Friday, September 16, 2011

The Talented Kathy Johnson, Pt. 1

Released in 1995 (aka Year One), Blond Lace is a circa 1941 Tim Kennedy design. Recently, I sent a batch of dolls to the EXTREMELY talented Kathy Johnson in Oregon (email: One of them was Distant Venus, an Integrity Gene Marshall with very long silver hair. We're talking in waaaay long. And boring. Before banishing her to ebay, I thought I'd let Kathy attempt a little of her hairstyling magic. The only direction I gave her was a photo of the recently released Van Gogh Barbie and the directive: "Make it in Texas-style." You can see the result here. This Gene is staying. I couldn't have been more thrilled with the results.

From the story card:

A new face has caught the light that only stars reflect…a rare light indeed. It shines on a young actress named Gene Marshall. She's the good-hearted cigarette girl in Blonde Lace, producer Erik von Sternberg's newest film from Monolithic. This once small role was reworked at the eleventh hour when the original star suffered an injury. Miss Marshall, dressed in the most feminine of tuxedos, does a dance number on the film's nightclub stage with an easy grace, a lilting glance, and a few breathy words guaranteed to break hearts from here to Poughkeepsie!
Blond Lace is a chic tuxedo with tailored jacket, slacks, and lace-trimmed halter top. Lace cuffs, a black velvet beret, and a tiny boutonniere complete the ensemble. With matching shoes and a "pearl" topped cane. Circa 1941.

In your very first Hollywood film, you want to establish a screen personality that makes you stand out, an image that people will carry with them long after they leave the theater! One fabulous way to do just that is to appear in man-tailored clothing, which has an uncanny way of making a beautiful woman appear even more feminine and elegant than in a lavish gown.

For Gene, the one costume that gives her genuine star quality is Blond Lace, a tuxedo she wears in her first small role as a hatcheck girl. Gene has only a few lines...but her radiant beauty, set off by the dashing black velvet beret and touches of ivory lace, make an unforgettable impression. As the credits scroll up at the end of the film, people strain to read the small print, looking for the name of the "unknown" starlet who played that stunning hatcheck girl…and Gene is on her way to becoming a full-fledged star!

Gene's three-piece tuxedo is tailored of black crepe; the ivory halter top has an attached jabot of extravagant lace. Matching lace appears at the cuffs of the jacket, and a "gardenia" pin on the lapel adds a dashing touch. And is that a gentleman's cane she holds as their eyes meet briefly, yet significantly, across the checkroom counter?

As for Kathy...yes, she takes commissions. Yes...she is very affordable. And won't have to wait months and months to see what she can do for your doll! Kathy is one of the nicest people, polite, and she aims to please. Email her today:

Follow my Gene Marshall, Madra Lord, Zita Charles, Violet Waters, Trent Osborn, Poppy Parker, and other classic movie star doll updates on Twitter. See more Gene Marshall Afternoon Off photos on my Gene Marshall web page.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful indeed! I wouldn't part with her if I had her too.= )