Friday, February 24, 2012

Pining for Spring with Fab Fashions!

An unforgettable dress isn't necessarily the most beautiful or even the most ornate.  It is simply the one that has made a definitive mark on fashion history.

Who doesn't remember Audrey Hepburn's Givenchy gown or the little black dress she wore as Holly Golightly?  And surely we all know the white halter dress Marilyn Monroe wore in The Seven Year Itch?  Or the bootylicious green Versace number worn by Jennifer Lopez?  And even Michele Obama's inaugural dress. that most acknowledge elevated our own fave doll designer's career. qualifies as unforgettable  Yes, the doll designer is Jason Wu, now a fashion great as well as a major force behind the doll design process that is Integrity Toys!

The thing that these fashions have in common, of course, is that they were all worn by famous people.  However, all unforgettable dresses don't require that guideline.

Unforgettable dresses are dresses that, when they pass before you, make you let out a little oooooooooh!  They are dresses you'd want to hang in your closet or, in some cases, in your doll's closet.  I say that because we all don't have opportunities to go to very special occasions where we could wear some of the more formal unforgettable dresses, but our dolls can go anywhere - in our minds - so we can dress them any way we want to!   

Every designer, whether they design for real live dolls or for their non-human counterparts, secretly wants to develop an unforgettable dress of their own.  And the designers at CDS are no exception.  This month they were not asked to design for any particular theme or lifestyle, yet ironically all of the fashions presented for this blog entry seem to be geared towards one theme, a theme I'm calling "Pining for Spring." 

I've given them that name because most of these designers reside where it's Winter right now, yet each design is rocking a Springtime me.  You be the judge?  Is this name appropriate?  And, most importantly, do you see a fashion that makes you utter that little oooooh when you look at it?  Well, we hope so!!  And, if not, we'll definitely keep trying! 

So come along and view our recent faire, then be sure to check out the new profiles that follow right after the fashions; each of those artists also have a few items that could perhaps strike your fancy, too! And remember, you can click on individual pictures to get a closer view of any fashion.

Whatever you do, enjoy viewing all the fashions, then be sure to visit our shop owners, and let them know you enjoyed the show.  Remember, artists always value honest input!
 Petra Elise Fashion Doll Couture, Main Street: "Drama" by Elisa Cetera features classic black and white toile patterned, silk dupioni. This off the shoulder, cupcake dress makes a statement with its black contrasting bodice and waist detail.  This dress is fully lined with a snap back closure, and fits the smaller to moderate busted girls including NuFace, BFMC, Monogram, and FR2.

The Black Ibis, Main Street: 
Sun and Barbie have identical dresses, each in their size, created by Christine Loff. Each lavender polka-dotted dress is fully lined in white cotton to avoid staining your doll. The set for each doll includes the dress, the fully-lined handbag, and the beaded necklace. The smaller size dress will fit Barbie, and like-sized dolls, and is modelled by Silkstone Barbie. The larger dress will fit 16-inch fashion dolls, and is modelled by Sun, a Jamie-Show resin doll.

Click Designs by Kevin, Designer Drive:  
Two new offerings, "Pink Parfait" and "Glamourous" are now available from Kevin Kilmer.  "Pink Parfait" is done in a pink pleather with bright pink fuschia faux fur trim, It’s an easy on and off with no snaps, and features a sexy, open back makes that makes this one eye opening dress.  "Glamourous" is made from a multi-colored micro sequined material, and is also an easy on and off dress,   The sleeves end in several colors of coordinated tulle as does the hemline of the dress. Glamourous would be perfect for any of the upcoming Runway or Red Carpet events!

Cindi's Doll Apparel, Designer Drive:  
"Pretty in Pink" is a custom designed outfit made by Cindi Stowell.  This outfit consists of two pieces; a top and a ruffled skirt.  It is made from new, quality cotton fabric in a soft pink, and was specifically conceived for SD13 girls. 


Kolkman Kreations, Designer Drive: 
Sequins and Silk, a collection that contains a variety of gorgeous gowns for the 12" girls.  It is a mixing of stretch sequin and silk dupioni by Karen Kolkman.  Pictured is Kyori wearing a halter style with adjustable balloon skirt.  The black rose back is in "splash" sequin and black silk dupioni - oh how scrumptiously fun!

