will feel the need for something totally new. Nadja's look begins with a basic sheath dress cut from embroidered silk, hemmed in fur. A matching fur stole is wrapped around Nadja's shoulders

Still, once you remove the stole, you notice, the dress is simple and wuite comfortable. With restrictions lifted in the near future, everyone will leap at the chance of getting dressed and going out. But we don't see a "Roaring Twenties" right away. We predict people will start out with simple silhouettes and have a little fun with "dramatic" accessories" and glam outerwear that can transform a variety of garments into statement pieces.

Spotted on Fifth (Avenue)

Animal prints have become the new "neutrals." For us, this will be THE winter print. These wild spotted prints can be worn as an accent piece, worn in layers with different dimension of spots or mixed and matched with abstract prints or even colorful florals! 

This is easy glamour from the outside. Zoe's look starts with an LBD (Little Black Dress) embellished with fluffy faux fur coat, wrist length gloves and spotted velvet boots.

Think of this as a nice alternative to the jeans skirt. Radiah loves her biker jacket and leather high heeled boots. The stretch velvet leopard skirt and matching purse is a quick way to update this look for Fall 21.

As minimal as the preceding look was, Tatjana decided she'd push things to the maximum, again with basic pieces. At the base of her look, a simple, long sleeved oversized leopard printed sheath dress with a bow on one shoulder. Over it...a grey cocoon coat in mock "chinchilla." 

As we said before, think of animal print as a neutral. You'd be surprised at how many things work with it. Kym was surprised to see how a leopard spotted raincoat and matching boots worked well with a black and white abstract printed shift dress.
And surprise! Bella's vinyl leopard spotted jacket is a natural with a brightly colored floral velvet skirt. Again, this is an easy way to ease out of the house and back into a post pandemic social event!

Black in Action
A continuation of  the "Black Jack" theme from part one, the girls took a dressier route to this basic black look by mixing leather and jersey sometimes a touch of fur just for the fun of it.

Super comfortable, super chic....Latoya struts her stuff in 3-piece ensemble that works for any occasion day or evening. Latoya's jersey jacket falls in soft folds down from the shoulders in the front and is  trimmed in faux fur. She belts it over a simple top and matching stretch leggings.
Meanwhile, Tamron is living large in a one-piece jumpsuit with super wide pants legs. When she's invited out at the last minute to meet up with friends, her otherwise daytime looks goes all glam with a faux fur stole wrapped around her arms.
Otherwise, she goes as she pleases in total comfort since the jumpsuit is cut from a soft stretch jersey.

A symphony of black..each layer has a different texture: the faux monkey fur of her cape, the matte jersey of her dress and the luster of stretch leather for the accents.  

 Awhile back we did this dress as formalwear. This time we cut it short and cut the sleeve from stretch leather. 

To that very lovely but basic asymmetrical dress, I added a super wide belt that wraps twice around her waist and ties into a bow. To be perfectly honest, this dress is where we started and didn't need any other accessory! 

After much discussion with the girls, we first decided against including any formal dresses in this collection. Our thinking was.... coming out of the pandemic we saw lots of parties, but not so many black tie events. Perhaps later on..spring or fall 2022, trends will get fancier. But in six months, we believed people will still be too addicted to give up on comfort. With that in mind, we took a evening length sweater dress from last year, added a faux leather draped top, opera length leather gloves and a fur stole and voila.... touch chic glam!

Again, we really didn't need the stole. (It was just for Dorian to pose in her photos.) The dress underneath is a very simple tank dress cut from sweater jersey fabric. We created a top out of stretch leather. It is thin enough to create soft drapes over the bust. The back is simple...wide harness straps that close to one side and is held in place with velcro. 

Snow Bunnies
Soft, warm, fluffy, cuddly, as white as the driven snow...this is a theme that begs to be worn in the middle of winter. With the exception of the fleecy coat, everything is cut from (an old) cashmere jersey skirt.

Proof that fashion is the sum of its parts.... Each piece Grace is wearing is very basic. She wears a basic, hip-length top with long sleeves over leggings. Over it all...a great big rectangular blanket wrapped around the whole ensemble. What could be more chic or 
The girls and I all agree...big, cuddly coats will be a "thing" next winter. This one, worn by Liu  is super sized, cut from a fluffy fleecy fabric that resembles sheered rabbit and simply wraps around the body! 

This is another example of how the simplest of pieces can add up to the grandest of looks. Yvette is wearing a basic jersey sheath dress and a matching stole. In this case, we crisscrossed the stole over the front and belted it. It's that easy!
Instead of all glitz and over the top glamour, this is how we see our divas dressed for next winter's formal events. Again...a simple symphony of basic elements: A sweater top and ankle length skirt with a cardigan tied around the waist. Katherina could wear this during the day, but by adding a touch of fur to the shoulders, she's ready to head to the theater.

La Grande Finale

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  1. Waw, April you impress me, you exceeded my expectations. It's just wonderful. I love your arrangement of colors, styles, shapes, prints. I am amazed. I like the name you give to each of your themes. it is well chosen and evocative. I particularly like the model worn by Zoe. the coat is magnificent, the print beautiful. I have a quick question, how long did it take you to create this whole collection. For my part, it takes me an incredible time to sew a piece like a jacket (a week's time) or sometimes 2 weeks .... but I recognize as I do not have a sewing machine it takes longer .
    I can't wait to see your next collection for the summer or a swimsuit or summer party collection.

