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Pastel Fiorella

I just had to rip those black bows off.  I adore the face paint on this one but the black bows, dress and knee socks had to go to another doll.

Model:  Fiorella™ Barbie® Doll

Dress:  Bellissima Couture

Hat:  by the fabulous Judy O of Aponi Designs

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About these ads

The WClub Announces their First Exclusive

to members…..VICTOIRE ROUX™!

Victoire header

La Grande Seduction (The Great Seduction)
Victoire Roux™ Dressed Doll
2014 W Club Exclusive
Limited Edition Size:  TBA
Estimated Shipping Date: Approximately Late Summer 2014

Doll Tech Specs:
Scale: 12-inch / 1:6
Head Sculpt: Victoire Roux
Body Sculpt: Integrity / Victoire Roux
Skin Tone: FR White
Hair: Deep Brunette
Quick Switch Feature: No
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-Applied

La Grande Seduction Victoire 2


La Grande Seduction Victoire 4


La Grande Seduction Victoire 3


La Grande Seduction Victoire 6


La Grande Seduction Victoire 5


I am not feeling the dress.  It’s different but it feels kind of clumpy on her.  Also, I am a lover of updo’s…you all know this…but I am feeling a little “updo fatigue” with this one.  Her face is beautiful and I love the raven hair.  I am not sold on the lip color yet but I think it is workable.  I really like the jewelry.  Has anyone “easily” gotten that hair comb thingy to work yet?  If so share how you did it.  Enquiring minds would love to know.   I am still going to order but I think she will be redressed fairly quickly.

WClub members have until Monday,April 14th at noon EST to order.

Unexcused Absence…

I have been tardy from the blog and I admit it.  There are good reasons for it , I promise.  For the past three weeks, I have been busy prototyping some items that I am hoping to sell at Barbie convention and through the blog (Etsy shop still being set up) as well.   While I can’t show many of the items yet, they are all in stages of doneness in my laundry room…I offer up some sneak peeks at the end of this post.  In the meantime, I decided to put Miss Poppy in the window for a photoshoot inspired by the beautiful spring green color that is popping up(LOL! pun intended) all around the Pacific Northwest right now.  Spring has sprung in the garden…and in the studio as well.

Model:  I Love How You Love Me Poppy Parker

Dress:  Bogue’s Vouges (




Here are a few sneaks of what I am working on….








The piece above was repainted by a very talented artist I am proud to call a friend.  There will be more about her and her work in a future post.


It’s ITBE time for the WClub

If you are an Integrity Toys’ Basic Edition fan and a WClub member,  you are a happy camper right now.  Hopefully you are a lucky happy camper.  Integrity  announced a quartet of new additions to the ITBE line and they will be available only to the WClub members.  They will also be available via lottery only.  I have not wandered into the ITBE tidal pool….yet.  This time I may have to dip my toe in for one

Ok WClub members, you have until  Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 Noon ET (New York Time) to enter the lottery for these.

Second Skin
Basic Edition Dressed Doll
IT Direct Exclusive
Limited Edition of 300 Dolls
Suggested Retail Price: $75.00 USD
Estimated Ship Date: Once "right to buy" lottery ends (in-stock March 2014)

Body Type: Old FR Body with Larger Bust
Head Sculpt: Vanessa 1.0
Quick Switch Feature: No
Skin Tone: A-Tone
Hair Color: Deep Brunette
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-Applied

ITBE Second Skin


Morning Dove
Basic Edition Dressed Doll
IT Direct Exclusive
Limited Edition of 300 Dolls
Suggested Retail Price: $75.00 USD
Estimated Ship Date: Once "right to buy" lottery ends (in-stock March 2014)

Body Type: Old FR Body with Larger Bust
Head Sculpt: Kyori 1.0
Quick Switch Feature: No
Skin Tone: FR Black
Hair Color: Raven
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-Applied

ITBE Morning Dove


Red Strike
Basic Edition Dressed Doll
IT Direct Exclusive
Limited Edition of 300 Dolls
Suggested Retail Price: $75.00 USD
Estimated Ship Date: Once "right to buy" lottery ends (in-stock March 2014)

Body Type: FR Monogram
Head Sculpt: Janay
Quick Switch Feature: No
Skin Tone: Miami
Hair Color: Shimmering Blond
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-Applied

ITBE Red Strike


Night Strike
Basic Edition Dressed Doll
IT Direct Exclusive
Limited Edition of 300 Dolls
Suggested Retail Price: $75.00 USD
Estimated Ship Date: Once "right to buy" lottery ends (in-stock March 2014) 

Body Type: FR Monogram
Head Sculpt: FR Monogram
Quick Switch Feature: No
Skin Tone: FR White
Hair Color: Silver
Eyelashes: Yes

ITBE Night Strike


What can I say…I am a sucker for the monograms.  Even though Integrity has retired this line, it is great to see them pop up in another iteration from time to time.  Thank you Integrity Toys!

You’ve Got a Friend

I have a friend who is going through a hard time right now.  I always say that one of if not the most amazing things about the collecting community is its strength and ability to support its members.  This friend is a doll collector and in the midst of the gauntlet she is walking right now, she still thought of others and helped out a few collector friends this week.  Her grace and strength humbles me.  My friend…this one is for you.

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Models:  Fascination Monogram, Breathless Veronique FR2,Sweet Smell of Success Veronique FR

Gowns:  Illumination Monogram, Fine Romance Eugenia FR, Dressmaker Details After the Ball

Set:  Suzy Goose Piano

Flame brush: 


Time for a Spring Fling…

…with Poppy Parker.  As the light gets better in the Pacific Northwest of the US, it is imperative to take advantage of it.  We had a few sun rays the other day so I had to grab my camera and a few models ready to show off some spring colors.

