3/27/2010

Dollz in Oz Event Doll is a Fashion Royalty Agnes

Some of you may know that Agnes is not my favorite character due to the fact that she sports a serious scowl all the time. I'm not a fan of misery so why should my dolls look miserable? Lately, Agnes is looking a little happier and this Agnes looks downright non-committal. Actually I think she looks beautiful. She's been named "Regal Estate" Agnes. At first I thought it said Real Estate and I can picture her as a real estate agent. The suit reminds me of that from the 2009 Agnes Optic Verve Giftset below on the right (or the 2nd down depending on your monitor.) A little too much of a coincidence perhaps?

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The companion doll (an optional purchase) was a Monogram Doll called Magnetism. All I can say about this one is that the photographer did a fabulous job. The lighting and posing are excellent. The sculpt was screened with a closed mouth. The wig appears to be the 'default' low pony tail style with a side sweep of forehead covering hair. Or perhaps it is rolled under into a fancy bun. I can't tell. I like the frosted gold eyeshadow. Below on the right (or the 2nd down) is Dania Zarr in Optic Clash from the 2009 FR convention. It looks like there's a game of "Monkey See; Monkey Do" going on here. If a movie star wore any one of these gowns to a red carpet event, she'd be on the worst dressed list pretty fast.




Mattel's Silkstone Barbie "Stunning in the Spotlight"
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Pink and black and mermaid gowns are so yesterday. Tonner came up with modern and classy uses of pink and black in the first two outfits below created for Antoinette. The third, created for Tyler, works with the fabric to create interest.



3/25/2010

Review of Monogram Dolls "Enigmatic" and "Dreamscape"

Of the four Monogram dolls that were offered this season, Enigmatic was the first I picked. I was so happy to be getting her. She arrived recently along with Dreamscape, a doll that I had doubts about. I got two surprises.
Both dolls are non-rooted and both were $150. each.
Both were packaged in the fancy, glossy red boxes with the Jackson Pollack-type design on the front and a brass clippy thing. Can we get a discount if we don't want an big brass clippy-thing?

But I digress.

This is the first Monogram doll to have closed mouth screening although the sculpt is the same as all the other versions. The screening is very nice and she is lovely. Her skin color is quite pale...Queen V pale. Her wig is the default wig style - parted with a low pony tail in red. It fits very well.

I eagerly removed Enigmatic from her box only to find that I could not straighten her legs side by side due to the tightness of the skirt part of the dress. I moved them this way and that and no luck. No wonder she's shown in a walking stance in the promo pictures. I'm betting that every single dress on every single doll is tight. There is no way a stand is getting in between her thighs. The hat is a felt bendable headband type and since I love hats on my dolls, it stays.

The jacket fabric does not have any life. Fur is shiny; this fabric is dull. I'm sorry to say that this looks more like a plushy polar fleece than faux fur. Disappointing.

The shoes are beautiful. They are lined with a leopard print which matches the leopard panties she's wearing. I love that. The shoes are rather roomy which is good if the doll is wearing stockings. They slip on but could fall off without stockings. Her jewelry consists of a clustery beaded necklace and dark yellow rhinestone studs. I didn't bother to take the gloves out of their package. I don't like paper flowers attached to dresses. Ashton-Drake did that very often with Gene outfits and for me it ruins the outfit. Come on...there are plenty of tiny fabric rosettes out there. Who needs a stiff paper rose sewn to the back of a dress?

I wanted to love this doll. I don't spend $150 on a doll plus shipping just to write a critical review and I am very disappointed. Where is the quality control? Didn't anyone try to stand the doll up using the provided stand?


On the other hand, Dreamscape is lovely. Her screening is softer-looking and the gown, which I thought was odd at first, is well-made, properly fitted and very interesting. The points can be worn as points and can also be pushed in to form curved indents. The rosette on her shoulder is fabric and beautifully made. The ruching of the gown bodice is perfection.

Her shoes are black with teensy satin straps and they fit very well. Jewelry consists of pewter colored metal earrings with stones and a cuff bracelet.

Her own brunette wig fits well but will need some styling. The wig I have her wearing is a KIO wig from My Favourite Doll in Toronto, Canada. It, too, needed a great deal of styling and tweaking. The fibers are somewhat stiffer and thicker than saran hair fibers but the wig has possibilities. The part of the image showing the wig was Photoshopped to remove lots of fly-aways that I couldn't tame.

I love the hat which is netted and just what the outfit needs to complete the look. Hat pins in a proper scale would have shown attention to detail and a little evening bag would have been wonderful.
Dreamscape is a winner in every way. Is she worth $150.? If she brings me pleasure and everything fits and looks beautiful, then the answer is yes.

Sometimes a doll just takes time to grow on me.

Sometimes the wig and outfit are all wrong right off the bat and the doll is not appreciated. Look at this example of an Avantguard known as "Attention." In the photo on the left she is wearing the outfit in which she arrived.
In the second, I have changed her wig and outfit and she just pops. I love the transformation.




Most of the Tonner "Antoinette" fashions fit the Avantguard dolls. Attention is wearing an outfit called "Brilliant" (dress and hosiery) shoes from another Antoinette fashion and jewelry by Beverly Shahab. Her wig is from the AG doll Eclectic.

Always on the lookout for props and supports for the dolls, I'm getting a lot of use from the wire dress stand that I purchased recently at Michael's.

3/22/2010

Flickr Group "Lady GaGa Dolls"

Girls and boys...hurry on over to this Flickr group to see the best and amazing pictures of Lady Gaga dolls. You will be amazed!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/veik11/

The artist is veik11. I don't know him yet but I will!

