Monday, November 11, 2013

Dolls Fashion Night Out 2013 focuses on Adventure, Creativity, and Nostalgia

How our dolls, male or female, look does impact the way we feel. It may be that we dress them to a theme that evokes a mood, that we choose to put something on them that incites a certain confidence, or that we – for no definable reason at all – simply fall in love with a particular piece of clothing or accessory and dress them that way. 

Fortunately we, like many other fashionistas, have the yearly runway shows to give us some of our fashion inspiration for our dolls.  We also have CDS' Dolls Fashion Night Out.  And this year we are going to look at the three themes fashion forecasters are seeing as being predominant in the Fall/Winter 2013 collections.  Those themes are Adventure, Creativity, and Nostalgia, and their qualities are listed below.

Adventure:  Travel inspires a high Winter trend that combines a sense of adventure with a renewed fascination for the great outdoors.  Her lifestyle trend combines modern functionality with traditional fashion styles.  Colors include slate grey, tawny brown, and midnight blue.  Knits, florals in earthy colors, and graphic prints will be seen.

Creativity:  This is reinterpreted using expressive freedom.  Expect an approach into artistic ventures that seem to comment on social change with a reflective and humorous slant.  Colors:  An unusual combination of artistic pop colors of vivid violet-blue and fluorescent yellow.  Painterly prints and patterns, haphazard brush strokes, and luminous tones abound.

Nostalgia:  Modern generations mix nostalgia with different folk-inspired heritages and their contemporary futures, resulting in a blend of quirky folk style packaging with a fascination for eclectic blends.  Colors:  Bright accents against muted tones. Bright gold and intense turquoise.  You'll sure to see bright, folk-inspired florals with a tough edge.

What follows are how some of our artists interpreted the individual themes.  Did they hit the mark, or were they a little off?  Be sure to use our comment section to let us know.  And, if you don't mind, be specific - let us know the specific artist(s) you are commenting on, please.  We really do value your feedback.  

Pat Stoughton, Petite Moonbeams


Theme: Nostagia
I chose for this happening Nostalgia from the 70’s. I had one of these dresses and loved it, especially the skirt for twirling.  This Joe Tai beauty is clad in a brightly colored paisley shirtwaist dress with a front opening and short cuffed sleeves.

She loves to sit with her full skirts flared out around her as well as in a standing pose. Her hat of paisley print with green lining sits jauntily on her head, and a pair of purple shoes completes her outfit.

Frances Weir, Francesca Doll Couture

Theme: Nostalgia
Mid century inspiration is reflected in this DFNO cocktail outfit. The wonderful wiggle dress flatters the figure today just as it did in the 1950's. Add a smart little red hat and some rhinestones, and any girl would be ready for a night on the town that includes a great martini.

This one of a kind red dress is hand knit in a silk/bamboo yarn blend, and closes in the back with a single tiny silver snap. The hand sewn cocktail hat is made with red wool felt, and is embellished with rhinestones and 
tiny black glass beads. The non-opening evening bag is also knit, has a metal chain strap, a "clasp," and is detailed with more rhinestones.

Deanna Torigian, Babette Doll Fashions

Theme: Nostalgia

I chose Nostalgia as the theme to use for the style inspiration for my dress.  Tonner's 22" American Model Basic is my doll model.  The Dress has a nostalgic silhouette.  The bright, full skirt is folksy, but the oversized print makes it modern. The neutral bodice blends and softens the bold colored print, a nice change from the past trend of matching color. The turquoise  trim is unexpected,  and gives the dress that hard edge. I could see a current teen in this dress, a lover of vintage style, or a sexy pin-up girl.

The simple, full skirted dress is made from fine 100% cotton. The bodice is fully lined with cotton organdy and falls slightly off the shoulders.  It is closed in the back with tiny buttons over snaps. It could easily be titled "Quirky, Folk Nostalgia."

Rosy Bazile, L'Atelier de Rosy

Theme:  Adventure
I chose the Adventure theme because I wanted to mix my culture and my Creole roots in my work of sewing for dolls.  Pretty and flowery, this flattering dress is mainly suitable for the American Model (56 cms), but could also be suitable to dress other dolls of the same measurements.  Those dolls might include the BJD Youth Dollmore Eve. 