Model:  Sweet in Switzerland Poppy Parker

Shirt, Skirt, belt and shoes:  Fashion Royalty Spring Forward Eugenia

Hat:  Barbie Basics hat that I refashioned into something completely different.  {You have to imagine John Cleese saying that}.

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Quick behind the scenes look

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The 2014 Academy Awards!

Technically these should be the 2013 Oscars right?…I mean…these awards are for movies released in 2013.  This always confuses me.  I have to say that some of my favorite moments of last night’s show were not the fashions.  Some of my favorite moments were a few of the heart felt and well delivered acceptance speeches that we were treated to ( without annoying music cutting them off I might add…my thanks to the academy).   Not only did these actors express their gratitude but many of them touched on personal and social issues that made what could have been a trite and generalized speech into a tribute to others and a call to action on a few social issues.  It was really lovely to hear and see.

Now…on to other things that were lovely to see…and perhaps a few that were not.

The Best dressed actress on the red carpet goes to….Charlize Theron in Dior

HP-2014-Charlize Theron-Dior


This was “hands down” my absolute favorite.  Glamours, chic, elegant…I could go on and on.  She owned the red carpet in this amazing and what appears to be custom Christian Dior gown.

Honorable mentions for the evening:

Here was another beauty in black.  Karen O’ in Camilla Staerk

HP-2014-Karen O-Camilla Staerk


Jenna Dewan-Tatum in Reem Acra

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Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace.  Loved, loved, loved this look on her.



Amy Adams in Gucci Couture



Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen.  Adored this look on her.  She looked regal.



Jennifer Lawrence in Dior…and notably…one of the very few to wear red on the red carpet.



And….my favorite not seen on the red carpet but at the Oscars dress…Sally Fields in Randi Rahm.  Talk about grace personified.  Beautiful!!


There were many gowns that I adored last night.  There were also a few looks that left me wanting…and sadly they were on some ladies whom have stunned in the past on the red carpet.

Anna Kendrick in J Mendel.  The mesh cumber bund with beaded red stars…that was the kiss of death on this number.  You know there is a problem when people are saying the back of the gown is way more interesting than the front.

msn-2014-Anna Kendrick-designer


Viola Davis in Escada.  The fit was off on this one.  Not her best look.



It pains me to say this but…Anne Hatheway in Gucci.  I can only imagine the screams that curdled the air in the control booth when she stepped out on the stage to give an award.  The mirrors on the front of her dress caught every single light and reflected it back…into the audience…into the cameras…into  homes all over the planet.  I am still seeing stars.

HP-2014-Anne Hathaway-Gucci


Kate Blanchett in Armani Privé.  I liked the design alright but the color just washed her out.  I adored her acceptance speech for the best actress win though.  Strong female leads in film sells tickets Hollywood…hear it, learn it….live it.



Naomi Watts in Calvin Klein.  This one really surprised me.  Naomi Watts is one of my “go to” people on the red carpet.  She almost NEVER appears on the red carpet in anything other than stunning.  Last nights efforts, while not horrible, just left me kind of “meh”.  It was too much of a one note for me. 



Jessica Biel in Chanel Couture.  I do not feel this dress did ANYTHING for her.  When pressed, the only compliment I can give this gown is to say “ well…it was beaded”  In the words of the indomitable Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada “That is all”.


And….I know I will get all kinds of disagreement on this one…Lupita Nyong’o in Prada.  I adored this color on her and the whole flowing Grecian look.  I just could not get past my first impression of her and my exclamation of  “It’s Cinderella!”  The headband had to go if I was ever going to get Cinderella out of my head.  Bippity, boppity boo.



All in all not a bad turnout for fashion on the red carpet last night and also of historic significance…the selfie that shut down twitter last night from Ellen DeGeneres.



Presenting at the Oscars

I love watching the Oscars.  Well…mostly I just like watching the red carpet and posting my picks and pans after.  Last year I had a lot of fun and success with my “Getting ready for the Oscars” photo.  See all the information about this photo here.


Mattel had just released this new wardrobe piece and I was anxious to use it.  In my head, Barbie was getting ready to go to the Oscars as a possible recipient.  Because she was one of the contenders for the gold statue, she needed to be in a drop dead gown.  The story continued in my head that she went on to win the Oscar.  That means that this year, she will be presenting the Oscar for the award she won last year. 

Model:  Barbie Basics®Model No. 01 — Collection 001

Gown:  Miniature Couture by Mary

Jewelry:  Fashion Royalty Monogram Completist accessory pack

Diorama:  Wall panel was made my me.  More info here.  Clock was found in Paris and the beautifully painted bombé chest will be featured in a future blog post.  More info coming.  Floral arrangements in golden urns were made by me.








Now…I am really ready for the Oscars.   Fashion review should be up on Monday.

A Wonderful Evening

Evening in Montreal Victoire has arrived and she is a stunner!  I knew I was going to love this lady by her promo shots.  The actual doll does not disappoint.  I shared some quick shots of this lady on my Flickr account but managed to take some better shots yesterday in the sunshine. 







I adore this magnetic pin!  It makes it sooo much easier to place AND no chance that it will leave a hole in delicate fabric.  Smart choice Integrity!