3/21/2010

Private Goddess Natalia vs. Pale Fire Vanessa

I previously commented on the fashion that PG Natalia is shown dressed in and how poorly the draping appears. While it is certainly possible that the photographer could have rearranged the folds to look better, I have the feeling that it just doesn't work as a high fashion gown anyway.
I looked back to see other ballgowns in the Fashion Royalty line and came up with the Pale Fire Vanessa doll.
On several levels the PG Natalia pales in comparison - no pun intended. Pale Fire was part of the 2007 Cult Couture line available from FR dealers. She was an edition of 1000 and was the most expensive doll of the five issued at $159.00. The bodice of the gown had a corset-like construction and the skirt was crafted from a high quality, moderate sheen fabric. There are actually two skirts with the top layer lined in the same color as the full bottom skirt. The drapes and folds were voluminous and did not need to be arranged to look right. Her jewelry is still sought after by collectors. It was an intricate collection of woven beads with hair ornaments, neckpiece, earrings and bracelet. Collectors had been clamoring for more jewelry and this was the answer. The entire line that year had excellent jewelry, beautifully crafted fashions with terrific handbags and shoes. There was no fried, frizzy hair either. It was to be the last superbly dressed and coiffed Vanessa - not counting the convention dolls which were to follow. There have been eleven Vanessas since then and not one regular line issue has been anywhere near Pale Fire.__________________
In Bloom - W Club Doll - 2007
Going Places* - The Royal Life Convention Souvenir Doll - 2007
High Tide - Style Du Jour Basic - 2007
Color Therapy* - The Glamorous Collection Premium Spring - 2008
Metal Maven - The Glamorous Collection Basic Spring - 2008
Stirred Not Shaken* - The Heist Convention Centerpiece - 2008
Cruise Control - W Club Doll - 2008
Night Warrior* - Dolly Style Convention Souvenir Doll - 2009
Aerodynamic - Future Perfect Collection Spring - 2009
Luxe Life* - Iconic Convention Collection - 2009
Temptation - The Dazzle Collection - Basic Doll - 2010
________________

I put stars next to the dolls that appear to have been designed and constructed on a higher fashion level. Metal Maven and the other basics are just that - basics. One doesn't expect that much in terms of fashion.
I focus so much on Vanessa because she has been my muse. Once I couldn't wait to see the next Vanessa. Now I tremble in fearful anticipation. But I have gone off the subject of this post.
I'm not pleased with the direction of the premium dolls. I do not think that the Monogram dolls can ever take the place of Fashion Royalty although that is apparently where they are going. All the talent (Jason's ?) goes into designing their clothes. But then what about the Monogram Brilliance outfit? I think that if the construction error on the front of the jacket hadn't happened.....

I can understand that Jason's interests lie elsewhere and I applaud his success. But he was the design talent of Integrity and Fashion Royalty. Now what?

DOTY Award Winner - Tonner's Vivacious Antoinette

I really didn't need another Antoinette doll; I just wanted her fashion. But a dealer made me an offer I couldn't refuse and here she is.The description on the Tonner site says, "capacious organza tiered gown with radiant beaded accent and sleek opera gloves. Matching beaded earrings, pantyhose and faux leather high-heeled shoes."

The gown goes on like a coat with interior snaps for closure. It is fairly unstructured and the possibilities for fitting other dolls is excellent. Gloves are well-fitted mittens. They're all like that. I liked Tonner's use of more sheer fabric for other gloves he's designed. These aren't bad but they could be more defined with a lighter material. The earrings are a style-less cluster of mediocre beads sewn together with black thread. Tonner's jewelry is rarely worth a second glance. The shoes are well designed and fit nicely.

Let's talk about her hair, shall we? The promotional picture shows a spritz of bangs in the center of her forehead. For that reason alone I was surprised that she won a DOTY. Using a silicone wig spray I was able to style the bangs in a more pleasing fashion. The bangs get my WWTT award.
Now I have another beautiful doll in another gorgeous gown that will be probably be selling for half the retail price in a few months.
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Cami had a little photo shoot today. She is wearing my reworked convention Antoinette gown and jewelry by Joy.

Picture of the Week Award ~ March 21, 2010

I came across this picture on the W Club board and I thought it was so well done that it deserved to be featured this week. The photographer is Parisuthi Wasanasomsithi aka Paris W. The theme of the photo was the result of a challenge in a Flickr group called "Mad Men's Season Finale Wrap Party."

I sent several questions to Paris. Here are her responses:

Describe the photo.
- It was the final challenge for the "Fashion Royalty International Jetset Diva" contest on that Flickr group. The challenge is "Mad Men's season finale wrap party".
Explain how you did it briefly.
- Found this portrait of Don Draper that I thought I could work with (he's alone in the pic). - Then took a pic of my Diva (I chose Mini Livewire for this contest). - Then took a pic of Agnes with tissue in her hand. - Combined those three in Photoshop. Made them Duotone mode and added background and other elements (sparkles, wine glass, cigarette smoke, etc.)
Did you make changes to the original doll?
- Adding a running mascara on Agnes in Photoshop only.
What is she/he wearing? Wig?
- Mini Livewire is wearing "Kelly Girl" by Randall Craig, with jewelry from "Mon Cheri" by Dressmaker Details, and wig from Vero's Urban Antoinette. - Agnes is wearing "Together Again" by Randall Craig. Setting?
- I took pics of them with just plain white background and combined them all in a Photoshop.
Camera equipment and set-up used?
- Canon Ixus 80 IS and a table lamp. I don't have a studio/fancy equipments so have to make do with what I got.
Suggestions to other doll photographers?
- Mmmmm I'd say find your strength, work with what you got, and follow your imagination...
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The images were combined seamlessly into one photo. I'd say that Paris has definitely found her strength!

If you would like to see more of her work, click here for her Flickr photostream.

Congratulations, Paris, on the Picture of the Week Award!