Monday, February 14, 2022

Doll's Eye View: Paris Couture Spring 2022


If only this French couture season was just that cheerful... Covid served the knockout punch once again, this season. Only 16 houses put on a performance and most of that was...well...dreary at best. Much of what was shown was not inspiring. Colors ran from washed out neutrals to somber.  Instead of being inspired, I focused on details then incorporated them into what I thought could be a slightly better option. Of the 16 Haute Couture presentations....this was all I could come up with.... Not enough to put into themes. Not enough to waste time, effort and fabric... 

But here...this is what we were able to salvage.

Precious metals.... Stephane Rolland is not a household name, but he does deliver some luxurious and exotic looks. However...the strength of these golden ensembles relies on amazing fabric! You could perhaps make a 1/6 scale version of either of these two looks, but if you don't have super beautiful fabric...well, the result just won't be the same. Ditto with the Dior dress. Really, there is nothing to write home about! Personally, the girls prefer silver for the winter holidays. My younger girls likes the edginess of Zuhair Murad's suit. I just didn't have enough chain on hand to offer up a simplified version.

And well, here we are again, back at the house of Stephane Rolland. These two looks are simply FYI. I attempted a dolly version of these two looks with their dramatic collars. My efforts tended to swallow up dolly. If you tone down the lose the drama of the look! And then there's classic Chanel.... Always tasteful, but this season....nothing out of the ordinary.

So...what did the girls settle on? (You know they weren't going to leave Paris empty-handed!!!

Charlize is a huge fan of texture which is why she opted for this look from the house of Jean Paul Gaultier. (Mind you, the namesake designer no longer works for his house.) Unfortunately I did not have enough fabric to recreate this dress in this color, so instead I opted for this aqua permanent pleated organza version. (See our Tutorial for permanent pleating) Instead of a plain corset, I used embroidered taffeta. The result is a summer lightness that even the orignal does not convey.

Tatyana loved the detailing over the bust of this Valentino gown. But the color of the original seems to melt into the model's skin tone, the dress seemed so stiff, and who puts pockets on the front of an evening gown?!. So we gave Tatyana's version more asymmetrical draping radiating from the side of the torso. And we incorporated a rectangle of two-tone printed chiffon that sweeps over one shoulder, across the back and into a shawl over the opposite arm.

Zoe is a real fan of the little black dress, no matter the season. She opted for this simple black tretch velvet strapless gown by Dior but felt the collar didn't make sense. Instead we dressed up the look by draping a floor length black chiffon train. The white opera length gloves and pearl jewelry adds a bit more of old school class.

We love lace in my house. But my girls didn't like the sloppy look signed Alexis Mabille. There was nothing that suggests couture here to us, including the fabric. However for Ingrid, we found a really pretty length of lace that had more spring and bounce. It cradles the body instead of drooping off the shoulders. The lace wraps around the body twice asymmetrically, though we did add an under slip so it is not totally sheer.   

At first glance, I thought this was a snakeskin printed dress and boots with a fur coat. But upon closer inspection, it is a lace dress and boots with a feather coat. In any case the end result looks more suitable for winter and, quite honestly....nothing special. If the girls are going to go all the way to Paris for clothes...they want something with a little more creativity. Again, we do love lace but we especially love TEXTURE!  So Chrissie's look begins with a two-piece lace dress with matching lace boots. And though we started out with a similar jacket...we all decided that the jacket (originally created by Venezuelan born, Maurizio Galante) was a more interesting choice. The jacket is made of a cotton base over which there are strings of paper squares attached. (See Tutorial) Chrissie thinks this looks more springtime than the feather jacket!

Marpessa loved the lightness of the dress from Dior. She even liked the way it flutters over the bust line. But the color and shape was too....frumpy...almost like one of those awkward bridesmaid's dresses. The first version I made came close to the original silhouette complete with belted bodice, but to Marpessa's resembled more a prom dress than a couture gown. So we reverted to a slimming A-line silhouette with a bodice made from tiny squares made from dryer sheets! 

And then there was this look by Alexandre Vaultier. What season is this again!!! I'll be honest. I really don't care for the "Leg of Lamb" sleeves. (Reminds me of those tacky wedding dresses from the 1980's!) But they seem to be on trend right now, so I gave in to the pleas of Jolie. Instead of the thud of black, however, I took a tip from the Valentino r-t-w collection and zapped this look with shocking pink instead. Jolie can hardly wait for Easter!!!

We'll stop there because...the Fall/Winter Ready-to-Wear collections have started in New York and with a little luck...more clothes are on the way!

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Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Dressed to the Nines

In numerology, the number nine represents completion. It represents a culmination of wisdom and experience, the energy exuded in both endings with the promise of new beginnings.

