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.
As many of you know by now, I adore Hilda Westervelt of Bellissima Couture. Her work epitomizes what I love to collect. Her gentle spirit and friendship have been and will continue to be a treasure to this “sister friend”. This past December, Haute Doll Magazine approached a number of OOAK doll clothing makers to submit work for their Spring issue. As with all publication submissions, you never know which photos will be accepted for an issue. Here are some of the photos I shot for Hilda that did not make it into the issue. If you have not had a chance to check out Haute Doll’s spring issue, you should. There is a treasure house of OOAK doll clothing makers in it…including Ms. Hilda’s work.
Models: Especially For You Poppy Parker, Elegant Evening Poppy Parker, To The Fair Poppy Parker
Gowns: Belissima Couture
Love this “especially for you” Poppy! When I was setting up the shoot, I got carried away with all the shabby chic pinkness and it was too sweet. I had to throw this red lipped siren Poppy in black to cut the cotton candy in this shot. If she was the vixen of the piece…she could not be sipping tea. She needed a DRINK. You will notice that her glass is empty .
For more Haute Doll Magazine news, check out their Facebook page.
If you are a doll collector outside of the United States, it is sometimes very handy to have a shipping buddy within the U.S who can combine a bunch of your purchases and send it in one big box to help save on the shipping. If you are a BFC member that lives outside the U.S., you need a shipping buddy to receive your purchases from BarbieCollector as they do not ship outside the U.S. ( grumble, grumble…really?!!). It is also a treat when you share the same collecting habits of your shipping buddy and they allow you to photograph some of their purchases. I have to give a big shout out to my friend and fellow blogger Rogier of Dutch Barbie World for allowing me to photograph and share one of his recent OOAK purchases. She is a beauty!!
Dress: Bellissima Couture. Love the little dragonflies in this print!!
The doll came with a certificate of authenticity. Nice touch.
Thank you so much for the response to my last post “The Fashion Doll Vignette”. I have been toying around with doing a regular segment on the blog for a while that is devoted specifically to the small sets or dioramas that I use in my photos or displays. In particular, I want to share some diorama items and furniture that I have obtained over my years of collecting. I look forward to sharing these “vignette” or “diorama” posts on a more regular basis in the future.
The word Vignette has multiple meanings. In photography, to vignette is a verb meaning to darken or lighten the corners and edges of a photo in a way to highlight a part of the photo. I use this technique on many of my photos. It helps to bring the focal point to a part in the picture that you want everyone’s eye to travel to…typically the center. Vignette used as a noun can also mean a small pleasing grouping or portrait. When I photograph things, many times I like to use a small diorama with it. Sometimes it is elaborate and sometimes it is just a small piece or two. For this set of photos, I used a number of pieces.
First and foremost, I used another Carolyn Grentz exquisitely painted OOAK bombe chest in 1/6 scale. Still in talks with her to see if she has room in her commission books for more.
The two side chairs were found on Ebay. I was able to get them marked down and even at that price, in retrospect, they were kind of pricey. If they came down to say, $65, they would be a better purchase I think. The floral arrangement was made by me and I used various artificial flowers that fit with the scale. Many of the flowers are scrapbooking elements of some kind or picks you can find in the boutonniere making section of your local craft store. The purse is slightly big for 1/6 scale but it works as say an over night bag or oversized bag for the playscale girls. It is a Kate Spade keychain/coin purse.
Model: Victoire Roux workshop doll from The Premiere Convention
Dress and coat: Bellissima Couture
Hat: Floral Scrapbook element
The coat of this beautiful ensemble is out of fabric that is a map of Paris. Too cute!!
Here are some more photos of that fabulous bombé chest.