The chosen fabric is a cotton in shades of Autumn, so perfect for the season.  The dress is close-fitting, fully lined, closed by a zipper, and enhanced with a necklace, earrings, and bracelets  of painted wood.

Karen Daniel, Xxtra Fashionable

Theme:  Adventure

Ellowyne has chosen to have a weekend adventure. She has filled her daypack with munchies and water, and is setting out to the nearby trails to take in all the Fall foliage on the way to checking out her Winter cabin.

Her skinny jeans and favorite Uggs start the ensemble. This season, plaids and geometrics are all the rage, and her silk baseball jacket encompasses both. Knit hats are a must have accessory, and Ellowyne's toque coordinates with her stretch lace turtleneck. Her silver necklace and earrings add just an added touch of interest to her weekend attire.

Elizabeth Fenton, Nashas Doll Boutique

Theme:  Adventure
I chose adventure because I love the idea of modern function combined with traditional fashion style. While my fashion is more for a Winter party than the great outdoors, I loved this floral print combined with fur used in my simple, high fashion cocktail dress.

It is cut from red, shades of pink, and gold floral brocade. My fashion has short sleeves with fur cuffs. The front is high and gently slopes to mid back, and is accented with a bow. This outfit is completed with a bag and fur hat.

Anna Castanes, Somethings Old Somethings New

Theme:   Creativity.
I love vibrant colors, and this fabric reminded me of a Van Gogh painting.  The colors and design flow and create an artistic and happy feeling.

The set comes with a reversible coverlet.  It features the print on one side and a solid color on the other. Two Euro Style patterned pillows  and one rectangular solid pillow complete this ensemble as does the one small, solid rug.

Pauline Lyngard, BW Designs

Theme: Creativity
My fashion is called 'Oiseau.'  Taking a page from Mother Nature's book, this design echoes the elegance and grace of a bird.

The modern cut is neither formal or informal; it features a long back train and a shorter hemline in front.   This hip fashion is made of 100% silk and natural feathers for a sensuous touch - giving more focus on texture than color.

Gayle Chavez of Oohlalaz

Theme: Creativity
Creativity is not hard when it involves glitter in creating an Evening Glamour look for the Holidays.  That is why I chose to use unique, glitter embossed fabrics to create this OOAK, two piece evening, glamour ensemble.

It features a body suit with long sleeves, is low cut, and is made in shades of purple and lavender.   The high waist skirt is lined in black and black glitter.   This ensemble also ncludes earrings and a small round evening bag.

Jenny Catalano, Just Jenny's

Theme: Creativity.
I've sat on this particular piece of fabric for a while, never finding the dress or outfit appropriate for its design.  This project immediately brought this fabric to light. The pattern on the fabric reminded me of bright fabrics used in many African fashions.

The bodice, a design I've been playing around with for a while now, was perfect for what I wanted to pull off. Taking the straight line of the skirt to a rounded hem was the finishing touch. Using a modified tank dress style top, I added a gathered bodice to an attached skirt for a pseudo Josephine front and added a straight back. No sleeves were indicated as the tank sleeves actually created a tiny cap sleeve. I finished the neckline and armholes with fold over elastic in coordinating orange for a bright look that holds the dress on the form. I added the necklace and matching earrings to finish the look.

Lori Lyon, Madeleine Rose Couture 

Theme:  Creativity
I chose a creativity theme, but the choice of fabric rules this one. Bright colored, graphic print silk chiffon, reminiscent of Rastafarian colors, gives a sense of adventure to travel the islands of Jamaica.

With such a print I felt the silhouette should stay simple.  A bias cut evening gown, with draped neckline lets this beautiful printed chiffon shine.

Marcia Friend, Facets by Marcia

Last but not least were these entries from Facets.  After all, these fab outfits deserve the perfect accessory.

Theme:  Adventure

Ankle High Strappy Gladiator Boots.  Easy zip-up back.  

