Vivien, after

Here´s Vivien (Milano Alex) after I had darkened her eyebrows. (See her before modeling the “Trousseau for Cherry Blossom”). I think she looks a lot better now!

“Kiss Me Gene”

To attend the Broadway revival premiere of “Kiss Me Kate”, Vivien picked a vintage gown that Gene Marshall had worn 50 years before to the original premiere of the same musical.

 

Kozy knit

Sunset Grille Alex in a sweater that I knit from a pattern in Faszination Fashion Doll.

Here´s Allie (Capital Investment Tyler, 2002) in the same sweater. The pants were also from a pattern in Faszination Fashion Doll.

A Cheongsam for Jade

The doll in pink is May Wong (Cheongsam Jade Lee from 2004) in her original outfit. The girl in blue is Simone (Lunch at Two Alex), with her hair restyled and a slight enhancement. I made the blue cheongsam from a dress in Faszination Fashion Doll, a German fashion doll fanzine.

Here´s Mod Jadde Lee (2004) modeling the same cheongsam. With her bangs removed, she looks so much like the girls in antique Asian art!

Trousseau for Cherry Blossom Jade

Way back in 2002, I participated in a swap on one of the doll boards. My swap partner was just waiting for her first 16″ doll – Cherry Blossom Jade (later spelt with double d) from Madame Alexander´s Alex line – to be relased and I designed the things I made for her with this doll and her colouring in mind, trying to compile a small but versatile basic trousseau. I didn´t have a Jade myself to model the outfits before I sent them off so my Alex girls had to help out. I´m sorry about the quality of the pictures but these are actually the only ones I have of these outfits. I rediscovered them a while ago in a folder.

A picture I grabbed from the internet to show you which girl these outfits were made for:

Lunch at Two Alex wears a velvet cheongsam with a white cherry blossom pattern made from a Simplicity Gene pattern. Lunch was one of the first Alex dolls from the 2000 collection. In keeping with the Chinese theme, I made a takeaway lunch box with noodles and chopsticks.

Vivien (Milano Alex from 2001) is the model for a grey sweater and red silk pencil skirt made from Tonner´s Tyler Wentworth fall pattern (I think). I repainted Vivien´s eyebrows to match her hair color somewhat later on. It irritates me when the brows are so much lighter.

Vivien dresses up by swapping the sweater for a corset (also from Tyler´s pattern) and accessorizes with a matching handbag.

For a hot summer day, Vivien dons a mod graphic print sheath. I forget which pattern I used.

Finally, Sunset Grille Alex, also from 2001, shows a simple but elegant nightgown (made from an enlarged Barbie pattern in Barbie Bazaar) that can also double as an evening gown if you want it to.

Flashback:

Dolls This Week– January 5, 2000

NEWS

NEW 16″ MADAME ALEXANDER FASHION DOLL
Madame Alexander is getting ready to unveil a new, 16″ fashion doll at toy fair in February!  The company has been running a mysterious ad with the new doll in silhouette in several of the current doll magazines.  The doll will have separate outfits available and will be along the lines of Gene, Sommers and Field, and Tyler Wentworth. (About.com)

Madame Alexander is one of the oldest and most prestigious doll companies in the US. Founded by Madame Alexander (d´oh!), they have been producing collectible and play dolls since 1923, including Cissy, the first fashion doll that had a “teen” body rather than a little girl´s. Following the success of Mel Odom´s Gene doll, the first modern 16″ fashion doll marketed to adult collectors, and the successful introduction of Robert Tonner´s Tyler Wentworth doll, MADC introduced Alexandra (sometimes misspelled Alexander) Fairchild Ford in 2000. While Gene Marshall is a movie star in the heyday of Hollywood and Tyler is a contemporary fashion designer, Alex is the editor of ELAN fashion magazine and her world was built up around this.

AA Paris Williams, the entertainment editor, was added in 2001. Chinese Jade Lee was introduced in 2002 as an award-winning architect initially hired by Alex to redecorate her office and New York flat and later given a column in ELAN. “Discussing the marriage of “Form and Function”, Jade’s “On Image” column explains her approach to both fashion and architecture as being informed by cultural influences and creative vision, and describes a few examples of recent outfits that illustrate her philosophy.” (MADC press release). Latina Sofia Cruz joined the crew in 2004 as the editor of the Spanish edition of ELAN. French-educated “ELAN´s It Girl” Suzette Morgan followed in 2005, as the author of a regular feature on lifestyle and domestic subjects.

