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.
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 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….
Since I showed off Hilda’s suits from Bellissima Couture in a very elegant way, I wanted to show how versatile these Chanel inspired jackets can be. Eden and Nadja have been hitting the fashion shows at Paris Fashion week this past month.
Models: Sneak Peek Eden and Out of Sight Nadja from 2015 IT Convention
Jackets: Bellissima Couture ( will be for sale this week at IT convention!)
Eden’s purse and sunglasses: Moschino Barbie
Nadja’s beret and wig: FR Monogram
The remainder of clothing came with the dolls that are modeling
These jackets will be for sale at 2016 IT Convention this week!!
For those of you who follow me on FB and Instagram, you received a little sneak peek of today’s post this past weekend.
Tomorrow, I am flying to Chicago for the 2016 Integrity Toys Convention. Hilda Westervelt of Bellissima Couture and I will be having an event on Wednesday evening to sell fabulous OOAK clothing creations by Hilda and a variety of 1/6 items made by me and my fellow blogger Rogier Corbeau of Dutch Fashion Doll World. For place and time, check the boards at convention. We will be placing signage as soon as we have a room number. We will also be at the sales bazaar on Friday evening.
Here is a small sample of some of the Chanel inspired yumminess that Hilda will have available for convention attendees.
If you are in the market for some exquisite 1/6 couture for your dolls and are attending IT convention this year, come attend the event. Room number and time will be posted at convention.
Blog post on accessories and other 1/6 items available will be up later today
It sounds like collectors are finally receiving their classic black dress silkstones after ordering them back in February. I thought it was time to bring this lady out and showcase her in a setting that touches on what is going on currently in the fashion world…Paris Fashion Week. Hope you enjoy!
Dress: Bellissima Couture
Jewelry: necklace made by me
Gloves: Have absolutely noooooo idea. I don’t think they are Mattel. They may have come with a DEA fashion. They fit this new articulated body very snuggly though.
Set: Ornate wall made by me, gold chairs obtained through special order, flooring is checkerboard contact paper.
Actually, I wanted to title this blog post “The power of pink, a new frock and a little bit of sunshine” , but it would have been too long. When you live in the Pacific Northwest and it’s the dead of winter ( which means rain people…lots and lots of rain), if one ray of sunshine peaks out, you are grabbing your camera and saying “What can I take a photo of!!” Or maybe…that’s just me. Yes I am seeing someone about my random photo tendencies when in the presence of intermittent sunshine LOL!
So, recently I took ownership of this adorable little dress from Hilda of Bellissima Couture. To me this dress just makes me happy. It’s pink yumminess with a hat. Also, it gave me a chance to use a new model in the studio..Ms. IT Airways Poppy Parker. She came with a pair of hands with white gloves ( Thank you David!!) so I knew I had to use them in a photo. I know by reading the WClub boards that a number of people were less than pleased with how the hair came out for their Poppy’s. Mine was not the best when she arrived but a very thoughtful and gifted group of souls on the WClub talked some of us through what they did to fix their Poppy’s hair. It worked like a dream on mine. If you are a WClub member and want to see the tutorial, head over to the WClub forum and look under IT Airways Poppy. My “thanks” to the contributors!
She is a young Anna Wintour here. The hat did not come with the dress. It is a floral scrapbooking embellishment. The pink pearl necklace is one I made.
What do I mean by that? Good question. With all the negativity going on right now surrounding this new articulated silkstone body from Mattel and the general feeling that they are not listening to their adult collector community, I took a moment to refocus. I was getting too wrapped up in the negativity of the bad front end user interface of the Barbie Collection website and the lack of information and general feel of apathy coming from Mattel. I needed to come back to why I like to collect…”Why am I doing this?”. I needed to go look at my collection and start falling in love again. It didn’t take long. I went into the studio and took some photos and started rediscovering why I love to collect fashion dolls. It’s not about Mattel and what they do and don’t do. It’s not about Integrity Toys either. They do play a part because it is their products that fuel a passion but it’s not why I collect.
The love lies in what is done with these fashion models. It’s the creativity and support of the community that truly fuels and sustains the love of this hobby. With so much hurt and negativity going on right now, I think it’s time to pull back and refocus on my collection and what I enjoy most about it. I am not one to be driven by the acquisition of a thing nor am I what some consider a completest. Contrary to some people’s believe, I do not own every Silkstone Barbie ever made ( although I would not turn down the opportunity to LOL!). What I strive to do is have a collection of things that I truly enjoy. So…that is what I am going to try do do with the blog this year. Focus on enjoying the collection I have and not get tied up in where Mattel is going with their product line or not going with their website. It’s time to enjoy the collection I have. And I hope to share that enjoyment with you all through the photos I produce.