At first, much of what we were doing was pretty new to this community. Sure there were dolly fashion designers, but they were few and far between. But it seems as though once we got started with the notion that ordinary folks like you and me could make clothes that actually resembled current trends, things began to take off. As witnessed by the millions of dolly images that have exploded on social media, everybody is fashion conscious now and I am amazed by the large number of designers who are showing (and selling) their 1/6 scale high fashion wares. And almost all of it closely replicates current action on global catwalks. Whether the presence of our blog had anything to do with inspiring this movement is debatable, but we would like to think, if nothing else, we were at least one of the catalysts and perhaps even the source of a few creative ideas.

As with the beginning of this pandemic, last year was rough. As I’ve said on many occasions, designers don’t close themselves off in ivory towers. You need to be out in the world seeing things, living life. This has been quite difficult during lockdowns, health protocols and the sort. In addition to a number of personal challenges that got in the way of doll play for me, last year, my creative juices were bordering on empty. It wasn't as easy as looking at photos of catwalk shows because the aesthetics in this industry have radically changed. Many of the iconic designers have either retired or passed away, leaving behind a new generation more likely to design costumes than clothes for the rest of us. Many of the red carpet events continue to be cancelled or scaled back so there was little to see in Hollywood. And just as Covid seemed to be waning and things begin to open up....along came the Omnicron variant! 

As a result, 2021 saw only 21 posts, the least amount since we launched nine years ago.That said….those were some pretty awesome posts!!! We started off the year by making rag jackets out of fabric and yarn scraps. Then we spoiled the ladies with the latest in pearl jewelry. For those of you requesting an alternative to stilettos, there were new additions to our Shoe Biz tutorials which included tutorials on flat shoes and flip-flops. We paid homage to the late, great iconic American designer, Halston with some easy to make vintage 70's dresses. And we featured his muse and jewelry designer friend, Elsa Peretti by creating tiny replicas of her sculptural Tiffany's jewelry.  We were finally able to take in two outstanding exhibits, one honoring the late Patrick Kelly and the second exploring the world of Thierry Mugler. We roamed the streets of Paris at Christmastime which allowed us to share the beautiful display of lights and animated store windows. And then to top it all off..we showed our dude dolls some love by with our most detailed Master class tutorials: the man’s classic trousers and and the basic dress shirt!

Seven new dolls came into the house last year: Tatyana (named after German model, Tatjana Patitz otherwise known as “Dasha Purity” (2013).  Rob (named after model, Rob Evans) is an Adonis doll from the Mizidoll collection. Priya, IT’s Wild Feeling Rayna Ahmadi (2020); Dovima (named after the 1950’s supermodel of the same name) otherwise known as Eugenia Wicked Narcissism (2020); Fatima (named after model Fatima Said) otherwise known as IT’s “Bijou Elyse;” Angela, otherwise known as IT’s “Fit to Print Nanja (2021); and Taraji (named after actress Taraji P. Henson), otherwise known as “Soul Deep Adele” (2010). 

But here again, I feel I must speak out... As a collector, these past few years have been challenging. Prices on all things dolls have shot up to astronomical proportions. Thank goodness I began collecting 10 years ago when prices were reasonable and it was a sheer pleasure to go indulge in the hunt for the next doll or pair of shoes. If I were just getting into this today...well, let's just say, I wouldn't have the collection I have right now. I might not even be in this hobby. Inflation and supply chain issues aside, we have speculators in our midst whose only interest is to profit dearly from our addition. 


And so, the question on your mind is…what to expect in the year to come. There is no simple answer except to say…we will continue to roll with the punches. There is already an enormous amount of content on this blog. I will go through the 445 posts to see what can be updated. Our approach to fashion reports might be altered to some degree due to all of the changes the industry has encountered. Fashion houses post their collections at random these days, so it is not always easy to put them in categories by location. For Haute Couture and menswear, there has not been a lot to love these past few seasons. So instead of presenting themes, we are considering doing a “best of.”  


I am grateful to all of you who follow my blog. Whether or not you are someone who leaves a comment,.I know that you are there and that does my heart and soul a world of good. Just know that no matter how many or how few posts we put up….we are still here for you and your dolls. And know that I have a whole bunch of 12-1/2" fashion victims in my bedroom who face me every morning with lists of demands (shoes, dresses, jewelry, boyfriends....). And they are not going to let me stop!!!

 So let’s get started and prepare to round out this decade with a wish for lots of pretty dollies and more ways to keep them in the height of fashion.  

Big dolly hugs from April and her guys and dolls.....

All photos and text property of Fashion Doll Stylist 2022.

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