Sweet Creations, Main Street:
Kaye Wiggs Nelly, an SD size BJD,  is modeling a blue cotton dress by Connie Casteel.   This tiny floral print design is in shades of purple and pink.  Complimenting the dress are separate sleeves, a ruffled tube top, and stockings in purple rayon and spandex knit.  Completing the ensemble are pink and white striped bloomers with an eyelet trim.

Ooh la laz, Couture Court:  
Spring is in the air...well, hopefully it won't be too long!  And to celebrate the upcoming beautiful weather, Gayle Chavez has created a romantic ensemble for the 16 inch fashion doll.  Pink gingham, pink cotton, and white laces adorn this frilly confection your girls would love to own!

Off the Wall by Terrkat, Designer Drive:  
Vita is modeling a light spring dress in silk chiffon with a silk crepe underskirt/slip.   Terry Barner thought soft colors of violet, mauve and taupe would be welcome for warmer Winter days, and also felt they held the promise of Spring.  This outfit will also fit many Tonner fashion dolls like Tyler.  Included with this outfit is the hat, but hosiery and shoes are not included. Shoes are Monique Gold and available through another CDS dealer - Facets by Marcia, on Main Street.  

Angel Rose Couture, Couture Court:  
Sage Meadow-Katara (ELfdoll Ryung) models a dress from the Gentle Flowers Collection at Angel Rose Couture.  Lori Lyon chose a sage and taupe floral cotton to make into a strapless, corset style bodice with a full, ruffled skirt attached.  Tiny ivory lace and dark brown velvet ribbon add frivolity and sweetness.  Underneath, to add fullness, is a tulle petticoat with wide ivory lace ruffle peeking out from beneath the skirt.  Around her delicate throat is a vintage pearl necklace and choker to complete the antique feel.

BW Designs, Main Street:  
"Snakes and Ladders" is an OOAK Casual Fashion for 1/4 Scale Fashion dolls such as the Sybarites.  Pauline Lyngard designed it for when you really want to make a statement of texture and design.  This ensemble features a  faux snake skin jacket with a tulle ruffle and a bustier.  All fit neatly over plaid, wool, lined pants.  Oh, and let's not forget, also included is a jaunty matching hat!  

Wow, what nice, new items!  And there may be more items added by shops who could not make the deadine to be in this blog.  So be sure to check out Couture Doll Shop occasionally; you never know what you might find!  Speaking of finds, I was lucky enough to find these shop owners available to talk to me and show me their latest, the last time I visited CDS.

The Black Ibis, Main Street:
Christine Loff has been one of our quieter shop owners.  Now that I have coaxed her out to show an item above, and to do this interview, I hope she will no longer be such a stranger.  Here we go with her interview:

I’m the person behind The Black Ibis. I picked the name because I happen to like Ibises and black birds, and the ibis is the sacred bird of ancient Egypt. Plus it reflects my “handle” on eBay, “anotherblackbird.” My friends say the name conjures up an image of an elegant art deco boutique from the 30s – and that’s one of my favourite eras, so it fits!

I’ve been sewing almost all my life. My mother and grandmother were tailors, trained in England. So when I was four, my mother started me on a typical European girl’s training in sewing, knitting and crochet. I tried out my skills making clothes for my Barbie doll – an elegant No. 3 original Barbie, which I still have. By my teens, I was sewing all my clothes, and my mother had begun training me in tailoring. By 18, I was making my own suits and overcoats. 

I’ve sewn my own clothes all my life. About 10 years ago, I decided to enroll in a school for clothing design. I now have a diploma in Apparel Design from the Clothing and Textiles Department, University of Manitoba.  I was fortunate to be able to study with Jan Bones.

 I’d left off sewing for Barbie since my youth. But after ending up in the hospital with breast cancer a couple of years ago, I decided to have fun during my recovery by sewing for the fashion dolls I collect. It’s got to the point that my dolls are better dressed than I am! Today, I’m mostly sewing doll clothes.