    1. Oh my goodness, Shasarignis, you are so kind. What you see with this trend report is all of my past experience in fashion coming forth and being applied to my world of dolls. Each theme has a descriptive title to make it easier to follow the "designer's" train of thought. The colors, silhouettes, textures were inspired by past fashion collections that were immensely successful. Unfortunately with what we see today, fashion week has become more entertainment than a presentation of real clothes. Years ago, women were more interested in the beauty of a garment instead of a fleeting "look." With my "collection" I wanted to revived that original spirit. Putting all of this together took me a full month. I didn't sew everything within the past month. To make things go faster, I took basic garments I had made in the past then mixed them up. I made new items where it was necessary to update or get the look I wanted. As far as individual a all depends on the style, whether it is complicated or not and whether or not I already have the pattern. For many daytime looks, I keep things simple and go with basic patterns which I have already developed. So even a coat with lining won't usually take me more than 2 days to complete. But if it is a complicated couture gown where I have to figure out the construction, this could take longer. I also use a lot of jersey which is never lined and is easy to put together quickly. I use a lining only when it is crucial to the look and feel of the garment. Many of our clothes today are not lined and they hang differently than those which are lined. But if the garment needs "structure" then I will take the time to add a lining. Many of my clothes are made by hand. I use the sewing machine for straight seams, but often I do things by hand. I hope the designers get it together before it's time to present the spring summer collections. But I have already begun to think of what I might do for that season. Thank you, my friend for taking time to stop by. And thank you for your loyalty.

  2. You really let your imagination go here..from the backgrounds to your commentary, carries us to the catwalk...I can hear the applause and the oooh's and ahhhh's by the subdued clients. Really a lovely and amazing collection. And your girls all look so fabulous, you can tell they like the clothes. Seriously ---you should dress Colette...I'm sure she would be thrilled if I sent her to Paris. Life is so ...locked up and pedestrian here, for her! HUGS, what a post(s)! Thanks so much, Sandi

    1. Thank you so much, Sandi for your very vivid, and quite lovely comment. This was a lot of fun but took a LOT of work. Some of the work involved is "casting," choosing the right girl for the right style. And yes, there are lots of side glances in my selections! But at the end of the day, everybody gets something they are happy with. And yes, I'm sure Colette would LOVE Paris. Perhaps one day, post pandemic...I'll see her there!!! Big hugs, April

  3. Dear April,
    another portion of great creations that delight with their appearance, but also with simplicity and subdued colors. My girls are delighted with your proposals and they will tell me to sew such beautiful outfits for them. Thank you for the amazing fashion show.

    1. Thank you Dlubaniny. So happy you and your girls enjoyed this fashion show. Sorry to make more work for you but I know whatever you make for them, they will be pleased.

  4. Thank you Linda, so much for your delightful comment. As you've probably figured out, these are clothes I myself would wear. And that's exactly where I think many designers have failed. Catwalk clothes are too much "concept" not enough...something people want to wear. So...I simply reverted back to a time when real style defined fashion. So happy you enjoyed this.

  5. I've read through 2 hours worth of your blog this morning. I am so impressed. I've made dolls, doll clothing, for 40 yrs just for fun. My current passion is buying old spanish or mexican dolls and repairing and redressing them. I have found a wealth or information on this blog, and I will be referring to it often. Thanks for your passion, hard work and great info.

    1. First of all, Laurie, welcome to my blog and thank you for your very kind comments. I've only been a collector for 11 years. I knew how to sew and make patterns prior to starting this blog, but as many others, I quickly discovered that creating fashions for dolls is almost a completely different skill. So this blog was like taking my readers along my journey into 1/6 scale fashion land. As I continued on, I turned this into the "entire fashion doll experience." Everything I was once interested in for myself has been translated for the doll. So here, you will find posts on creating hairpieces, beauty tips, making hats, designer luggage, mini-textile applications, even footwear! And to ensure everything is the last minute in fashion...I do regular fashion reports based on 4 major fashion capitals. In any case, it's all fun here. Come back as often as you like!

  6. Moda to Sztuka przez duże "S".
    To ogromna przyjemność odwiedzać Twojego Bloga :-)
    Wspaniale, że zdołałaś skompletować tak wielką ilość różnorodnych materiałów, futer, elementów zdobniczych i tak rewelacyjnie potrafisz je ze sobą skomponować! Tworzysz ubrania z dużym smakiem i elegancją. Twoje modelki prezentują je naprawdę pięknie i z wielką klasą :)))
    Serdeczności, April ♥

    1. Olla wrote: Fashion is Art with a capital "S".
      It is a great pleasure to visit your blog :-)
      It's great that you managed to complete such a large amount of various materials, furs, decorative elements and you can compose them so wonderfully! You create clothes with great taste and elegance. Your models present them really beautifully and with great class :)))
      Cordiality, April ♥
      Thank you, Olla. It is so good to hear from you again. You know, it really is impossible to create fashion in an "ivory tower." Fashion comes from people, places, things and events that surround you and this past year and a half have been very difficult because I wasn't exposed to anything. I had little in the way of inspiration. But I was able to draw on "my favorite things," and so I was able to create something based on things I have seen over the years. Happy you enjoyed this post. Big hugs. April


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