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
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.