Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!

Gene Marshall

Want to know the secret to Miss Marshall's chic straw topper?  Click HERE to see how it was made.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Madra Lord: Night and Day

Celebrating the glamour of 1950's fashion photography, Miss Lord shows her day and night style in black and white.

Gown from "Glammed Up Ivy" by Integrity.
Earrings from Ashton Drake.

Suit from Sandra Stillwell. Wrap from The Couture Touch.
Hat from D.A.E. Originals. Gloves from Ashton Drake.

"Spotted in Manhattan" Madra Lord is from JamieShow.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

1950's Fashion Photography

A Study in Black and White

Erwin Blumenfeld
Photo courtesy

The black and white fashion photography of the 1950's evoked the essence of the decade and captured the grandeur and drama of haute couture. It was often editorial in nature and had two distinctive styles: abstract and realistic. Both styles seem to complement the glamour and elegance of the fashion and the polished perfection of the high-fashion models of the era. The sharp contrast of the black and white medium lends itself perfectly to the graphic and artistic nature of the abstract style, as well as the gritty realism of the couture fashion juxtaposed against a background of exterior locations.

Some photographers used simple backdrops in a studio setting, letting the subject speak for itself as in a still-life painting. Light was used to sculpt the silhouette and enhance the texture of a garment. Others chose to place their models in urban, street scenes using the natural light to give a sense of reality, yet there was a choreography to their poses.

Although photographers such as Horst P. Horst and Cecil Beaton continued to have contributions well into the 1950's, it was Erwin Blumenfeld and Irving Penn along with such notables as Norman Parkinson, Gordon Parks, Henry Clarke and others that dominated the decade.

An interesting behind the scenes of Horst directing a fashion shoot with Lisa Fonssagrives, 1949.
Photo by Roy Stevens for Time. Courtesy Victoria & Albert Museum

Lisa Fonssagrives in Dior.
Photo by Irving Penn courtesy Sara Rose Leone on Pinterest

Bettina photographed by Jean-Philippe Charbonnier

Photography by F.C. Gundlach courtesy

Bruno Bernini, 1956
Photo courtesy Bruno-Bernini on Tumbir

Dovima in Christian Dior, 1950.
Photo by Richard Avedon courtesy 

Photo by Gordon Parks for Life.

Photo by Norman Parkinson

Henry Clarke for French Vogue, 1954.
Photo courtesy

Pierre Balmain suit, circa 1955.
Photo by Philippe Pottier courtesy


The Art of Vogue, Photographic Covers, Fifty Years of Fashion and Design by Valerie Lloyd.

Hollywood Portraits by Roger Hicks and Christopher Nisperos.

The Fashion Book from Phaidon Press Ltd.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Moments To Remember

A turn of the hem, a stitch of the seam....and a classic evening chemise is re-imagined as a sophisticated daytime sheath.

A column of pink dupioni silk that features a matching beaded, satin hip sash is shortened and narrowed for a chic daytime ensemble. Accessories include a fabulous straw hat from D.A.E. Originals' Haute Doll exclusive "Weekend in New York"  Vivette set, and OOAK jewelry from StrayCat. Black gloves are from Ashton Drake, shoes are from Joe Tai, and the whimsical, crystal-encrusted telephone purse is from The Couture Touch.


"Moments To Remember" was designed by Dolly Cipolla for the 2000 Modern Doll Convention, circa 1958.
 "Symphony in G" Gene Marshall, enhanced with an Integrity articulated body, is from Ashton Drake.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fashionably Pink

The perfect transition to warm weather dressing: a pink wool crepe suit with luscious matching fur cuffs. Pops of black and white accent this smart suit worn by Monolithic Studios' star Miss Gene Marshall. Accessories include black gloves and a pearl-handled walking stick from Ashton Drake, hatbox from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection, and a fabulously dramatic tilt hat from The Couture Touch. Cocoa Crisp Gene Marshall is from Integrity. Click HERE for instructions on making a variation of Miss Marshall's hat.

Lilli Ann ad featured in California Bride magazine.
Photo courtesy
"Paradise in Pink" costume was created for the 2004 Annual Gene Hollywood Convention by Ashton Drake. It was based on this 1946 Lilli Ann suit worn by actress Marsha Hunt for her wedding.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Red-Hot and Black

A new way to wear the flared jacket from Sandra Stillwell's "Cover Girl" ensemble - Sleeves rolled up to form cuffs and the waist belted with the scarf from Robert Tonner's "Cashmere Noir". Worn with a pencil-slim skirt and dramatic hat, Miss Marshall is Red-Hot and Fabulous!

Jacket, purse, and shoes are from "Cover Girl" by Sandra Stillwell. Hat, gloves, and corsage (originally a hair ornament) are from Ashton Drake, The scarf, tied as an obi-like sash, is from Robert Tonner's Tyler Wentworth Collection. The skirt is from The Couture Touch. "Cocoa Crisp" Gene Marshall is from Integrity.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Girl Can't Help It

She still looks fabulous after all these years!  It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since the debut of Mel Odom's Gene Marshall at Toy Fair in February 1995 by Ashton-Drake. Although she was a story-driven fashion doll, it was the Hollywood-inspired costumes that won my heart. Gene, with her intricately detailed, period hairstyles and Vargas-like features, is the perfect mannequin for those glamorous fashions of the 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's.

White Orchid Gene Marshall, the resin BJD from JamieShow wears a costume inspired by the 1956 musical The Girl Can't Help It starring Jayne Mansfield. Costume designer for the film was Charles LeMaire. Miss Marshall pairs the bolero jacket from Robert Tonner's "Soir de Fete" evening ensemble from the Theatre de la Mode Collection with the black satin sheath from Ashton-Drake's "Black Ribbon" costume. Hat, gloves, corsage, and earrings are from Ashton-Drake, bracelet is from D.A.E. Originals. Fur and purse are from Integrity.

Happy Anniversary Miss Marshall!