Sunday, February 27, 2011

Violet in Derby Eve



Violet Waters is ready to perform at the Oscars, decked out in Derby Eve, borrowed from Gene Marshall. This outfit is from the 2003 Derby Dreams National Gene Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.



Here’s the story card for this circa 1948 ensemble:

The Derby Eve Party was in full swing. The room was filled with revelers. Southern belles ringed the room, coyly greeting their suitors in their fine attire.

On the dance floor, Colonel danced with Colonel—and Gene was among them, since only that morning she had been inducted as one of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. As one after another of the established Colonels whisked her around the floor, she gave an apologetic wave to Trent Osborn, sitting alone at their table. But Trent didn't see, since he was too busy taking in the “local scenery”—and they were looking back!

Then the music stopped and the dancers applauded the orchestra as they got up to take a short break. But even before the bandstand had emptied, a Distinguished Gentleman had approached the microphone, a mint julep in his upraised hand.

“A toast!” he cried, and, as if by magic, everyone in the room suddenly held a julep, too.

“Another toast?” Gene laughed to the Colonel on her left. She’d lost count of the number of toasts that had been proffered that night.

And at that moment, Gene was hit with a spotlight as the man at the microphone called out, “To the newest member of our exclusive coterie—Miss Gene Marshall!”






Anyone out there know the designer of this outfit?

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Diamond Evening



Designed by Sarah Piscazzi, this circa 1952 dress was released in 2001. Boy does it make Toast at Twelve Gene sparkle! She is shown here in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.



From the story card:

The famous fashion artiste, known by the single name of René, was holding a party—and the invitation was totally in keeping with René’s sense of mystery and fun. “Come and spend the evening with my scintillating Guest of Honor,” it read. “Who will it be? Only René knows! And all the ladies MUST wear their favorite René creation.”

Now, everyone in Hollywood who was in the know owned a René gown—and the chance to wear one to the designer’s own soirée was too good for anyone to pass up. It was a special joy for Gene, who had known René for many years and was a true fan of his work. Invitation in hand, she ran to her closet and pulled out her favorite René gown: sleek and silvery, with a train sprinkled with diamonds that swirled around her like a galaxy of stars.

The night of the party arrived. The first person Gene saw was René himself, carrying a velvet box. “I’m so excited to meet the Guest of Honor—but where is she?" Gene asked, her eyes searching the room.

"Why, she's the one wearing the diamond tiara," smiled René as he swiftly opened the box and slipped a crown of gems onto Gene's head. “You are my favorite person to dress; you are my honored guest.”

Gene gasped, then laughed a tinkling laugh, as glittering as the diamonds in her hair. "Oh, René—you are the sweetest!” And she kissed him on the cheek as they walked into the room, arm in arm…














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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Caribbean Kiss



Today, Gene shows off her circa 1955 teal outfit, Caribbean Kiss, which she wore in an advertisement for eyeshadow. Modeling this ensemble is Park Avenue Prowl. The hairclips are original to this doll, but the shoes and earrings were handy so I swapped them out with the ones that came with the outfit.









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Friday, February 18, 2011

The Perfect Gift



While I was shooting Silhouette of the 40's, I decided to shoot her in another outfit as well, and Perfect Gift was handy. I will probably do this outfit again, as the photo shoot lacked the jewelry as well as any poses that really seemed exciting. Here is what I came up with for this circa 1947 outfit designed by Regina Ganem, The Young Designers of America Winner.



From the story card:

A successful New York City Doctor and a Hollywood star skated at Rockefeller Center as holiday music played. It was a reunion with one of Gene’s closest friends from Cos Cob. They rented skates and had a wonderful afternoon on the ice. As dusk fell, Gene said “Thank you for this perfect gift.” “But I haven’t given you any present!” protested her friend. “Oh, but you have,” insisted Gene. “That’s just about the most perfect gift of all!”



I find it hard to believe that Gene would wear this outfit in NYC in the middle of winter, but what do I know. Hopefully she had her mink coat with her...which is maybe what I will pull out when I reshoot this outfit.



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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More Silhouette of the 40's



I brought out one of my faves again to shoot, Silhouette of the 40's, and gave her a patio set, hat, and purse to add to the mix.











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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Be My Valentine: Ransom In Red



Ransom In Red, a circa 1949 design by Tim Kennedy, is modeled by Breathless Gene, hairstyle by Kathy in Oregon.



From the story card:

Ransom in Red, the haunting new fragrance by a renowned Parisian parfum house, took American by storm with a sweeping advertising campaign starring Miss Gene Marshall. Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television airwaves were redolent with the sensuous allure of Ransom in Red...and Gene Marshall.