Alex´aunt Amanda Fairchild was also introduced to the line in 2004 which permitted MADC to include fashions from different decades in the line.  “Always the epitome of glamour and beauty; from her heyday in the late 50’s and 60’s right through a new century, Amanda Fairchild, was raised in the languid gentility of New Orleans. From her, Alex received an overview of fashion history and an eye for clothes that few young women are fortunate to have. To this day, Alex credits this informal training as the source of her success as an editor. And it is certainly why she has hired her Aunt Amanda as an adjunct editor of Élan, and why Amanda is featured on a regular basis in the magazine. With her panache and flair for fashion over five decades, Amanda Fairchild has become a legend in the fashion world and something as a Grand Dame in the best of the couture houses.”  Finally, Sienna Evans joined in 2006 as the new beauty editor.

Fun facts:

  • Fairchild was also the surname of Barbie´s mod cousin Francie, who was issued between 1966 and 1976. As Francie simply vanished from Barbie´s world without an explanation, perhaps Alex Fairchild Ford is, in fact, Francie´s secret lovechild?
  • The AA man in Tonner´s Tyler line, Russell, also goes by the surname Williams. Cpuld he be Paris Williams´ brother, cousin, husband (oh noes! Poor Esme!)…?
  • Besides MADC´s Jade Lee, there is also an Asian character named Jade in the Bratz line, and one in Integrity´s play line. Tonner introduced Suzette Dubois into Tyler´s world in 2004. Why can´t companies be a bit more original?
  • Alex and friends have also cameo´d as other characters. In MADCs Hollywood line, Alex played Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face and as Sabrina and Holly Golightly; Sienna played Leslie Caron as Gigi, Grace Kelly, and Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods; Amanda played Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund and Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei Lee. The Desperate Housewives dolls also featured the Alex line sculpts, among them a blonde Jade. The scupts were also used for the History of Fashion line.

Vintage Beach Babe

It´s been ages since my last post… so much for “a doll A DAY”. Anyway, here´s Deanna as a vintage beach babe. (I need to find her a better name… Deanna reminds me too much of Cylon #3).

deanna_beach03

I made her swimsuit from Affordable Designs “Return to Atlantic City” pattern.

deeanna_beach05

deeanna_beach06jpg

deeanna_beach02

Ice Fairy

Ice Fairy

Ice Fairy

Since yesterday´s post was quite long, only one picture today. This is an Obitsu doll wearing the Chinese outfit from the “Travel the World with Barbie” series (around 2000). The Japanese company Obitsu offers a wide selection of highly poseable 9″ – 12″ sized bodies and matching heads that you can buy either bald and blank or rooted and painted in order to create exactly the doll you have in mind.

This particular one has a factory face and hairstyle, both of which I like very much. Since the combination suggested a water or ice fairy to me, I picked a clear body (that you can´t see in the picture).

Jem and the Holograms

Jem
Jem
“Jem”  is an American animated television series that ran from 1985 – 1988, designed to appeal to both girls and boys, with a mix of action/adventure, drama, music, and fashion. 
 
” MTV (Music Television) had premiered August 1st, 1981 and by 1985 was already a household name. The TV station focusing on elaborate video clips of hit songs, giving a combination of sight and sound, was making a new era of music with an emphasis on fashion.

About this time, the Jem Project, as it was referred to at Hasbro, was being launched. It was a brilliant idea. Have a line of rock star dolls to cash in on the “MTV”/music video craze. Originally, Jem was to be called “M”, for a tie-in with “MTV”, but corporate lawyers cancelled that when they learned a letter cannot be copyrighted. The plans had gone so far that Kimber’s keyboard had already been made in the shape of an “M” so a name with “M” had to be used and the name Jem evolved. In the early planning stages, The Holograms were to be all male but Hasbro wisely made them all female.” – http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Academy/7028/Jeminfo.html 

” The Jem television show combined adventure and fashion with music videos with captions exactly like on “MTV”. … Included with each doll were fabulous posters of Jem, The Holograms or The Misfits”, as well as a cassette tape featuring songs from the series sung by the dolls character. The songs coordinated to names of stunningly made outfits, and the whole package of doll, song and costume tied into the television show! It was not only truly outrageous, but truly brilliant.” (ibd.)

Shana

Shana

Shana is wearing “Let the Music Play”.

Unfortunately, sometimes, being brilliant is not enough.

“By fall of 1987, despite the television show often placing number one in children’s shows it was clear that Jem was just not moving.
In November, rumor hit that Jem would be discontinued, and that Hasbro, which had already designed a 1988 line by this time, would not be offering it next year. The contributing factor to the demise of Jem was her size. No doll that has not been Barbie size has ever made it past the two-year mark. Parents simply view toys differently than collectors do. They do not want to shell out a small fortune for doll clothing that was not interchangeable with dolls already at home. Hasbro was gambling that the doll and clothing would be so appealing that this would happen. It did not and spelled the demise of the most creative and beautifully designed fashion doll in 30 years! ” (ibd.)
BTW, Bratz were the first fashion doll line that made it successfully long past the 2-year-mark despite not being Barbie sized.
Aja
Aja

Aja wears “Music in the Air” from 1985.