The Hollywood Issue

I am a subscriber to Vanity Fair.  Every year, before the Oscar’s, they have an issue called “The Hollywood Issue”.   I am always impressed with the cover photography of these issues and never fail to feel inspired after viewing it.  Last year, I was inspired to do my own cover and this is what I ended up with.

Vanity Fair Collage 3 copy

This year, I was inspired to try another one and Integrity Toys’ newly revamped Fashion Royalty products were my muses. 

12152013 Vanity Fair shoot_edited-wordswmsized

Models:  “Evermore” Vanessa in her original outfit, Workshop Elise in Mattel Hervé Léger by Max Azria, “Bellissima” Natalia in her original outfit, “After Tonight” Eugenia in Mattel “Hollywood Cast Party”, “Baby It’s You” Chip, “Black Orchid” Vanessa in Bellissima Couture gown and Jakki Peters hat.

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Now…are we all set for the Oscar’s?  I think so.  Smile

Evening in Montreal Victoire

I have to admit, I am a bit behind on reporting Integrity Toys(IT) news for the first part of this year.   A few weeks ago, The WClub announced a new IT direct lottery for the popular character Victoire Roux.

Evening in Montreal
Victoire Roux™ Dressed Doll
IT Direct Exclusive
Limited Edition of 600 Dolls

Body Type: IT/Victoire
Head Sculpt: Victoire Roux™
Quick Switch Feature: No
Skin Tone: FR White
Hair Color: Platinum
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-applied





The Lottery was held today and I believe most all who wanted a chance to purchase her in the WClub were able to get her.  It is really nice when that happens.  It means IT is accurately gauging the demand of a product and providing an adequate supply.  Everybody walks away happy.  When I first saw this lady, I thought “ Oh man….not another black cocktail gown!.”  She is ,in fact, wearing chocolate brown.  That makes her more interesting.  Mostly, however, I like the facial screening with the platinum updo.  I was hoping to win the chance to purchase and am a happy camper with my fellow WClub members who  are all celebrating our chance to purchase her.  She is due to hit peoples doorsteps as early as next week.  Smile

New 2014 Silkstone Barbie Sneak!

Pictures are starting to show up on retail sites without the watermark so I can finally show them here.  As I hinted at in my last post, another of the Silkstone offerings for this year is, I believe, inspired by a look strait off the D&G runway.

Dolce and Gabbana 2012 Fall RTW

Dolce and Gabbana 2012 Fall RTW


Here name is Dulcissima and she is due out later in 2014.  I have heard many different price points for this one.  The average guesses put her around $75.  Mattel does not have her formally listed on their site yet so until they do, we won’t know for sure.  She is designed by Robert Best and the name means “sweet” in Latin.

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Ducissima 3

Ducissima 4

Ducissima 5

Ducissima 7

Ducissima 8


Dulcissima e Bellisima….sweet and beautiful.  I like the look of this one better than Fiorella.  Come on….the boots alone are worth a second look.  SmileMany Silkstone collectors are thinking this one will display nicely next to the Russian collection, Alexander McQueen inspired Darya.  I agree with them.  These two will display very nicely next to eachother.

Ducissima 2T7675_0_0

BFC also gifted collectors with a spotlight video about the first installment in the Alta Moda inspired Silkstone collection this year.  The set is sublime and the video is adorable.  Nice work Lars and Zlatan!! 

Sneaks for 2014!

Finally Mattel ( or apparently Mattel marketing) has given us a look at upcoming dolls from 2014.  A number of items were sneaked to the BFC members a couple of days ago.  Here are the public images ready for our greedy collector consumption.

It’s a Girl Barbie® Doll

Designed by: Bill Greening
Release Date: 2/13/2014

Retailing for $29.95


It's a Girl Barbie

It's a Girl Barbie 2

It's a Girl Barbie 3

Adorable right?!!  Shug…if it’s a girl…I am sending you one of these Smile 


The Wizard of Oz™ Fantasy Glamour Wicked Witch of the West™ Doll

Designed by: Linda Kyaw
Release Date: 2/13/2014

Retailing for $100.00

Direct Exclusive from

Fantasy Glamour Wicked Witch of the West

Fantasy Glamour Wicked Witch of the West 3Fantasy Glamour Wicked Witch of the West 4


Wow!!  I thought WOZ dolls were totally overdone…until I saw this one.  Linda, I salute you.  She is a beauty!

Bob Mackie® Princess Stargazer™ Barbie® Doll

Designed by: Robert Best
Release Date: 2/13/2014

Retailing for $100.00

Directly Exclusive from

Bob Macke Princess Stargazer 1

Bob Macke Princess Stargazer 2

Bob Macke Princess Stargazer 4


Ummm…..I could be diplomatic and say this doll is unique.  I have to be honest though and say this doll creeps me out.  No disrespect to the amazing talents of Robert Best but…I find nothing  compelling about this doll.  No stargazing for this collector.

Zuhair Murad Barbie® Doll

Designed by: Linda Kyaw
Release Date: 2/13/2014

Retailing for $75.00

Zuhair Murad Barbie


Zuhair Murad Barbie 1

Zuhair Murad Barbie 2


Well Linda, you have given us another home run!  I adore this doll.  I love the gown, the facial screening and the elegant updo.  She will be joining the collection for sure.  Thanks to the super sleuthing of fellow blogger Rogier of Dutch Barbie World, we have the inspiration for this fashion

Zuhair Murad Spring Summer Couture 2012

2012 Spring Summer Couture Zuhair Murad


And last but not least….we have a look at the Alta Moda theme for this years BFMC Silkstone line.