Available in Black, White, Red, Gold, Silver, Light Pink, and Dark Brown.

Theme:  Creativity

Box Platform Pumps.

Available in Zebra, Black Suede/Gold, White/Gold, Nude/Gold, Leopard/Black, White Polka Dot/Black, Black Polka Dot/Black.

Theme:  Nostalgia

1940's Vintage Look Shoes.

Available in Black/White, Black/Red, Pink/White, Navy/Pearl, Navy/Red, 
Navy/Ivory, Dark Brown/Tan.

And that concludes another year of Dolls Fashion Night Out.  We hope you enjoyed it, and will consider visiting the shops of CDS for all your fashion needs.  Have a great Turkey Day unless you live in Canada or some place where you've already enjoyed it.

Once thing is for sure, I'll "see" you one more time this year; be watching for the CDS Happening post in December.

Monday, October 14, 2013

TEN Great Years of FDQ!!

The issue currently of Fashion Doll Quarterly on the shelves of your favorite bookstore marks the TENTH year for FD Q, and couldn’t be more proud for them.  It has been a pleasure working with Pat Henry, and reading this wonderful magazine is always a great experience.  In fact, we get excited just anticipating when we’ll receive the next issue, and we’re never disappointed.  May Fashion Doll Quarterly flourish for a very long time!

For this special issue we decided to salute our Perfect TEN.  Our shop owners demonstrate their TEN's qualities by the dolls we use as well as by the fashions they create.  This is because we know how much FDQ loves fashion dolls and their fashions.

Each of the show owners followed these guidelines.  They were told about Bo Derek as an example because she was the unquestionable TEN of the 80s after she appeared in the movie with the same name.  Then they were asked to decide who their TEN might be, and to use her as their muse.

Their muse could be an actress, a model, or anyone out there in the public arena.  She could be modern or come from a different time period.  They did not have to do face painting or anything like that to bring this character to life if this was not something they were comfortable doing.  They just needed their final model to have similar traits as their perfect TEN, and they had to make sure she was dressed appropriately to satisfy the twist.

And here is the twist!  This fashionable TEN perfect diva will be dressed to go to a Gothic style party - whatever kind, cocktail or formal, was theirs to decide.  The trick was to convey a Gothic look while still letting her classic beauty shine through.  Shop owners who make accessories and diorama items were also invited to step up to the plate.  After all, even a TEN "needs" lots of luxury items to keep her content.  

Here are the designs from  the brave ones who were willing to take on this Event – aren’t they ghoulishly great? Read on as each artist describes their outfit and tells you about their muse.  Click on the small pictures to see a larger one, and be sure to visit their website to see more.

Jenny Catalano
Just Jenny's Crafts

My Muse is Elizabeth "Lzzy" Hale, Lead Guitarist/Vocals for Halestorm.  She is a Grammy winner, has been on several magazine covers, and is always dressed in a style all her own. From Goth to Punk she has worn it all, and worn it well.  She plays Hard Rock in cut off jeans and thigh high boots, wears low cut, form fitting dresses with lots of chains at award ceremonies, and tops it off with her signature messy long tresses.  My Lzzy is headed to another award ceremony and then off to the Gothic themed After Party to celebrate with her band mates.  

I used 16" Goth Antoinette for my model.  This original design is a collage of several of the outfits and accessories I've seen Lzzy Hale wear. The skin tight, low cut, modified tank dress comes with a lace trimmed decolletage, thigh-high slits, extra low cut arm holes and a V-back.  The dress is accessorized with gold platform boots, thigh-high lace stockings, a three strand beaded necklace, crucifix with matching earrings, and a low slung wide belt with gold tone buckle. Topping it off is a black curly wig to simulate Lzzy Hale's messy, wavy tresses.

Christine Loff
The Black Ibis

Fei Fei Sun was thrilled to become the first Chinese cover model for Italian Vogue Magazine! She'd worked hard to become a TEN among fashion models, and her friends thought she needed a little celebration. They invited her to a Goth party where everyone would be dressed in Goth outfits.