Aja again

Aja again

“The basic story was about a woman named Jerrica Benton who upon her father’s death inherits his music company, Starlight Music, and a secret sophisticated computer named Synergy that could generate realistic holograms. To prevent a hostile takeover of Starlight Music by a man named Eric Raymond and a rock band called The Misfits, Jerrica used Synergy to transform herself into Jem, a glamorous rock star. She was aided by her band the Holograms that consisted of her friends Kimber, Aja, and Shana who knew who Jem really was. Jerrica had a boyfriend named Rio who didn’t know that she and Jem were one in the same person and subsequently fell in love with both women. This was the story for the first five episodes that were also made into a video release called “Truly Outrageous”. Subsequent episodes contained the adventures of Jem and the Holograms and The Misfits and each episode contained two to three songs performed in MTV music video format.” – http://home.pon.net/sunflower/Jem%20Realm/Cartoon%20Info.htm

Pizzazz

Pizzazz

Pizzazz, leader of the Misfits, in her original outfit.

Stormer

Stormer

 

Stormer again

Stormer again

Another one of Stormer

Stormer in "Making Mischief"

 

Jerrica

Jerrica

Jerrica is wearing Shana´s original outfit. This doll had two-toned pink and blonde hair. Depending on which color showed, she could be either Jerrica or her alter ego, Jem. The earrings – sophisticated projectors that create the hologram that makes her change in the series – blink.

Synergy - wouldn´t look out of place in any SF movie

Synergy - wouldn´t look out of place in any SF movie

 Synergy in her original outfit. Well, I added the gun. I love this girl for her science fiction look. TRON, anyone?

In my pictures, I´ve tried to capture a 1980s style of rock photography.

All my Jem dolls were flea market or ebay finds, so their outfits may not be complete.

I´m still looking for Kimber, Roxy, Jetta, Raya, Danse, Video, the smiling later edition Jem/Jerrica, Rio, and the three Starlight Girls though I´m in no hurry to find them.

More Asha-faced prettiness

Cali Girl Christie

Cali Girl Christie

Following on from yesterday´s post about the Asha sculpt, here are a few more Asha-faced beauties. This is Cali Girl – or California Girl, since I tend to misread “Cali” as “Call” – Christie, from the second wave with the larger heads, 2004. I love her wild curly hair!

AA Barbie

AA Barbie

AA Ballet Star Barbie, 2001.

Mermaid Fantasy Christie

Mermaid Fantasy Christie

Magical Mermaid Christie from the Fairytopia line, 2003, body-switched.  

Generation Girl Nichelle

Generation Girl Nichelle

Generation Girl Dance Party Nichelle, 1999.

Christie

Christie

Palm Beach Christie, 1999. I gave her a short haircut. This line of basic dolls had printed-on bikinis, which were not everyone´s cup of tea, but very beautiful faces.

More Beach Babes

Christie

Christie

This is Surf City Christie from 2000.

Christie is one of the oldest Barbie friends still around – having been introduced in 1968.

In 1991, Mattel introduced a short lived separate line of Barbie-sized AA fashion dolls that were supposed to be more realistic: Shani, Asha and Nichelle. The Asha sculpt from the line was later used for both black Barbie, her friend Christie (from around 1998 on) and Generation Girl Nichelle (1999/2000). There were also Christies with Superstar Barbie´s, Shani´s and Nichelle´s sculpts. Recently, the Asha sculpt has been used for Fashion Fever Nikki, who has all but replaced Christie in the playline. And although the original Christie sculpt has just been revived for the reproduction of the 1969 Diahann Caroll/Julia doll which shares this mold, one of the latest collectible Christies shares the mod Barbie  sculpt. Enough to make your head spin…

More Model Muses

Daria Celebutante

Daria Celebutante

Following up from yesterday´s post, this is one of the first “Model of the Moment” trio: Daria “Celebutante”. Any resemblance to a certain spoilt young hotel heiress named after a city is purely accidental… 🙂 This is the only Daria in this skin tone, as the second one, “Shopping Queen”, had a light tan.

Another view

Another view

While I´m no fan of said heiress, I really like this doll. The combination of her updo, dark eye make-up and light lips reminds me of 1960s fashion. I actually got two of her, one to keep as is (her hair, at least) and one on which I took the hair down and body-swapped her to a poseable Volks body. This girl is a lot of fun to play with!

Model of the Moment Rose

Model of the Moment Rose

This is the lucky recipient of the Model Muse donor body: Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater (from the movie “Titanic”), made by Galoob in 1998. These dolls have become quite hard to find now. Galoob initially announced three dolls in different costumes from the movie, but only this one – wearing the black and red “Jump” dress – was actually produced.

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