In the commercials Gene was the essence of what the fragrance evoked. Strong yet utterly feminine...tantalizing yet inaccessible...elusive yet beckoning with a siren's irresistible lure. Set above mere mortals on a white pedestal, glittering with a king's ransom in fabulous jewels, Gene held millions of television audiences enrapt for thirty unforgettable seconds. They watched, spellbound, as her sultry, half-lidded blue eyes captured the camera lens. A myriad of images danced across the screen...Gene turning, a close-up of her hand caressing the elegant cut-crystal perfume bottle, a flash of diamonds as she gracefully tilted her head, a mysterious Mona Lisa smile. Then she spoke in a provocative, breathless whisper that riveted attention, those full scarlet lips savoring every word...

"Hold his heart captive with...Ransom in Red."

Sales skyrocketed as long lines formed at perfume counters in upscale department stores across the nation. Ransom in Red was at the top of many a woman's wish list...to the delight of many a man!






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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gene in Hi-Fi



Because of its vintage casual feel, Hi-Fi has always been one of my very favorite Gene Marshall outfits. I can picture my mom back in her day wearing an ensemble like this on a cool fall day. White Hyacinth was a perfect model for this circa 1954 Doug James designed sweater/capri pant combo, released in 1998. Inspired by photos I’d seen taken by another Gene fan, I located the Barbie vintage record player ornament to add to my photo shoot.



From the story card:

It's a rainy Sunday afternoon in September, and Gene is enjoying every moment of these few precious weeks at home between films. She is cozily curled up on the soft rug before the coffee table, going through the neat stacks of correspondence, letters from fans, and script proposals awaiting her attention. Delicious scents drift from the kitchen and fill the house as Gene's favorite homemade stew simmers in the slow cooker. Her dogs, Dashiell and Dottie, are happily drowsing before the fireplace. And best of all, "Blue Evening", that moody, bluesy hit record by Gene's dear friend Ina Stafford is on the hi-fi, filling the room with Ina's rich, velvety voice.

Gene finds herself humming along to the dreamy melody as she signs her name in a personal letter to a fan. As she rises to go to the desk for a stamp, she starts to sway to the music, harmonizing a soprano line to Ina's sultry alto. Her arms rise to dance with an invisible beau as a smile curves her lips and her eyes become dreamy.

The song ends and suddenly she hears applause from outside the window--it's her dear friend and sometimes leading man, dropping by for a visit and enjoying her impromptu dance. Laughing through her blushes, she welcomes him in. He walks straight to the hi-fi, starts the song again, and takes her in his arms--ready for a dance with Gene!








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Monday, February 7, 2011

Ivy in Lavender



Ivy Jordan is one of my favorite extra characters (even more so than Madra), but I rarely take her out. Today she steps out looking ready for Spring by donning a Star Wardrobe outfit.







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Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Night Fight: Tonner vs. Franklin Mint



After my disappointment in the Tonner Portrait Scarlett O’Hara doll, I decided to bring out the Franklin Mint version of the same outfit. Wow...I had forgotten just how cool it was. I used the Tonner doll and redressed her; the FM outfit will not button in back, but for photos, the dress worked just fine. The first photo I photoshopped the hair and her face; I included the untouched photo for comparison's sake:



The craftsmanship of the FM outfit is far superior to the Tonner version, as you can see by this side-by-side shot of the back of the gowns. The poor stitching and white thread on the Tonner (left-side) is really hard to understand for a $200 doll/outfit.



Here is the Tonner doll (face retouched) wearing the Franklin Mint earrings (much more accurate), gown, and shawl. Even the Mint's shawl is superior, crafted in the correct scale. The one unfortunate is that I couldn't use the Mint's much more accurate pearl headdress; the wacky pearl tiara that came with the Tonner is tightly sewed into her head, and I wasn't feeling aggressive enough to try to remove it without possibly damaging the doll. So...Photoshop helped out again in fixing the headdress for the photos here.



Retouched photo...



vs. unretouched...



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Picking A Leading Lady



White Hyacinth is one of my favorite Gene dolls. I’m more partial to the brunette Genes, and this one is especially appealing with her casual hairdo. Going through my collection, it was natural for me to want to shoot her and use her with the Derby Dreams tux-dressed Trent that I already had been working with. Sambuca seemed like an outfit that would go well with Trent’s outfit, so that’s what I dressed White Hyacinth Gene in.

No matter how much I like White Hyacinth, the "chemistry" between these two just wasn't happening for me. A few pleasing shots materialized, but nothing I was really jazzed about.



That is, until I switched Gene dolls. It was a case of right outfit, wrong doll. Thanks to Kathy from Oregon's beautiful up-do, this Integrity Gene has become one of my faves. Enjoy the rest of the shoot’s pics.











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