Sun pulled some things out of her closet and came up with an edgy outfit. Her grey plaid jacket is set off by her black lace skirt that is knee length in front and floor-length in back. The perfect accessory is her thigh-high lace-up boots. A black "leather" midriff corset pulls it all together!  This outfit is modeled by JamieShow Sun and is sized to fit JamieShow dolls, but it may fit other 16-inch dolls as well.

Rebecca Castillo

The fashion and movie world remembers her as the star who glided down the red carpet with a sheer gown, adorned with flower appliques strategically attached, and who later proudly accepted an Oscar for a best actress performance.  Occasionally, though, she is seen just simply strolling in perfect leather pants. She is none other than Halle Berry, and she has been invited to a Gothic themed party, and has requested the House of Rod Michael design an elegant gown for her that is true to the Gothic theme of the party she'll be attending.

House of Rod Michael responded with a long fitted skirt with a matching peplum blouse made from a beautiful dark red, hand painted. kimono-style silk fabric.  Providing a dark contrast is a belt and necklace made of glass beads, and long black gloves that are anchored on the wrists by wide bead cuffs embellished with roughly shaped orange stones.  The beaded headband with a black veil envelopes her finely chiseled face.  It is meant to convey strength, darkness, and an aura of mystery - and Halle carries it off in an entirely beautiful Gothic way.

Cindi Stowell

This gorgeous TEN gothic girl represents the beautiful, haunting singer/songwriter Amy Lee from the rock band Evanescence.  She is known for her sweet, melodic vocals backed by a power house rock band; and she graces the concert stage and her album covers dressed in beautiful gothic gowns. She is going to the after concert party that has a Gothic theme.  Its secret location is only known to be hidden deep in the woods.  Finding the place where the party is held is a treasure hunt of mysterious clues hidden under rocks and tacked to trees. Each new clue is a mystery and each clue has to be decoded; all part of this fun challenge.

The doll is a white skinned, 52 cm. tall Dollmore BJD named Zaoll Luv.  The face-up is by the talented Cristy Stone.  She wears an eight piece outfit that includes the top, arm band sleeves, stockings, hat, necklace, skirt and underskirt, and shoes. The skirt flows with lots of soft fabric. The fullness is added to the skirt by an underskirt made of lace tulle.

Ina Murphey

My Goth TEN Muse is Kate Beckett of Castle who is played by Stana Katic.  Season 5 ended with Castle getting down on one knee to ask Kate Beckett to marry him.  We waited all summer long to hear her response in the Season 6 Premiere.  However, as anyone who is a fan of the show would know, her initial response may not necessarily be her final one!  But, one could easily expect to see a wedding, either real or imagined, at some point during Season 6.

Since both Beckett and Castle love the fun of doing the unexpected, I envisioned them showing up at a Halloween party dressed as Dracula and his Bride.  The always glamorous Kate would arrive in a fabulous black satin gown embellished with hand beaded purple lame’ bats and black feathers.  Her “veil” would be a cascade of silver chains accented by a Celtic cross and blood red Swarovski crystals. The viewer would be left wondering if the Halloween “wedding” was a spoof or if it was the real thing.

Anna Castanes

Eartha Kitt began her career in 1943, and spent her early years in Europe where she learned four languages as well as how to sing in seven.  With an enduring career that has spanned theater, cabaret, television, and the recording industry, she became a household name. Miss Kitt electrified audiences with her one of a kind persona and sultry voice, often peppering her flirty set with gold digging songs about champagne, stretch limos, and pearls.  She was honored with a star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame, and wowed audiences for decades with her outstanding vocals, curvaceous frame, and sex appeal.  She was a TEN who made a lasting impression.

Eartha knew her Gothic party had been a success when she stood outside her bedroom door and heard her guests complimenting all of her decor, including her wonderful new bedding set.  She listened quietly to the two ladies as they described how lovely the pumpkin coverlet with the black pillows was.  Eartha smiled to herself, knowing  if they only knew what was on the other side or about the individual pillows that matched them, they'd surely want a set for themselves.