Fiorella™ Barbie Doll

Designed by: Robert Best
Release Date: 2/13/2014

Retailing for $50.00

Fiorella 1

Fiorella 4


Fiorella 3


It pains me to say this but…I am not a fan.  First of all, I don’t care for this particular facial screening.  I think it is the big spiky bottom lashes.  Secondly, the black bows have GOT to go.  Are we going for the school girl look with the knee socks and hair bows?  Thirdly, I am not a big fan of large floral jewelry.  As a rule, I am not a big floral person period so perhaps that is what is coloring my whole dislike of this look. I have to say though that the $50 price tag is very reasonable for a dressed Silkstone.  Thanks again to our super fashion sleuth Rogier, we perhaps have a look into the inspiration for this look.

Dolce and Gabbana 2012 Fall RTW

Dolce and Gabbana 2012 Fall RTW 2


BFC members were also given a sneak of the second Silkstone in the 2014 lineup but those photos are not yet public.  The look however is taken almost directly from this same D&G fashion show above.  I confess, when Robert Best announced that the 2014 Silkstone theme was going to be Alta Moda, my mind went to the beautiful couture of Eliza Schiaparelli or vintage Valentino so I was eagerly anticipating something like these

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I am thinking….we are not going to see that.  {Rebecca heaves a big sign of sadness}.  I seriously would die if that pink striped number were produced.

Barbie is in Sports Illustrated

…for their annual swimsuit issue.  The “body image” talk is already starting.  I have a question for people claiming that impressionable young girls are getting a bad body image from this doll.  If girls are getting their body image from a toy….aren’t there bigger issues involved here?  Should we blame the toy for that?  I liked to play with GI Joe when I was younger too.  Did that give me a tuff guy body image?  Did I think I could become the next Jean Claude Van Damme?  I am just asking. 

Obviously, I don’t belong to the camp that believes Barbie is the root of these so called “ body issues”.  I played with Barbie, my nieces played with Barbie, my daughter played with Barbie…not a bad body image displayed in any one of them.  As far as I can tell, they are happy, well adjusted , successful, articulate and confident young woman.  I am not judging or invalidating anyone’s point of view here.  I am simply adding my data points to this issue. 


Body issues aside, the folks at Sports Illustrated and Mattel have teamed up for what looks to be a fun SI issue.  Here are a few stills.


source:  Sports Illustrated


source:  Mattel


source: Sports Illustrated

There is also an adorable video of the behind the scenes with veteran SI photographer Walter Loos.  I had to watch it a few times just to drool over all the equipment.  You have to give this guy credit…he was a really good sport about it.

If you like this doll, you can order her from target here

Cupid’s Kisses has Arrived…

…And her hair is the big story.  I won’t lie to you folks…it’s a bit of a fixer upper.   Let me start by saying, her box is cute.  It is streamlined and classic.  I like it.


Here is Ms. C.Kisses in her box.  Pardon the crappy cell phone pictures…they were all I could manage whens she arrived.



And here was mine and pretty much everyone else’s question….where is the cute little curl that goes on her forehead??  Here is the promo shot



No need to panic folks.  The curl is just have to coax it down a bit. 

She comes with some adorable accessories

The dress is adequate though I have to be honest…I did not buy her for this dress.  I have other fashions in mind for her.  It is not Silkstone quality but it works well on her.  There is a Velcro closure in the back so there is some room to make the fit better if it isn’t working on your doll.  I think the velvet embossing on the dress is cute and appears to be applied correctly.  The hair though…was some work.  The ponytail does not have a hard curl at the end .  Therein lies part of the problem.   Mine came out of the box looking  a bit like someone took a pair of scissors to the end of the ponytail.  I will put a better curl in it when I have some time to hard set it.  For now, I am content with getting the curl to come down on her forehead.  Want to see how I did it?  I figured….so I included pictures


The handy dandy pin trick!  I keep these small silk or applique pins in my deboxing kit.  They can solve a whole manner of hat and hair dilemmas. 

Push the curl down on the forehead to where you would like it.  Hold it down and insert a pin.  Make sure you are putting the pin into hair and not into the dolls forehead ( that would be bad…especially if you want to move the hair off the forehead later…you would have a lobotomy scar to deal with and nobody wants that LOL).  You can try weaving the pin in and out a little so it is catching different pieces of hair as it goes in.  It will hold better this way.  Be gentle with handling the hair on this one.  It gets messy very easily so don’t overwork it.

Push the pin in.  On a vinyl head it is so easy.  You can do it with your finger.  DON’T try this on a Silkstone.  You will end up with a hole in your finger {ouch!}.  You need a thimble for Silkstone heads.

You can leave it like this if you want.  You can barely see the pin unless you are looking straight down at the curl.  I photograph from different angles and since I try to avoid photoshopping when I can, I just ever so slightly move the hair over the pin so it is invisible.


Easy peasy right?!

2014 Golden Globes: Red Returns to the Red Carpet

It’s January folks and that means…awards season beginning!  This year things will be a little more protracted because the winter Olympics will be sandwiched in between awards ceremonies.  I am not a huge fan of the award shows myself but I am a huge fan of the fashion shows they create on the red carpets for these things.  This year will be no exception. 

As my title would indicate, red was a favorite this year on the Red Carpet.  Many stylists will tell you this is a tricky color to dress their clients in because there are so many different shades and each one can potentially clash with the red carpet itself.  Wearing red on a red carpet….risky.  Apparently there were many willing to take the risk.  For the most part, they gambled and won.


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Lupita Nyong’o in Ralph Lauren.  STUNNING!  This was my favorite look of the night.  She wore this beautifully and paired it with simple elegant jewelry.  Beyond gorgeous in my opinion.


