Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lovely In Lace Cape Set



Lovely In Lace also had a Cape Set, which is featured here. It's a bit awkward to photograph, as the fur on the cape has a tendency to obscure Gene's face. Still, it is a nice addition to Lovely In Lace, which was released in 2001 and designed to be a circa 1941 outfit by Tim Kennedy.

The 2nd photo in today's post shows Gene & Trent at Disneyland, posing outside the Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

From the story card:

It was the end of a journey. A journey that had begun in Cos Cob, Connecticut, in the dreams of a small-town girl with hope in her heart and talent that just wouldn't quit.

She had taken those dreams, hope, and talent to New York City. There, a good fortune took her by the arm and led her along the path toward stardom.

Model. Usherette. Bright-eyed star-to-be. Discovered.



Suddenly, she was whisked away on a cross-country magic carpet ride. From New York City to Chicago and then…Hollywood itself.

There she found herself in Pictures with a Capital P, just as she'd dreamed. And just as she was getting used to the bright lights and glamour, fate stepped in and there she was, stepping in for a star and meanwhile becoming a star in her own right.

Did the preview audience realize, as they crowded into the theaters and settled into their seats, that they were viewing a little bit of Hollywood history happening as the lights dimmed--and there she was, bright on the silver screen and right where she was always meant to be. Lovely in lace and making her way into the hearts of everyone who saw her.

Gene Marshall—Girl Star!




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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cameo



With a few spare moments yesterday, I went through one of Gene's trunks and found Cameo, a Kate Johnson designed outfit, circa 1951, released by Ashton Drake in 1998. One of the many outfits I hadn't had the time yet to photograph. It also seemed to go well with Gene's mirror, one of the few props I haven't used yet in my photos.

From the story card:

The world knows her as Gene Marshall, the glamorous Hollywood movie star. But to the folks of Cos Cob, Connecticut, she's just Katie Marshall, who won the local talent show when she was eight. Gene came home to celebrate her 28th birthday with family and long-time friends. She joked with her father, opened her presents, sneaked a fingerful of frosting from Mom's homemade cake, and scooped up butter pecan ice cream for everybody.

Just as Gene was finishing the last crumbs of birthday cake, Mrs. Marshall gave her famous daughter a tiny velvet box with an exquisite cameo nestled within. "It's been passed down from mother to daughter for generations," said her mom. "It's part of our family's legacy. And now it's your turn, Katie, to carry on the tradition."



Gene and her mom hugged and wept a few happy tears, then left to attend the Ladies Fine Arts Society meeting. Mrs. Marshall was so proud her daughter was going with her…and so touched that Gene wore the heirloom cameo on her lapel.

At the meeting, Gene's third-grade teacher, her old babysitter, and many other familiar faces warmly greeted her as "Katie, dear." "It's so hard for us to believe you're a famous movie star," said Mrs Marshall. Gene put an arm around her mom and, lightly touching the cameo, replied, "I know, Mom. And I like it that way."




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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

At Home For The Holidays



This circa 1957 outfit by Tim Kennedy looks like it came out of Lana Turner's closet. LOVE IT!

From the story card:

Last year's holiday special (and Gene's television debut) came to you in compatible color from NBS studios in New York; this holiday, travel to sunny California as Gene Marshall invites the country to join her "At Home for the Holidays".
If you can't be with your family over the holidays, why not have the next best thing? The cast and crew from NBS' "Holiday Magic" became a second family to Gene during the creation of last year's special. Now, most of them have flown to the West Coast to work on what may become an annual Gene Marshall holiday event.

Once again, colorful costumes make this television spectacular a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. Gene's finale costume alone should spark a boost in color television scales across the land.



As cameras, lights, and sound equipment fill her home, Gene plans a few surprises to make this holiday one that will always be remembered. Always thoughtful, Gene has taken special care to put up the fashionable white flocked Christmas tree given to her by the producer and the crew the year before. And as the final notes of the final song fade over the airwaves, Gene steps away from the tree—revealing hand-picked, hand-wrapped presents for each member of the cast and crew.

Every day's a holiday when you're a friend of Gene Marshall's!




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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Derby Dreams: Suited to be a Colonel



For the 2003 Derby Dreams Gene Marshall Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, this circa 1948 outfit, titled "Suited to be a Colonel," was given out at the Friday breakfast.



My platinum haired Gene Marshall from the Derby Dreams Convention is the model.



From the story card:

"Howdy, Colonel!"
At first Gene didn't turn around, but when she felt a light tap on her shoulder, she realized that the refined voice was speaking to her. She laughed.

"I'm sorry—I'm still not used to being a true Kentucky Colonel. Howdy, back!"

The gentleman in the white suit smiled at her. "Colonel Marshall, this morning you have been given your official commission as one of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, so from now on, you'd better get used to being referred to as one of the finest group of folks that ever sipped a julep."



"I know," Gene replied, blushing slightly. "When I saw the list of other Colonels, my heart skipped a beat. So many of my Hollywood friends are already Colonels—Bing, Irene, Mae, and Fred—and so many other important people. I'm just so touched at being asked."

"Well, as one Colonel to another," said her escort as he leaned closer to Gene in a conspiratorial manner, "you are one of the prettiest Colonels we've had in quite a while!"

He offered her his arm, bowing slightly, and Gene took it, clutching her commission certificate to her heart as they made their way through the crowd of well-wishers…




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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Diane does Dots!



I was thrilled with this outfit by Diane Wagner, expertly modeled by Cocoa Crisp, but I can't say I am very excited about the photo shoot. Too rushed; poor lighting; and uninspired layout. When I have the time, I will revisit this fantastic fashion, which came complete with the umbrella!