But this was an OOAK set bought for her by a very special friend, so that wasn't going to happen.  It was hers alone, and it brought back so many memories of her time in France.  Le Danses du Paon, The Dance of the Peacocks, was printed on the coverlet and she had pillows with Monsieur and Madame printed on one side.  Yes, indeed, she'd leave that her little secret and go back and enjoy her Gothic party while it lasted.

Gaylejoy Chavez

Dita Von Teese grew up fascinated by the Golden Age of Cinema, pin-up imagery, and vintage lingerie. She was once married to Marilyn Manson.  It was her influence that helped me create her Goth TEN persona, as she is a fabulously dressed glamour Goth queen ready for a haunting Halloween martini party.

I chose a Tonner doll, Raven Daphne, to emulate Mistress Dita Von Teese.   Scarlet taffeta with a black lace overlay, pinstripe black chiffon flounce embellished with ribbon lacing, fringe, and beading were used to create her ensemble.  Everything is fully lined, and the bolero has removable sleeve cuffs in case you'd like to create a different look. I can just imagine her strolling into the party and quickly feeling all eyes upon her.

Peggy Burney

Catherine Zeta Jones is my idea of a TEN.  However, today I found her not too happy.  You see, she had agreed to be the muse for a fashion design contest and even agreed she'd wear the winning creation to a charity event chosen by the show's producers.  However,  she was surprised when she opened the box. The wrapping paper and the box itself looked expensive, and the dress was crafted from the finest of fabrics - in fact, she loved it.  What she wasn't excited about, though, was the invitation she found when she pulled the flowing gown up.  She would be attending a Goth cocktail party - definitely not her cuppa.  All she could do is remind herself that the whole thing was for the charity nearest to her heart, and sigh as she slipped on the luxurious gown.  She’d worn the most famous designers in the world but they had nothing on this.  She decided the Goth theme would not ruin her evening.  She would have the time of her life, and perhaps even be discovered wearing the next big thing in fashion.

Catherine's attire for the Goth cocktail party is a two piece concoction of silk dupioni and lace.  The skirt has a fitted yoke of  dupioni silk and is lined.  It features gathered fullness in the style of the short front and the longer back which is made of more black dupioni silk and lined with black silk habotai.  It has an overskirt of the finest, softest netting embroidered with red roses and vines.  The skirt has a snap closure in back.  The bustier is made of lined red silk dupioni, and has a bra of fine black netting trimmed with black lace.  It closes in back with eyelets and lacings.  It is decorated with a chain hanging from the front.  Accessories include a dog collar of black lace with a rhinestone encrusted cross, and black lace gauntlets on her arms.  Under the skirt is a red lace petticoat. 

Maril Adrian

Actress Emilia Clarke plays Daenerys Targaryen, a character from the best selling series The Game of Thrones, and is a TEN in anyone’s book. Men and women alike fall under the spell of her beauty, brains, and courage as she seeks to regain her kingdom. With her confidence and killer fashion sense, she steps out of her alternative universe and into a contemporary Gothic cocktail party – and it’s just another world to conquer.

She is wearing a two-piece silk taffeta cocktail dress fully lined in silk organza and India silk. The strapless bodice of midnight blue is accented by aubergine gores at the hips, closing with a back zipper.  The flared skirt features a top layer of blue daggered panels, variously decorated with matching top stitching and Japanese seed beads. Underneath there is a second row of aubergine. 

Wow, now that's what I call Goth!  These outfits would be perfect for a ghouly Halloween party.  Perhaps they will join the next group of  Haloweeners who wanted to come out, too, and strut their October faire for you!!


Another Oohlalaz beauty from Gayle Chavez!

Even Vampirettes celebrate Halloween -- but only at the strike of midnight. This outfit is designed for an older soul even though our Little fee is still in a childlike body.  This yosd-sized Vampirette outfit was constructed in Purple stretch velvet with snap closures and a long train.  Black net accents at sleeves, and a small beaded bolero also add to the beauty of this outfit.  And next up we have a family joining our party!!

Mother - Larraine Elcock

Pru's dress is made of Halloween printed cotton.  Under her dress she wears a crinoline of black along with stockings that are black and white striped jersey.  A chiffon cape, tiny lace half glove,s and a big Halloween printed satin hat complete the outfit.  