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Amy Adams in Valentino Haute Couture.  While I love her hair and love the fact that she channeled her 1970’s American Hustle character for this look, it was not my favorite.  I love to see Amy Adams as sweet and pure on the red carpet.  Here she just looked hard and cold.


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Taylor Swift in Carolina Herrera.  Gold star to Taylor’s stylist…AGAIN.  This gown screams red carpet in my opinion and she chose a wonderful updo with simple jewelry for a soft classic look.

Carolina Herrera 2014 Pre fall

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Emma Watson in Dior MSN

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Emma Watson in Dior Couture.  When I saw this fashion from the front I was not impressed…I felt it was just a little dowdy for Miss fashion forward Watson.  Then she turned around.  Whooo!  Love the back and she had a pair of black crop pants with navy blue strappy pumps.  Chic and edgy.  LOVE!

Red may have been a favorite but black was also in elegant attendance.



Kate Blanchett in Armani Privé and Chopard jewels.  This was my second favorite look of the evening.  So classic and elegent.  A winner for fashion and a winner of the award for best drama actress.


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Jessica Chastain in Givenchy Haute Couture with Bulgari jewelry.  Stunning design and she pairs it with simple hair and classic makeup.  Another wining look on the red carpet for her.


Sofia Vergara in Zac Posen with Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.  This is not my favorite look on Ms. Vergara.  It just feels too big for her.  I do,however, adore the necklace she pared with this real estate swallowing gown. It was a beautiful pop of color amongst the sea of black.

Zac Posen 2014 Pre Fall

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Emma Roberts  in Lanvin.  Loved this gorgeous and elegant look on her.  It also looks like her stylist took a shorter look from the Lanvin 2014 spring RTW line and made a longer dress out of it.  Winner!

Lanvin 2014 Spring RTW

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For the most part, the fashions satisfied and exceeded expectations last night.  There were a few less than stellar moments though.  I wish I could take credit for the title of this next segment but alas …I cannot.  My husband actually uttered this for one of these fashions and it was so appropriate I had to use it.  Jon, my love, you get the credit.

“She is not wearing that fashion….that fashion is wearing her”

…and not in a good way.

Lena Denham in Zac Posen MSN

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Lena Dunham in Zac Posen.  First of all, lemon yellow on a red carpet spells potential retinal seerage.  Yes, you are definitely noticeable and I am not sure she wanted to be in this.  Also, I ask the question again, “Can you really pull off elegant couture with major tatoos?”  In her case, in this dress, I don’t think so.  This is NOT her color.  Enough said.

Paula Patton in Stephanie Rolland MSN

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Paula Patton in Stephane Rolland.  Ummm…do you guys remember the Queen’s bed skirt that was on Helena Bonham Carter’s dress last award season?  Guess where it ended up.  One word: blindside.  Hope she never had to see anything to her left.  Maybe she just didn’t like the person sitting to her left at the table LOL!  A couture solution to “talk to the hand”…in her case it was “talk to the ruffle.”


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Bérénice Bejo in Giambattista Valli.  I am sure this looked stunning on the 6 foot model who wore  it on the 2013 fall couture runway.  Here it just had me imagining this conversation “Honey, who cut up the red bath matt from the guest bath?”  WAY too many poufy things on this one. 

Sneak Peeks: A Right or a Privilege?

Here we are again folks…about to enter the sticky wicket of debate over Barbie Fan Club (BFC) copyright infringement.

Rant beginning….again.

As we begin a brand new year in the Barbie Fan Club, I want to bring up the issue of sneak peeks.  This is something that is currently being discussed in a few doll forums and I have been talking to fellow collectors and bloggers about it.  Here is the specific issue….we have not seen as many sneak peeks in the last year as in previous years and it is concerning BFC members.  The question is, why the decline?  For those who are not a part of the BFC, and may not be aware of what a “sneak peek” is, let me explain.  A BFC sneak peek is a first look at an upcoming product at Mattel.  These sneak peeks are protected under the rules of the BFC and should not be shared outside of the BFC.  You can recognize these sneak peeks by the huge BARBIE COLLECTOR water mark that runs through the middle of them.  I would show you what I mean but then I would be in violation of that copyright I am talking about.  You can’t miss them though.  If a picture has “Barbie Collector” splashed all over it, IT IS A SNEAK PEEK. 

The rules of the BFC are very, very clear.  When you sign up for the BFC, you agree not to distribute BFC watermarked photos outside the BFC.  This is protected content that people in the BFC have paid extra for.  If you want access to the content,  PAY THE FEE.  Here is where the question of “right vs. privilege” comes in.  It would appear that some members feel that once they pay that fee, they now have the “right” to post these photos wherever they want.  Every time a sneak peek  is released …every time…we see these Barbie Collector watermarked photos show up on Facebook, Pinterest and even on some blogs.  Once it is out there it is like a virus and proliferates.…especially if it shows up on a blog that is viewed by a sizable collector population.  I have a particular problem with bloggers who post these photos.  In my opinion, they are disrespecting the fee-paying, rule-following members of a community they claim to represent.  They are biting the hand that feeds them!  Yes they are providing content but at what price?  They have essentially stolen money from these members by posting images that were intended for members only.  If you are a member of the BFC and are copying and sending these “sneak peek” photos to people outside of the club….STOP!  You are  stealing from your fellow members.  You just reached into the purse of the BFC member next to you and took a buck or two out of their wallet.  Ewwww!