This gorgeous lady came to me at this past year’s Barbie Collector convention in Virginia. She is a Mannequin Maven. Mannequin Maven’s are the collaborative team of the very talented Maryann Roy and Hilda Westervelt. I love it when these two gifted artists get together and create! They never disappoint. Hilda and Maryann have collaborated for various charity donations for GAW, Kenvention, NBDCC and Rome Fashion Doll Convention.
The poodle…well…the poodle is a whole other story. That little guy came to me through a new friend made at Barbie convention and it quickly became my travel companion and sort of travel meme through the entire trip. For those in the “poodle club” …and you know who you are…it was time to bring the poodle out for a real photo shoot. We really need to give this little guy a name before next convention.
But she won’t be shipping until March 1st folks. If you want her sooner, look to the dealers, they appear to be getting them first. I like this idea of giving the dealers first dibs on shipment. It makes sense to me and it helps support those dealers that have been loyally selling Mattel’s collector products for all these years. I called my trusty dealer Barb of Windy City Dolls the moment I saw these ladies showing up on Ebay ( not happy that this is where the first ones showed up but not surprised either). She sent one over as soon as they arrived at her shop.
Designer: Robert Best
Release Date: 2/1/2016…hmmm…this is what the site says but they also clearly state that shipping won’t start until 3/1/2016.
Retail: $40.00 at The Barbie Collection
So…what do I think? I think the face on this first Silkstone of 2016 is a winner. It is one of the best facial screenings I have seen in a while from the BFMC. Very soft, and pretty. The black dress is basic. The material is nice and of a good weight…but basic. The boots are…basic. They are plastic people and almost impossible to get off unless you use the hot water trick **see below. No jewelry, purse with this one nor undergarments..yep that’s right…Barbie is going full commando.
The bigger question I think is what do I think of the body of this doll. First and foremost, the dimensions are NOT the same as previous BFMC Silkstone bodies. The bust is most definitely smaller. Clothing does not fit exactly the same which surprises me as I believe Mr. Best said that the body was going to be the same proportions in the video announcing the articulated bodies. I am not saying the body is bad…just different dimensions and for us redressers, that will be an issue. The material feels weighty and solid which is nice and the joints appear to be solid and stay where you position them. It is basically ok…but not great. Here is why: 1) The articulation on the joints is minimal except for the legs. This girl can do the splits if she wants but she cant rotate her hand enough to fully bend it one way or the other…it only goes a little bit one way or the other. She can just barely put her hands on her hips. Compare the functionality with Integrity Toys dolls and you will find that IT bodies are loads ahead as far as flexibility. The new Silkstone body can however, do the splits whereas IT dolls cannot. Not sure how that is something I will utilize unless I get the letch to do Gymnast Barbie, or Pole Dancing Barbie or perhaps contortionist Barbie. You never know…it could happen. I am hopeful that the next iterations of this body will beef up the bust size and include some additional rotation in the joints. My other big concern with these new bodies are the rough edges and seams that show. The knee joint on the one I received had a big ugly rough edge at the seam right above the knew joint. Some may argue that you will hardly ever see that…maybe but in the dress she came in, it was VERY evident. It’s not worthy of sending back, it’s just sloppy work on the part of the factory. Am I expected now to file down the seams of Silkstone dolls that I receive?
On the very positive side however, the doll is only $40. That is an extremely low price point for a Silkstone Barbie doll. So…messy seams and all, this doll photographs beautifully. I admit, I had to pin the gown on her so it fit more securing up top. It was made to be worn by the older body. She does look good though and I guess each collector will have to decide for themselves if she is a good fit for their collection. I am keeping mine for the present and still hopeful for the year ahead for the BFMC. I think it will be a very much paired down year but time will just have to tell on that one.
Beatuiful dress was made by Hilda of Bellissima Couture.
Oh..and as an added not to my loyal readers…After filing multiple DCMA claims with various accounts on Pinterest and Instagram all of which were cutting the watermark off my photos and passing them off as their own, I will have to start putting even larger and more intrusive watermarks on my photos. Not my choice people but there you have it. Sometimes…I just don’t understand some people.
**Hot Water Boot Trick** To help get those pesky black boots off, I heated up a cup of water to almost boiling then stuck the legs and boots in for about 30-35 seconds. Using a towel because they will be hot, boots should slid right off. If not, put the legs with boots back in the water for a bit more.