Daughter - Jill Elcock

Elle is wearing her new outfit that Prudence designed for her.  Pru said she needed something dark and foreboding to wear on her annual pilgrimage to her Great-Great-Great Grandmother Elfaba's resting place.  Legend has it that Grandma Ellfaba was tried in the Salem Witch Trials, but be that as it may, Elle is off to put some flowers on her grave in remembrance.  But now that she is coming back she is wondering,  where did the day go?  It's getting so dark.  "Well, I think this is it"  says Elle, as she lays down among the tombstones and drifts off to sleep.  Maybe she's right - but.maybe not - guess we'll find out if she emerges again!

Elle wears a red silk sheath under a black linen overdress with bustier top.  The overdress has an overlay of black lace.  Jill designed and made everything but the boots and flowers.  Next up we]re ready in case someone may need a place to crash after the party. Our hostess, Anna Castanes suggested this scenario.

Anna Castanes

As Anna stood in the doll section of the store looking for some bedding for her doll she saw the most lovely set that she could use for her Halloween Diorama. The set included a cotton coverlet, one large rectangular pillow with orange and black tiger like stripes, two small rectangular pillows of faux suede, and one black throw which was made of faux embossed leather.

As she reached out to touch the bedding, much to her surprise it was reversible!  The back side matched the small rectangular pillows of faux suede.  What a find; she wished she could find one for her larger dolls but she'd have to make that as a special order if someone wanted It - this set would be great for her 12 inch dolls.  She just knew her lovelies (and maybe a Halloween party guest) would love this!!  Maybe even Karen Daniel's lovely who is modeling next....

Karen Daniel 

This entire ensemble is Karen's own version of a Victorian and industrial design twisted into a sort of Steampunk number that's she's proud to wear out for Halloween.  The silk Dupioni frock coat is fully lined and closes in front with 2 industrial looking hooks. It is accented with gold ruffle around the neckline and cuff and the pocket flaps. The plaid silk bustier has front snap and hidden closures, and fits like a second skin. The pants are a twisted play on Victorian pantalets worn on display instead of hidden underneath layers of petticoats. 

The drawstring bag coordinates with the pantalets and bustier, and has a copper disk and ring as a finishing touch. The felt hat has a ribbon that is attached to the hat with a copper gear at each end. The necklace and earringx are also antique copper and are included with this outfit. Then our last guests joined the party - last but never least, the crew from Pat Stoughton's - boy, what fun we'll have now!!

Pat Stoughton

The Quarusians are all witches and their lineage is strong.  This family portrait was very difficult because they detest photo taking.  The family wore their day robes for the photograph.  There are several different robes for each family member, depending on the time of year.  As their family seamstress Pat created and sewed each robe, some with attached hoods.  

The black robes are of a soft panne velvet.  The blue robes were a satin blend and have attached hoods.  The family has requested new robes for 2014.  There will be a special family gathering and they wish to be robed elegantly.  The family, as shown in the picture are:  

Back row:  Katarzyna, (Tatiana’s twin); Drakul; Dimitri; Bjarne; Verrold and Luczin (twins); and Feronia.  Front row:  Tatiana (Katarzyna’s twin) who is holding Faux Paws; Aislinn; the quadruplets: Quinlan and Quentin in back; Quinn and Quillan on bench; and Rhoswyn.  There is another cat at the feet of Rhoswyn, Independent Claws (Indy for short), and the family dragon, Mirelth (who has his own family).  Then there is Nostariel, who needs a bit of love and discipline for such an event.  

Wow, so many fun looks!  Which one was your fave??  And will you or your favorite doll be wearing a similar look?  It's not too late to get all decked out...just hurry over to -- there you'll be able to find out exactly which of these lovelies could be yours for Halloween, and all of your other ghastly, Gothic doings!!  I guess I better scamper off and get ready for the big day, too!  See you next time with out Dolls Fashion Night Out yearly event!  Happy Halloween, and stay safe, my pretties!!