In my mind and that of many others, these sneak peeks are a privilege of membership.  They are a privilege we paid extra money for.  I don’t know about you but I usually like to get the full value out of something I buy.  When these watermarked photos show up outside of the BFC, they devalue the membership and ultimately the club.  Let’s say you just went to a movie and paid the exorbitant $15 bucks they charge for first run movie tickets these days.  Now let’s say someone sits down next to you, pulls out their fantastically enabled camera recording cell phone and proceeds to videotape the entire movie.  You just paid $15 bucks for something many others are going to enjoy for free as soon as rude cell phone recorder gets home and uploads.  It is totally against the law to do this.   Do you report it?  Do you hold that person accountable?  If you just let it go without action, are you not becoming part of the problem?  Not judging…just asking the question.

So…lets get back to the original question….we are not seeing as many sneak peeks.  Why not?  Well, isn’t it conceivable that this is Mattel’s way of dealing with the problem of the sneak peek copyright infringement issue?  They simply won’t release as many or any sneak peeks in advance of product availability.  This could be the direct result of the few who choose, against the rules and the integrity of the club, to post these photos outside of the BFC.  Now all the members who choose to follow the rules and respect the integrity of the club get less because of the actions of a select few.  How do we feel about that?  I don’t know about you but as you have no doubt guessed by now… I feel like I just got royally ripped off. 

So,  if you are a member of the BFC, do you enjoy the privilege of these “sneak peeks” that are a part of your paid membership?  Do you want to try to increase the frequency of, and protect the integrity of, these sneak peeks?  If so, I suggest a call to action.  If you see a watermarked sneak peek on the internet, report it.  Call them out.  Make it public that this is protected content and should not be posted.  When I have done this, I have been told by some of these copyright violators that because I am not a Mattel lawyer, I have no right to tell them what to do.  My response:  ”As a paying member of the club you just ripped off by posting these photos, I have every right to tell you to remove it.”

Okay….rant over.

{And if your guess of how many times I used the phrase “sneak peek” in this post was 16….you get a cookie!}


image source:  wordpress

Jason Wu and Integrity Toys partner with Montaigne Market

Is there any better way to help celebrate Paris Fashion Week?  Nope…I didn’t think so.  This stunning beauty will be available only through the Parisian boutique Montaigne MarketAccording to Integrity Toys, she will have an edition size of 300 and will be up for sale on Montaigne market’s website in early March.  No specific date is given.  Suggested retail is 150 Euro plus shipping and handling.  Montaigne Elise Jolie 1

image source: Integrity Toys, Inc

This one is straight from Jason Wu’s Spring 2014 RTW line

Jason Wu 2014 Spring RTWJason Wu 2014 Spring RTW 2

image source:

Montaigne Elise Jolie 2

image source: Integrity Toys, Inc

Montaigne Elise Jolie 4

image source: Integrity Toys, Inc

Montaigne Elise Jolie 3

image source: Integrity Toys, Inc

Montaigne Elise Jolie 5

image source: Integrity Toys, Inc

Montaigne Elise Jolie 6

image source: Integrity Toys, Inc

I Die!!!  Will be trolling the Montaigne Market website for this one definitely.  See the full article with Jason Wu about this here

Barbie Fan Club Renewal

The Barbie Fan Club will be up for renewal starting today.  If you are currently a member, you can sign up for the new 2014 BFC club starting today.  If you are not currently a member, you can start signing up a week from today on January 15th.  There are approximately 8,000 memberships up for grabs and this club sold out towards the end of last year.

image source in this post:  Mattel, Inc


Here are the some of the perks in the club this year.

  • Up to $80 in Online Shop rewards – $20 per calendar quarter*
  • A Barbie Fan Club card case** – your gift with membership (and sent with free shipping)


  • Quarterly “Designer Videos,” sneak peeks at upcoming releases, downloadable goodies, and access to the exclusive Barbie Bulletin Board
  • First access to audio interviews, collector spotlights, Fun Facts, and looks “behind the glam” with the passionate people on the Barbie® Collector team
  • The opportunity to purchase four (4) Club-exclusive dolls, as announced*** (doll purchase is NOT a requirement of membership)

Here are some of the exclusive doll offerings

A platinum level doll…which means only 999 (my apologies to Jim) of her will be released. 


An adorable Holiday Hostess for the next year.  How cute is this one?!!!


Our first Silkstone sneak peak for the 2014 year.  A very hip and modern interpretation of an elegant tuxedo.  Rogier with Dutch Barbie World put up a photo of the possible inspiration for this one.  I think he absolutely nailed it.  Feel free to have a look here


And lastly, Mattel announced there will be a vintage reproduction gift set out in the  new year.  I wonder what fabulous set Bill Greening will have for us.


You will notice there is no Silkstone Club doll this year nor are there any sneak peaks of any of the Silkstone Barbie dolls for 2014.  By this time in the past, we have at least three Silkstone Barbie sneak peaks for the coming year.  I have my suspicions as to why this is.  Tune in tomorrow for that discussion.

I am kind of slow getting this information out there this year because as of right now…I cant even get onto the Barbie Fan Club site.  I have no idea why and will be spending a lovely time trying to do some long distance tech support with the fabulous folks on Mattel’s IT team.  Goody.

Hello 2014!

Ok, so the craziness is mostly over in our house.  I don’t think I have entertained that much during the holidays in a very, very long time.   Now the daunting task of taking down all the holiday décor is ahead of me.  I did not think about that today though.  Today, I grabbed my trusty point and shoot, one of my favorites from the Fashion Royalty convention and an outfit by a dear friend that I have been wanting to shoot since I got it.

