Sunday, July 31, 2011

Simply Gene: Black is Beautiful



The Simply Gene line featured Gene Marshall with various hair colors, wearing different colors of the same bathing suit, based on an original 1950's costume presented courtesy of Valentino’s of Hollywood. This black version was released in 2000, worn by a platinum hair coiffed Gene. Today, Derby Dreams models this 2 piece costume.



From the story card:

Gene Marshall…the toast of the fashion world, a designer's delight…sat down at her mirrored vanity with an array of brushes, hairpins, bows, and curlers before her. She had a day off from her busy shooting schedule, and was enjoying the luxury of having a bit of fun. She brushed her healthy, silky hair until it was gleaming. She had to grow it out longer than usual for her role in her current film, and loved its supple, shining new length. Her hairdresser adored it too, saying that Gene’s hair was the most beautiful and easiest to work with out of all the other stars in Monolithic Studios.



Gene opened a fashion magazine to the page she wanted. It gave step-by-step instructions for a dashing new hairstyle that Gene admired and wanted to try on herself. With deft moves, and frequent checking of the magazine, Gene swept her hair up into a deceptively elaborate French twist, securely pinning up the heavy tresses and smoothing down stray flyaway wisps. Gene turned her head this way and that, checking the results in the mirror. “Not bad…not bad at all!” Gene smiled to herself, pleased with the handiwork. On impulse, she rose from the vanity and went to her wardrobe, pulling out a sumptuous ballgown, a cocktail dress, and an antique Victorian costume from one of her favorite roles. She tried them all on, modeling before the mirror, accessorizing and primping. She loved it when she could indulge in a little feminine fun and just be herself—simply Gene.


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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Breakfast at Tiffany's



Integrity has recently announced a way cool release: a line commemorating the 50th Anniversary of "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Although they have gone out of their way to re-create the fashions that Audrey wore, they decided to stylize the character of Holly Golightly. Unfortunately, the style looks all too much like the typical frozen-bitch face that Integrity is known for. All of the charm and doey-eyed innocence of Hepburn is gone. In the future, I see a huge amount of nude Integrity "Breakfast at Tiffany's" dolls for sale on ebay.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Shirley Temple: Bright Eyes



Although the name of the movie, "Bright Eyes" (1934), isn't necessarily familiar to most, hardly a person is unaware of the hit song that Shirley Temple sang from it: "On The Goodship Lollipop." Even without the song, this movie still holds up today, with a slight edge and some adult themes that are not present in most Temple films from the 30s. In this sequence with her bratty counterpart, Jane Withers, Shirley wears an oversize dress as the two children take their dolls out for a stroll.



The Danbury Mint released this outfit twice; once with what I call the "E.T." sculpt, and then again in a limited edition version that had a mohair wig. My 75th Anniversary Shirley is modeling the outfit, which also came with a miniature version of the doll that Shirley had in the movie as well as an oversized handbag.







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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Doris & Rock: Pillow Talk



Doris Day & Rock Hudson are one of the most beloved screen teams of yesteryear. The 1959 classic "Pillow Talk" is still a fresh and enjoyable romantic comedy romp. Mattel chose to honor the duo with this recently released doll set.



The positives? The Rock Sculpt is incredible; for a 12" figure, they sure did capture his face. Doris' outfit and jewelry are extremely faithful recreations of the ensemble she wore in the movie, shown in the first photo which is of the scene that Mattel followed for this set.



The negatives: c'mon Mattel; what is the deal with your doll bodies? They have released yet another static set with virtually NO poseability. The costumes are sewed tightly onto the doll bodies to give the illusion of perfect tailoring. If you want to remove them from the box to photograph and pose them, you are screwed.



I am sure this is a pricepoint decision, just as it must have been to eliminate Doris' white fur stole. Speaking of Doris...the sculpt is ok, but just doesn't quite capture the fresh-faced innocence of the real Doris Day, which is surprising when seeing how accurate Rock's sculpt is.





Overall, it's fantastic that Rock & Doris were honored by Mattel; just a little disappointing that Mattel couldn't have taken a few extra steps (for which I am sure collectors would have shelled out a few extra bucks) to make this a higher quality release.



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Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!



This 1999 fashion (circa 1944) was designed by Dolly Cipolla. What better outfit to showcase for July 4th? First up are two publicity stills shot by Steven Mays, followed by a few of my own creations.



From the story card:

Scarcely a week had gone by after D-Day when Gene and her fellow USO Camp Tour entertainers found themselves on a transport boat cutting across the choppy waves of the English Channel to Normandy. The “Soldiers in Greasepaint” were coming over to the new front lines, to fight their battles for morale, spirit, and patriotism.



During their first show on Normandy land, Gene could see a new hope dawning in the faces of the soldiers she met. The tide of war was turning in the Allies’ favor at long last, and a fresh, new spirit was budding in everyone's heart. Gene and the famous comedian USO host decided then and there that she would perform her patriotic new number for the finale, hoping it would spark morale to a bright new flame.



Gene stepped out from the wings with the energy of a sizzling firecracker, high-kicking and belting out a rousing song for America, the flag, and the Fourth of July. Gene poured her entire heart and soul to that crowd. She sparkled and dazzled in the sunlight, her smile radiant, her every move vibrant and bold. Thousands of booted feet started to stomp the beat, thousands of hands clapped with wild enthusiasm. A fresh, brisk breeze blew from the west, and set the American flag to waving proudly over their heads. An electrifying feeling swept through the audience…an overwhelming, tingling sensation of joy, optimism, and exuberance that drove them wild. By the end, every soldier was on his feet, arms in the air, cheering like crazy for the Red, White, and Blue!








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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Grace Kelly & Jet Set Chic



Grace Kelly is seeing a resurgence in the doll world, thanks to Mattel. Recently, they have released her in the 12" format wearing a costume from "To Catch a Thief," and they have also announced future Grace dolls as well.



The upcoming Bridal Grace from Mattel:



And her trousseau:





Based on the photos, I still prefer the Franklin Mint sculpt. If only her eyes hadn't been painted as if she were a deer in the headlights! I have done my best to fix that with photoshop for this particular shoot, as I haven't been brave enough (yet) to fix it permanently with my paint brush.

My FM Grace featured in this post is modeling Jet Set Chic, a Madame Alexander outfit created for her Grace Kelly doll. As you can see, Alex bears very little resemblance to the actress:



Jet Set Chic is loosely based on the outfit Grace wore in this photo of her with President Kennedy & Jackie:



Talk about smoldering looks; damn!



Back to Madame Alexander's outfit. It is very well-made, but definitely a bit snug on the FM Grace. The shoes are not a great fit for FM Grace, nor is the hat, which I had to use glue dots to get to stay on. Even for Alex though, the feathered hat is much too small compared to what Princess Grace actually wore.











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