To read about the Diane's inspiration for this polka-dot creation, visit her blog.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Holly Golightly debut



The first doll in Integrity's "Breakfast at Tiffany's"/Holly Golightly series has been released. Called "Crazy for Tiffany's," this doll depicts how Holly looked on her date with her rich Brazilian boyfriend, José da Silva Pereira (played by José Luis de Vilallonga).



The doll looks very much like the publicity shots that were released. On the plus side, the construction of the outfit is impeccable. The dress blows away the Mattel versions and makes them look extremely cheap. Integrity shows that clothes for a 12" doll need not be ill-fitting and poorly constructed. The purse, jewelry, and shoes are made perfectly to scale and make this doll appear as if she just stepped out of the 1961 movie.



Except for the face. I totally understand that Integrity wasn't licensed to do Audrey Hepburn's face. But for once...just once...could they do a different sculpt that doesn't have overblown lips and half-shut eyes? Even if Audrey couldn't be re-created, they could at least attempt to capture her loveable humor and charm. This doll has zilcho charm in my book. And don't even try to pose her without the stand; this doll with the "Kitten Heel" foot will topple over no matter how you try. Is it that hard to design a shoe that will balance these gals? At least on the dolls with flexible ankles you might stand a chance. Not this one though.



The presentation of the box is lovely, and the extra pair of hands are a nice bonus. I will be looking forward to the other releases in this series.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

The Talented Kathy Johnson, Pt. 3



When I received the Tonner Mrs. Charles Hamilton doll, I loved the back of her hairstyle, but the huge curls in front were atrocious. Compare with a still from the movie:



I decided to give this doll a second chance by sending her to Kathy Johnson in Oregon for a little restyling. Here's the result:



Thanks to Kathy's skill, this Scarlett has avoided being sold off on ebay.



Here Scarlett enjoys a dance with Rhett:



Want to fix up your Tonner Mrs. Charles Hamilton doll? Send her to Kathy! Email her today: sewkj@pcez.com

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gene in Walt Disney's "The Parent Trap"



Most of you are probably familiar with the Disney classic, "The Parent Trap," which starred the gorgeously auburn haired Maureen O'Hara. What many of you may not know is that our gal Gene was originally slated to play the role of Hayley Mills' mother. Here is a studio publicity shot that had to be squelched when a sudden illness forced Gene to be replaced in the production. Although heartbreaking for Gene, she was happy that her good friend Ms. O'Hara could step in and do such a wonderful job in the role.



Here are a few color production stills of Gene wearing the outfit that can be viewed in the scene where her character is reunited with her other daughter after many years.







This ensemble was created by D.A.E. and is called "Morning News"; originally, it came with a gold chemise attached to the green skirt. I wasn't crazy about how it looked, so I rolled it down to keep it from being seen in the photos. In this final photo, Gene steps out of her chic vintage car:



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Monday, November 7, 2011

Imitation of Life Outfit



Diane Wagner has been a fantastic resource to keep my Gene collection fresh. Not only does she have a good eye for retro fashions, she is also an impeccable seamstress. The first photo shows Lana Turner wearing a sheath and coat ensemble from the classic weepie, "Imitation of Life." Coming home from a long trip, she looks positively refreshed in this cream colored outfit trimmed in fur.



Diane re-created this outfit for my Derby Dreams Gene. I'd say she gives Lana a good run for the money!









And here's Gene just stepping out of her vintage black Thunderbird.



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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Noble Invitation



Sorry for the long lapse in posting, but after a few hours of shooting today, I have enough to create a few more posts until my next block of "free" time can be found. Today's model is Cocoa Crisp Gene, wearing the richly brocaded Noble Invitation. Released in 2001 as an FAO Schwarz exclusive, this circa 1954 design was created by Jim Howard. It is very reminiscent of a robe that Vivien Leigh wore in "Gone With The Wind."

From the story card:

It had been five years since an American had been awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature, and now, in 1954, the honor had been bestowed on that fine American writer Ernest Hemingway.



Gene was thrilled that Mr. Hemingway had taken the Prize. Only a year before, she had done an interview in the Hemingway Bar in Paris, hoping to get a glimpse of the rowdy writer. But now, Gene had reason to be even more thrilled: she'd been invited as an honored guest to the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm. On the transatlantic flight, Gene reread the little book that had clinched Hemingway's Nobel nod: The Old Man and the Sea. Dozing to the drone of the plane's engines, she imagined herself as Santiago, fighting the magnificent marlin…what a story—and what a great movie it would make! If it had only been The Young Woman and the Sea!



In Stockholm, Gene was fated, once again, not to meet Hemingway: illness kept him away and Ambassador John C. Cabot read Hemingway's moving acceptance speech. The rest of the night was filled with toasts and tributes to the absent author.

The party Gene attended was all abuzz: rumor had it that Gustav VI Adolf, King of Sweden, might attend with his wife, Queen Louise. Gene, dressed in regal loveliness, felt her heart beat a little faster when, suddenly, a hush fell over the room, and the crowd parted as…




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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gene Marshall: Bright Day



It's beginning to get a bit chilly out, so I figured it was time to squeeze in this summery outfit called "Bright Day," modeled by Star Entrance Gene, one of the most versatile Integrity dolls.









A rare moment for Gene to take a load off her feet and get a little R&R.



Here's Gene displaying her cherished Shirley Temple doll, one of her favorite childhood toys.



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