Model:  Interlude Monogram

Suit and hat: Bellissima Couture ( adorable little cameo was added by Hilda too )

Purse:  Re-ment…..yes…it is absolutely true….Re-ment


Fashion Inspiration

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope this year will be full of new and interesting fashion doll news that we can talk about and share here.  Fashion Inspiration is always a fun thing to speculate on when a new set of dolls is released from Mattel or Integrity Toys.  There are some very good fashion sleuths in our collecting community that post possible inspirations for these new and old fashion dolls.  I don’t know if it is the history lover or the fashion lover in me that enjoys this information.  I guess it doesn’t really matter..I just think it is fun to see the possible inspiration that designers at Mattel or IT use to design a particular doll.

My friend Hilda of Bellissima Couture found a fashion and posted it on Pinterest the other day.  It was a dress by Jason Wu and I instantly recognized it.  It was a gown I had seen on a Fashion Royalty doll.  It was not surprising…given that Jason Wu designed the doll for Integrity Toys. 

Spectacular Fashion Inspirationwm_edited-1

Typically,  a doll is released and  I love to look  back in history at fashion shows of popular designers to see if I can spot an inspiration.   It started me thinking…Jason Wu started as a doll designer…was there inspiration coming the other way?  In other words, could we look back at previous doll designs and see inspiration for the amazing designer he was to become.  I think I may have found a few.

Jason Wu Power Play inspirationwm_edited-1

Haute luxuries inspirationwm_edited-1 copy

A Fashionable Life inspirationwm_edited-1 copy

Whichever way inspiration goes, from the fashion world to the doll design arena  or vice versa, that connection with fashion past and present is a big part of collecting for me.  It is so interesting to me to see how they influence each other. 

I am looking forward to another year of fashion inspiration and doll collecting.  I hope you are too Smile

2014 W Club Registration is Open!

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Registration opened this evening for the 2014 W Club. Registration closes 9:00 PM CST (Chicago Time) on January 21st, 2014.  If you like Integrity Toys dolls,  this club is a doll collecting MUST in my book.  Through this club, you receive exclusive information and access to products that you will not have if you don’t sign up.  I have been a member for the past 5 years and have never regretted a single year that I signed up.  There are multiple levels of memberships so feel free to read through the entire pamphlet on the different levels here:

**note..don’t freak out if all you see is a black screen when you download it…just scroll down until you hit the purple W**

If you are just interested in seeing the dolls Integrity is offering up to entice us all to join here you go….

Fashion Explorer
Vanessa Perrin® Dressed Doll
The Fashion Royalty® Collection
2014 W Club Exclusive Deluxe Upgrade Doll

Doll Tech Specs:
Body Type: FR 2013
Head Sculpt: Vanessa 3.0
Quick Switch Feature: No
Skin Tone: FR White
Hair Color: Brunette
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand Applied

Fashion Explorer Vanessa composite

The Girl from I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y.
Poppy Parker™ Dressed Doll
2014 W Club Exclusive Upgrade Doll

Doll Tech Specs:
Body Type: Poppy Parker®
Head Sculpt: Poppy Parker®
Quick Switch Feature: No
Skin Tone: Caucasian / FR White
Hair Color: Raven
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand Applied

The Girl from I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y

Countess Danielle Du Voisin™
Adult Collectable Doll
2014 W Club Exclusive Upgrade Doll

Doll Tech Specs:
Body Type: JEM / Color Infusion
Head Sculpt: Minx
Quick Switch Feature: No
Skin Tone: Caucasian / FR White
Hair Color: Blond
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand Applied

Countess Danielle Du Voisin™composite

It will be interesting to see where Integrity Toys will take us next year.

The Doll Room Goes On Display: Part II

Yesterday I explained why things have been a little crazy at Inside The Fashion Doll Studio.  I have been working well over a month and a half ( since Fashion Royalty convention really) to get our house ready for a charity holiday tour that included the doll room.  The same weekend the tour happened, I was also contracted to photograph my daughter’s dance schools dress rehearsal of The Nutcracker.  We also needed to  attend her performances.  I also hosted a ladies holiday tea for about 50 ladies and to top it off…it was my birthday in there somewhere.  There was LOTS going on the weekend of December 6 – 8th.

I left off in part one of this post explaining my anxiety at opening up the doll room to the public for this holiday walk.   I was anxious to see what people would think.  I was fully prepared to answer a few questions and field comments like “Are you crazy?’.  What I was not prepared for was to be fully occupied the three hours Deanna, Hilda and I proctored the doll room area with comments, questions and exclamations of joy and wonder.  I called the evening “better living through Barbie”.  I think the thing I heard the most as people came up the stairs to the doll room area was their surprised gasps of “ OH MY GOD!!” upon seeing some of the collection for the first time.  It was an exclamation of an unexpected positive experience.








The collection was not what people were expecting and the look of amazement when they looked around warmed my heart.  When I questioned people “ Not what you were expecting was it? You were expecting the Barbies you see at Target right?”  They would reply every single time “ Yes!” with a wide-eyed expression.  I received thank you upon thank you for sharing the collection.  There were lines to get up to the doll room area.  At some points during the day, there were lines just to get into the house let alone the doll area.  The Assistance League of the Eastside had told people that there would be some Barbie experts on hand from the hours of 4-7pm to answer questions.  People came back!  They came back and brought their mothers, their daughters, their sisters and some even brought back their husbands.  I think that was the biggest surprise of the evening for me.  These husbands not only came into the doll area but they spent time looking AND ASKED QUESTIONS!   I was completely amazed and overwhelmed at the outpouring of interest.  I enjoyed hearing the rich tapestry of stories and Barbie memories that unfolded throughout the evening.  Sisters recounted playtime memories with each other, Grandmothers and mothers remembered sewing or crocheting for Barbie and the granddaughters and daughters remembered learning how to sew through Barbie.  Many remembered the first experiences of self expression through cutting their Barbie’s hair. 





