On the eve of Gene's swan song I dressed two of my (very few) ladies in fashions I recently acquired. They are waiting to be photographed and I visualized them looking over their shoulders as they retreated from the front of the stage on the last night of their performance.
Five nights from tonight I will have begun to attend my first and last Gene Marshall convention. There, amongst the 400 or so attendees, I may be in the minority. I have not been a "real" Gene collector. I was aware of Gene, of course, during her Ashton-Drake years but never veered away from my Tonner collections until getting involved with Integrity Toys' product. I had purchased a basic Gene and a dressed Gene and that was it.Simply Gene
Perfect Match Gene with Tiny Kitty
The first few fashions I purchased disappointed me because they did not always fit Tyler. Obviously I knew very little about that line. But I did buy the wonderful furniture and accessories like the gazebo and the the patio set. I purchased the dresser and the swan bed and the clothing rack with wooden hangers and room dividers. Fabulous items every one of them.
Tyler Wearing "A Shorts Story" Gene Outfit
The second or third time Integrity Toys held an event at FAO Schwarz in NYC was the first time I met Mel Odom. (It's all been a wild blur since then. ;-)) Gene had been picked up by IT and the line was on display at the store. I had not begun my second round with the 16" dolls yet. That Gene was "Suited To A T. " The doll reminded me so much of my mother when she was young. At the time, Mom was in the final stages of Alzheimer's Disease. That was February. I couldn't get the doll out of my mind and decided to ask my husband to get her for me as a holiday gift that December, which he did. My mother died that month. I photographed that doll endlessly and began buying Gene fashions which led to buying Gene dolls which led to more and more. I bought Ashton-Drake Gene and IT Gene dolls and fashions and had a ball. I discovered another huge group of collectors who were so very different from the Fashion Royalty crowd.