Since sewing mostly for dolls, I decided I couldn’t possible use all those clothes, so I took up Dot’s invitation to join Couture Doll Shop and put up The Black Ibis. I’m having fun with fashion art for dolls. I had studied fine art at college back when, and it gives me a really fun, creative outlet. 

I’ve been influenced a great deal by my interest in Victorian fashion and culture, as well as the Edwardian Era, the 1930s and the 1950s. Of course, the 50s were influenced by Edwardian fashion when Christian Dior referenced his grandmother’s fashions with “The New Look,” so that all hangs together for me. I’m also very interested in Art Deco, a look that had its beginning at the end of the Edwardian period, as early as 1909 or 1910, and continued into the 1930s. Again, you see some of the same ideas in the 1950s.

My ability to work on sewing has been challenged by my continuing battle with breast cancer. I was just in the hospital again this Fall. But I am sewing a lot since getting my strength back. Currently, I’m working on some 50s-inspired outfits for Silkstone Barbie and for 16-inch fashion dolls such as Tyler or the resin Jamie-Shows. However, I’m drawing up some ideas with a Victorian/Goth/Steampunk flavour for the new Gothic Antoinette, which I just bought. So that should be lots of fun, too!

How fun catching up with Christina; but on we must go!  I will be hoping that she will continue to feel well enough to sew her neat fashions.  Dolls can be good therapy I am sure!

Next up is another Canadian in our group, Denise Beaudin!  Denise is no stranger to this blog - she participates any time she is able, and I really enjoy seeing what she will come up with next.  What she had to offer follows.

Deni Doll Designs, Main Street:
My husband and I have been happily married for twenty three years. We live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where I am employed as a Medical Lab Technologist. Growing up my nickname was Deni, and that is where the idea for “Deni Doll Designs” originated.

The beginning of my sewing for fashion dolls began with the Barbie doll I had as a child. I would sew garments for her from remnants of my Mother’s fabrics. I gave up my dolls when I went on to have a career and get married. A few years ago, I rekindled my love of sewing for dolls, and began to create outfits for Barbie again. When my collection grew too large, I would sell the garments to friends, at local craft sales, or on Ebay and Etsy.  At the Manitoba Doll Club Show, I was introduced to my first sixteen inch tall fashion doll, a Tyler Wentworth, and I was hooked. I realized how much easier a taller doll would be to design and create outfits for. 

During my grade school years, young ladies were taught sewing and cooking in Home Economics Class. I remember the first piece of clothing I was taught to sew was a yellow skirt with a waistband. The garment construction was intended to teach the class how to fit and alter a pattern, sew a straight seam, and insert a zipper.  

I continued to sew outfits for myself to be worn casually, formally, or for work. Two courses I studied were “Pattern Alterations” and “Creating Garments for Yourself” I also took the time to study pattern making, fabrics, and sewing techniques. Clothing for school and activities were meticulously made by my mother for my sister and I during our growing up years. My Mom still sews to this day and we often discuss our shared hobby.  When I create for the taller fashion dolls, I apply all the sewing experience I have learned over the years.

A large influence for me initially was the beautiful outfits that the fashion dolls had. From Barbie, Gene, Tyler, Cissy and many more, these fashion models have the most gorgeous, detailed clothing in miniature.

Today I enjoy looking at the outfits worn by present and past fashion icons, also garments worn by celebrities on the award programs. Happenings for CDS, and challenges on doll groups; spark my interest to create something appropriate for the theme. My inspiration also comes from the beautiful fabrics I have accumulated over the years, and how I can transform them into one of a kind creations.

My advice to anyone who wants to make clothing for fashion dolls would be, “Go for it, you will never know what you can create until you try it. Keep in mind, even what you may think is a failure is still a learning experience.”

I recently purchased a Vintage Cissy so right now I have been researching her extensive and beautiful wardrobe.  She has become my current interest to design clothing for. I am also continuing to create outfits for Ellowyne and other fashion dolls. Hobbies I enjoy are sewing, crocheting, knitting, needlework and cross stitch.

And then it was time for me to bid Denise adieu, and that's all for this time my lovelies!  
Be sure you stay on top of all the latest CDS Happenings by becoming a follower of this blog or a member of our FTK ListAdieu to you, too!!