One hundred collectors of One of a Kind fashion dolls congregated in New York City for an amazing event. It was the first event of it’s kind and it has left this attendee with a huge sense of gratitude and respect for my fellow collectors.
First and foremost, I have to thank Rocky Schmidt and his incredible team of festival organizers. This event was simply amazing. From the moment we registered to the last evenings dinner and doll presentation, it was a beautifully produced and orchestrated event. We all ate, drank and were very merry indeed. Because of the small intimate nature of this festival, you felt like you were attending a family reunion. Collectors of specialized one of a kind fashion dolls gathered from all over the world and although we live in different areas, we were all connected through the love of this particular sub genre of collecting.
While it’s always nice to get some nice ‘swag’ at events, I would say the bulk of enjoyment for most at this event were the people. It’s the enjoyment of being with people who collect exactly what you collect. This convention celebrated in particular the artistry and design of two very well respected and admired OOAK artistic teams…Magia 2000 and Ninimomo. It was a festival that celebrated their artistry and love for this specialized craft .
For me personally, this event had special significance. Firstly, It offered up an opportunity to collaborate on a project with some of my closest friends who work in this 1/6 scale medium. I have long admired and respected Hilda and Rogier’s work. Just to be a part of this team that produced the Laduree diorama was something I am so honored to be a part of.
Besides the festival itself, there were a number of top favorites from the trip.
#2 I got to see Rogier enjoy his first NYC hot dog from a stand!
#3 I got to experience the garment district with the master…Hilda
#4 And…I got to enjoy an amazing dinner with some great friends…old and new
And…last but not least, I got to enjoy the city with my husband and daughter ( wish my son could have joined….darn those college classes)
To cap off the whole week of festivities, a number of us from the festival were able to attend a performance of Hamilton!! And it was an opportunity to meet up with in-laws and give a lovely sister-in-law the opportunity to see the show of her heart…on Broadway! That made it all the sweeter.
So…Rocky and Team…from this blogger of fashion dolls…a HUGE Thank you for the memories and events of a lifetime.
After the excitement of the mornings design challenge, festival attendees had lunch on their own and an afternoon to shop some more in the sales room or have some well deserved free time. We were all anticipating the final evening event of the festival – The Diamond Jubilee diner featuring a tribute to Ninimomo. The super talented Ninimomo team of Nik Moronese and Marie Lebreton shared a fun video of their design process and a tribute to their loyal fans.
Then it was time to vote, judge and announce the winner of the “Make your own OOAK” design challenge.
The judges convened for a decision
First and Second Runner ups..
And the winner….drum roll please…was our own Rogier Corbeau of Dutch Fashion Doll World!!!! with this stunning entry…
Another highlight of the evening was the collection of past Ninimomo OOAK dolls brought by collectors.
Attendees were asked to vote on their favorite….and here she is.
There were some fabulous table centerpieces!
And they were all slightly different….same outfit but different dolls for each. I thought that was really inventive and cool.
After a fantastic diner, it was time to unveil the Ninimomo convention doll. Each attendee received this one too. Yes people!! TWO official dolls for this festival.
Rocky received a special much deserved OOAK gift from Nik and Marie as well.
It was an amazing evening and total icing on an already amazing cake of a doll festival. Recap and final thoughts and thank-you post coming up tomorrow.
—Rogier and Rebecca
Saturday morning dawned with a new challenge for festival attendees. Our design challenge was to embellish a simple black dress. Here is what we all started with. A HUGE shout out to Judy O’Connell of Aponi Designs who donated all the accessory sets for this event. Wow Judy!!! You rock!
There was also a centerpiece doll at this event that 10 lucky attendees walked away with. She was designed by the talented duo of Hilda Westervelt of Bellissima Couture and Maryann Roy of Welcome Home. I donated a couple of accessories to their fabulous creation.
With so much creativity and talent in that room…this event was sure to please. It did not disappoint. I had a whole lot of respect for the attendees of this festival going in but after this event…I was blown away by the talent in the room. It was an honor just to be a part of it.
We were all given a pick of a variety of accessory sets. These were just too cute for words. I picked the grey.
And a variety of materials to use in our embellishing.
And people could bring items that they brought from home or had purchased at Mood and M&J Trimming the previous day. It was Project Runway workroom…times 10…and it was fabulous. Mario of Magia 2000 and many other judges were there to offer encouragement, guidance and a “Tim Gun” comment if needed.
It was a fun room of designers all following their own vision. A creativity extravaganza! How glorious!
After a few hours of embellishing, the judges walked around and selected roughly 20 designs that would compete for the winner of the “Make your own OOAK” competition. There was some serious talent in that room people.
Here are some of the designs that moved on to the final round of competition.
Do you have a favorite? The winner would be voted on and announced at the evenings dinner. Anticipation was very high for this event.
