Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Delightful Surprise from Glammourdoll Designs

Doll couturière Karen Holshouser enjoys making original miniature fashion statements for dolls, ranging from Barbie to Tyler and Gene.  To stretch her creative talents further, she reworks factory-produced fashions into stylish new designs.  On occasion, these designs will end up as prizes to members of her Yahoo group.  Imagine my delight when I won one of these creations!

Special THANKS to Karen for sharing her talents and expanding the joys of sewing to our next generation of collectors!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Imaginative Couture of Andrew Yang and His Kouklitas

Imagine my surprise when, heading out to enjoy the festivities at Barney's New York on Fashion's Night Out, I came upon them. the all their glory...THE KOUKLITAS!  But the window displays were just the tip of the fashion doll iceberg.  Displayed on the 4th floor of Barneys was an entire collection of OOAK dolls wearing an au courant selection of couture by some of the most notable names in international fashion.

Andrew's OOAK tributes to Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington
Ranging in price from $1350 to $12,000, these cloth fashion dolls are the current *Must Have* among elite doll collectors and fashion industry fans alike.   To see more photos of this marvelous collection, please visit my Kodak Gallery album.  For more information on Andrew Yang and his magical Kouklitas, or to place your custom order, be sure to visit his website.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Chocolate Flavored Saturday

Another beautiful Indian Summer weekend inspired Kennie and I to head out to New York for the much anticipated New York Chocolate Show. For all chocoholics and fashionistas, this is a MUST do and wonderful pre-Holiday season kickoff.
The Empire State Building as seen from Secaucus
As we arrived at the Metropolitan Pavilion, we were astounded to find the line for admittance, even for ticket holders, stretched all the way around the block.  Undaunted, we took our places and before long Kennie was chatting up with this pleasant New York couple about her adventures as a travel companion.  After all, touring the world wasn't merely for gnomes!  Thankfully, several vendors from the show kept working the lines offering free samples of the delicacies inside which made the 90 minute wait less painful.

Finally, we were in!  And what a spectacle greeted us as we passed through into the foyer...fashions from the Wednesday night fashion show, executed by master artisans in chocolate, confections worthy of hanging in the finest couture salons!  Kennie immediately insisted on a photo.

For more photos of all the delicious delicacies we sampled, oohhed and aahhed over, click the link below to view my Kodak album.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Update: Mattel Comes Through for Paris Festival Attendees

Back in April, under my Paris Fashion Doll Festival post, I mentioned how disappointed the attendees were that the exclusive Barbie, a tradition for the Festival, had missed the production slot and a substitute was given in her place.

I'm happy to report that Mattel upped our compensation by sending attendees the second edition of the new Christian Louboutin Barbie, wearing the safari-inspired mini and tall fringed over-the-knee boots.  Totally delighted and timing couldn't be more perfect, as I was just about to order her from

Way to go Mattel...THANKS!

Something Wondrous is Underway

The Holidays are Coming...Are You Ready to Celebrate?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

eBay is Anti-Seller and Anti-Small Business

I have enjoyed selling and building an eBay business for 12 years now.  But, things have changed, and not in a good way.

In December 2009 I had 100% positive FeedBack.

In May 2010 my FeedBack is 93.4%.

Recently, four Buyers have blatantly taken advantage of eBay's No Negatives to Buyers policies.  There has been an attempt to scam me out of upgrades to merchandise, and outright lying to eBay in order to circumvent my No Return Policy.  eBay, and their monetary branch PayPal, have deemed it their legal right to just go into my bank account and refund a Buyer against my objections.  I've been in business over 30 years and something does not ring right with this.  After all, the lower your score/Star rating, the harder you have to work to maintain eBay's so-called Selling Standards or risk suspension.  The more sales you make, the more fees paid to eBay/PayPal.  Do we see a pattern forming here?

Where does a service company, in this case eBay, have the right to tell their clients how to run their business?

I would love for some legal entity to set up a sting to see if , in fact, some of these *dissatisfied Buyers* work for eBay/PayPal and are deliberately looking to drive out small businesses.

And I wish a Federal banking agency would audit eBay/PayPal's practices.

In the meantime, I think it's time to grow my Etsy and brick & mortar shops.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Marymount University Gets "All Doll'd Up"

The senior Fashion Design and Merchandising students of Marymount University in Arlington, VA presented Portfolio In Motion, a marvelously-inspired, doll-themed fashion show of student work.  Concluding the presentation, their well-regarded Designer of the Year award was presented to fashion innovator Isabel Toledo, who was present along with her husband, famed illustrator Ruben Toledo.  The designing couple, long-time supporters of emerging talent, spent the following day with the students reviewing senior portfolios and offering encouraging words.
Photo by Moshe Zusman

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Paris Fashion Doll Festival, March 12-14, 2010

This report is well overdue, but think you will understand...

I so look forward to my yearly fix of Parisian life, especially now that I'm blogging and can add fashion trend watching to the mix. This year's preparations, however, proved quite daunting, as not only did I have to resolve a family medical emergency prior to departure, but then came home to find 2 inches of water dumped in my studio/reference library from a nasty Nor'easter which blew through at 80 MPH and killed my sump pump. My only consolation while mopping over the last 3 weeks was watching the news reports of the Northern regions of New Jersey under water, reminding me that it could have been so much worse.

These six days in Paris provided a much-needed break from business overload and caregiving responsibilities.

Kathy Moreau and her team, the Club de la Poupee Mannequin, consistently work hard to bring a pleasurable experience to conventioneers each year. This year was especially exciting, as Charles and Desmond of Superdoll fame were celebrating the Fifth Anniversary of their marvelous Sybarite art dolls. While I did not attend the Un-Conventional Speak & Spell exclusive Thursday night event, the Friday night Disco 3000 cocktail party was a "golden" night to remember, as you will see in my photo journal.