The fashion was another big topic of discussion.  There were many conversations about particular designer influences and most everyone enjoyed the 1/6 scale purse tree in the actual doll room itself.  I had a buyer for Federated Department Stores come up to me and say how much she loved how everything was displayed. 

12151333  The most common questions of the evening were:

1.  How long have you been collecting?  Since my daughter was 3 so a little over 10 years.

2.  Why did you start collecting?  My daughter received a collector Barbie when she was 3 and my first thought was “ Great!  who gives a 3 yr old a collector Barbie?  She is going to trash it!”  But she didn’t so I thought maybe collector Barbies would be something we could do together…you know…something for Christmas and birthdays.  I started to do some research on collector Barbies and started looking at and was blown away by the collector doll offerings.  I essentially went down the rabbit hole at that point….and have not come out yet.

3.  How many dolls do you have?  I currently have around 600 and that is most likely as big as it will get.  I am maximized right now which means…if something comes in…something has to go out.

4.  What is the most expensive doll?  I never really answered that question…instead I would point to some of the rarer items that are in the collection.  I have a BFMC display case that is a treasure in my collection and I managed to procure a City Smart Silkstone Barbie through a great doll friend a couple years ago.  I also have a set of 1/6 Bespaq bedroom furniture that is very rare and I treasure that as well.




Some of the new displays for this year are as follows:

I adored the garden scene I shot so much that it became a permanent display in the doll room


I also picked up some amazing 1/6 scale furniture pieces in Paris this past year.


Elizabeth Taylor joined the work room display


and the nightclub scene


New Fashion Royalty convention additions



And a new treasure added for the walk.  A stunning pink silk and French lace gown by Hilda of Bellissima Couture.  She made me this for my birthday…and I just about cried when I saw it.  Stunningly beautiful beyond words!!  Love ya Hilda…Mwah!


The entire day of participating in this home tour and showing this collection was a completely amazing experience and the fact that it helped raise money to support local and very necessary programs made it that much more meaningful.  In this season of giving, I am so very grateful to all the people who opened their hearts, minds and pocketbooks to support the Assistance League of the Eastside.  I also want to thank those who came up to me and personally commented on the collection.  As an avid collector, It was a complete joy to see the love of this doll expressed and for some rekindled. 

The Doll Room Goes On Display

At the end of August of this year, just as my family and I were home from a long vacation abroad, I was approached by the fabulous ladies of the Assistance League of the Eastside.  They hold a holiday home tour fundraiser every year that raises money to fund programs that support families in need in our community.  They typically have 5- 6 homes on the tour every year and these homes open their doors to roughly 1200 visitors  for a day to show off their holiday décor.  The tour runs from 10AM in the morning until 7PM at night.  This year, they had a house that had to pull out of the tour and the Assistance League approached me to help out.  The main reason they came to me…..the doll room. 

Apparently news of the doll room is out and about in my local community.  I have to admit, I am always a little nervous talking to non collectors about having a doll room.  You get the gamut of responses from people when you tell them that you…as an adult…collect Barbie.   Some will take an uncomfortable step back and look at you as if you just said you were schizophrenic…and off meds.  Some will immediately downgrade their opinion of you and lump you in with the sad individuals they recently saw on a “Hoarders” episode.   You can understand that making the decision to open up the doll room for viewing did not come without a great deal of anxiety.  I wondered what people would think.  I know that my fellow collectors love the doll room but I was really unsure about what a non collector would think of it.  Then I had a moment of clarity….I came back to the reason why I collect in the first place….because I enjoy it.  When anyone collects anything, it typically is because they enjoy doing it.  If they like it enough to hook into a group of other collectors who enjoy collecting the same thing, they REALLY enjoy it.  I decided I was not going to be worried about possibly being labeled the crazy “Barbie” lady and just enjoy showing off something that I truly love to collect.   There would be people who get it…and people who didn’t…and that was okay.

To me, and I am finding to many many others, Barbie is a touchstone of sorts.  Most woman you talk with today have a Barbie experience to share.   I have found that when you put a group of woman together and give them this touchstone, it creates an amazing bonding experience.  You can have a group of woman from all different backgrounds, ages, professions and all of the sudden you are all connected through this one toy.  You all have an experience to share and that connects you.  There are multiple points of connection too.  Sometimes it isn’t about the doll but about the fashion and the discussion that promotes.   My greatest joys in sharing this doll room through the blog and with friends and family are the sharing of those stories and memories and the connection it creates.  It is just plain fun.

If I was going to do this, open up the doll room to roughly 1200 people, I decided I needed to call in some fellow doll experts for the event.  I enlisted the help of my dear friends Hilda and Deanna.  They graciously agreed to donate their time and expertise to help me show off the collection.  I could not have done this without them…from the bottom of my heart “Thank You!”  We had told the Assistance League that we would proctor the doll room and landing during the evening hours of the holiday tour.  If people had questions, they could come back during those hours and “ask the experts” so to speak. 








So…what was the response??  Tune in tomorrow for more pictures and The Doll Room Goes On Display: Part II.


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