—Rogier and Rebecca
After the sales room frenzy of Friday afternoon, many attendees headed to Mood Fabric in the garment district and if they had time, stopped off at M&J Trimming. I did not attend that outing but many did and had a marvelous time.
The evening event was the Platinum Party Dinner where we all paid tribute to the amazing and creative talents of Gianni Grossi and Mario Paglino who make up the stellar team of Magia 2000. Here they are with Rocky Schmidt the fabulous organizer of this truly one of a kind festival.
There was a table centerpiece…which all of us wanted but only 10 lucky ducks won. Yours truly and her blogging cohort Rogier…were not lucky ducks this evening
There was also a collection of Magia 2000 creations that were brought and shared by various attendees. It was such a treat to see so many beautiful creations from Magia 2000 past collections. Wish I had time to photograph all of them in the studio!
Once you stopped salivating over the Magia’s…it was time to vote on your favorite “unconventional material” OOAK dolls. Each attendee was given a ticket to vote on their favorite Magia and their favorite unconventional material doll.
There were many creative entries for unconventional materials. In the end…Rogier was 2nd runner up for his masterful concoction. The winner of the competition was an adorable whimsical design and excellent use of pastel confetti material!
The winner of the favorite collector Magia 2000 was this one. Breathtaking!
After a lovely dinner, it was time to unveil the Magia 2000 official convention doll. Each attendee received one! She was an instant favorite. Her name is Manhattan Premiere.
Here is a sketch that Mario and Gianni share with Rogier and I.
Rocky received a OOAK version of this beauty. A beautiful OOAK lady for a gentleman that put so much time and effort into making this festival happen. You deserve this and so much more for all your work Rocky. We love you!!
Saturday’s events posts coming up..
-Rogier and Rebecca
Friday started with a new and interesting activity. The Unconventional Materials Challenge. Attendees were challenged to create a OOAK dress using things you don’t normally use in couture. Think, plastic, food, paper etc.… We all started with the same basic white short sheath.
We were given a couple of hours to creative a OOAK using these unconventional materials. I have to be honest…this is not in my wheelhouse but let me just tell you…this was definitely in Rogier’s wheelhouse and many other attendees.
See the master at his craft…
Rogier’s final creation that made it into the final! Keep reading to see how he did.
Here are some more creative entries for this event.
A handful of OOAK designs were chosen by a talented panel of designer judges. The final winner would be announced at dinner that night. Anticipation was high and this had to have been one of the most joyful events I have attended at a convention. As you created, you chatted and joked with your tablemates and those of other tables. It was such a fun and creative way to spend the morning with fellow collectors.
This was not the only creative challenge that would be asked of festival attendees. At this unconventional challenge we were shown the doll we were all going to be customizing at another OOAK competition on Saturday. To get us ready for this challenge, the festival held a workshop to show us some techniques
After lunch on our own, it was time to shop in the sales room!
-Rebecca and Rogier
After the fabulous Opening Gala, it was time for attendees to take a look at what would be available in the sales room on Friday. Many OOAK doll artists were present. Festival attendees were not allowed to purchase at this event but they could have things set aside for purchase when the sales room officially opened on Friday.
Magia 2000: Attendees drew numbers to select some of these amazing beauties!!
And some amazing acrylic display walls by Sheree
We think there was definitely something for everyone in this sales room!
Just a note of explanation to start of the rest of the blog posts from this amazing festival. Rogier and I work well together as a team. For the past year I have reported for him while he was at European conventions and he has reported for me while I was attending the events in the US. It is a brilliant system. We learned quickly that when we are both attending the same event….not so brilliant of a system. We apologize for the lateness of these reports as the festival ended less than a week ago but it was simply too busy to edit the images and report on events in a timely manner. Added to that….I had to go and catch the plague.
Now that I can breath again without hacking up a lung, We can finally report on events. Thank you all for being patient and understanding.
Now, at the opening gala of this festival, attendees were also able to view all of the amazing live auction items that would be available to bid on at Friday nights dinner.
Entry from Julia Lapshova of Julia’s Originals
From Judy O’Connel of Aponi Designs
From Matt Sutton
From Carlyle Neura of Mattel
From Magia 2000
And from the team of friends Rogier Corbeau of Dutch Fashion Doll World, Hilda Westervelt of Bellissima Couture and Rebecca Berry of Inside The Fashion Doll Studio… a diorama of one of our favorite places!
–More coming of the sales room sneak peek….
Today was the first official day of the OOAK Doll Festival!
We all received these personalized bags at registration. How cute are these!!
The first event was the Golden Gala Opening Reception. Each attendee received 21 golden tickets that they could enter into a raffles for a variety of OOAK dolls. Here is what was raffled off.
Festival attendees ended the evening with a sneak peek at the sales room for tomorrow. Many artists from around the world are selling in the sales room tomorrow. Rogier and I will be bringing you images of the designer collections and more images from many of the artists and their offerings.