We received a FABulous Sybarite, TICK, and I was equally excited by the necklace we collectors received, as in my rush I had packed a minimum amount of accessories and my Donna Karan luncheon ensemble was now completed by the *V* Sybarite pendant. Thanks for thinking of us, C&D!

The Saturday luncheon is now more low-key and ends at a reasonable time, allowing for sightseeing and a dinner out with doll friends at an outdoor cafe. This year was the 10th Anniversary of the Silkstone Barbie, and we all partook in a trivia game with charming prizes going to the winners. Our table missed by one question, even though there was a presentation which included the answers, provided you paid attention (and I really REALLY did, honest!). There was some disappointment that Mattel did not provide an exclusive Silkstone to commemorate the anniversary, but we were compensated with a selection of Repro Anniversary Barbies, my choice being the American Girl Astronaut.  Some collectors also received an exclusive Ellowyn or Antoinette.

The luncheon ends with the annual My Favorite Doll fashion show, featuring collectors dressed in human re-creations of their favorite doll's fashion, and this year's show was especially notable for the abundance of children modeling, especially those dressed as the Tonner Mini-Martians.  Just precious!

That evening, all conventioneers headed over to the Musée de la Poupée to mark the opening of the exhibit Nouvelles Icône, which explored the correlation between the early history of The Pandores luxury fashion dolls and modern day Sybarites.

This exhibition highlights the work of Charles Fegen and Desmond Lingard, Superdoll creators, their company Superfrock Ltd., and the first five years of their collaboration in creating the Sybarites.  Rare early prototypes, OOAKs and that lusted-after Sybarite trunk were all featured in highly imaginative displays.  Photos were not allowed, but the exhibit runs until September 19, 2010, and I highly recommend a visit.

Sunday is reserved for s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g, and this year's salesroom did NOT disappoint!  Temptations abounded, and in addition to fashion dolls there were beautiful handcrafted dolls of wood and felt, in addition to delicate antique dolls and even teddy bears.

Nunzio Carbone and Jayro Bustamante introduced their latest collection of Fashion Doll Agency divas, coming later this year.

My advice, should you attend next year's convention (March 11-13, 2011), is start planning NOW, and bring plenty of Euros!

In between fashion doll events, I spent a good part of this trip skirting all about my favorite boutiques, discovering new salons, and honing my street photography skills, which will be posted in another album and linked at my Global Design Gypsy blog, should you be interested in my *other* life.  For now, follow the link below to view my photos of all the fun I had in Paris.

Fashion Doll Conventions

Convention season is upon us, and once again we are faced with a recurring issue that has irked many a collector.

Known fact:  most doll collectors are adults, with adult responsibilities, families and lives that do not usually revolve around the pursuit of the next *HOT* doll.  Not that we sometimes wish we could make that happen, but certainly, at least, not among the collectors I hang out with.

The gripe:  If you make a deposit on a convention, then for professional/medical reasons cannot attend, why is it impossible to receive a refund, especially when there is a Wait List of potential attendees which will mean no financial loss to the company? Why not, feasibly, grant a credit towards a future convention?  Why is this a very *cut and dry* *black and white*, non-negotiable issue?

And, in those rare, extreme cases where a refund was granted, why must it be given with a *scolding* and *lecture*, as though one were a five year old child.

I've been involved with businesses large and small for over 30 years and have yet to meet a consumer-driven company that is not willing to accommodate a long-standing customer, especially when it will bear no financial cost/risk to their business.

That is...until I became a doll collector.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Terrie Takes Manhattan

Another break in the weather allows for a fun excursion into Manhattan for a little sightseeing, a gourmet lunch, and some marvelous photography exhibits.
Our day begins with Brewed Awakenings and breakfast.

Oops, need to watch that time, here comes the train !

We immediately head down to the Village for our first stop, the Lomography Gallery. Upon entering the store your senses are bombarded with a visual shrine erected by international devotees of these wondrously quirky little film cameras (yes, I said F-I-L-M) .

Much to Terrie's surprise she found a Diana just her size too!
Then it was on to Becco, for a leisurely (read that, nearly 3 hr) lunch based on the fine Italian cuisine of world famous chef Lidia Bastianich and her son, Joseph.
Being in the theatre district, we took the opportunity to work off that lunch with a stroll past the latest offerings. Well, lookie there, The Addams Family is coming to the Lunt Theatre (based on the characters of cartoonist Charles Addams , NOT the TV series).
Ah, the crossroads of the world...Times Square!

For a more abstract and thought-provoking view of fashion and its cultural implications, we were just in time to catch the final weekend of the Dress Codes exhibit at the International Center for Photography.  One of my favorite pieces was Richard Learoyd's  life-size portrait, Agnes, Red Dress, achieved via the camera obscura method.

By 7:00 pm our tired feet made their way to our favorite Starbucks on 33rd and Seventh Avenue, where a Red Velvet cupcake and espresso soothes our exhausted but stimulated minds. Special thanks to Gene for making it all happen!

Terrie is a OOAK Gene repaint by Terry Norcia.  She is wearing a OOAK coat by  Pret-a-Porter Doll, 2pc knit dress by Paul Zhang, and carrying a purse/shoe set by Delightful Little Things

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Barbie Channels Lady GaGa, Courtesy of Veik

Stumbled upon these amazing OOAK Barbie interpretations of Lady GaGa by doll collector Veik. He is truly talented, do stop by to view his Flickr gallery.