Thursday, September 22, 2016

Madra Loves Barbie

Yes, even Monolithic Studios' diva extraordinaire Madra Lord has a soft spot for Barbie. After all, those Wisconsin gals have to stick together!

"Spotted in Manhattan" Madra Lord
Miss Lord pays homage to her diminutive friend by carrying a delightful miniature replica of Barbie's 1962 hatbox case from Hallmark's Keepsake Ornament series. Suit is from D.A.E. Originals. Additional accessories include gloves from Ashton Drake, hat and earrings from The Couture Touch, and necklace/bracelet set from StrayCat.

Vogue Special Design #S-4567
This vintage 1954 Vogue home sewing pattern was no doubt the inspiration behind D.A.E. Originals' luscious suit.

"Postcards from Cannes" Madra Lord
For the 2003 Paris Fashion Doll Festival, Madame Alexander created this divine gown similar to Barbie's iconic "Enchanted Evening" (1960-63). Gloves, fur, and waist corsage are from Ashton Drake, shoes are from Integrity, and purse is from Dressmaker Details. Miss Lord is coiffed in a "Johnny" wig from Monique.

Illustration from a vintage Barbie booklet.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Inspired by.....Chanel

In Paris, Gabrielle Chanel designed a deceptively simple, collarless jacket that has become a fashion icon. Executed in jersey or tweed, the jacket often featured braid trim, metallic buttons, and pocket detailing. It was modern, chic, and comfortable. Paired with a slim, well-fitting skirt, the suit epitomized the classic look of the late 1950's and early 1960's.

Vintage McCalls sewing pattern.

Included in Barbie's 1959 wardrobe, was a nod to the Chanel jacket. Commuter Set (1959-60) featured a two-piece navy cotton jersey suit, and a white satin sleeveless body blouse for elegant dinners. A casual blue and white mini-checked blouse was also included along with a delightful three-flower silk hat, gloves, jewelry, shoes, and hatbox.

Illustration from a vintage Barbie booklet.

Mattel's Dusk To Dawn Gift Set from the 2001 Barbie Fashion Model Collection included a similar Chanel-style suit re-interpreted in timeless black. A legendary classic look perfect for a legendary diva's wardrobe.

Dusk to Dawn Barbie styled by The Couture Touch.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

From Smart to Sizzle

First came the cool sophistication of City Smart....then the refined elegance of Sunday Best.  Now get ready for some sizzle!

Inspired by Mattel's 2003 "City Smart/Sunday Best" fashion, Barbie wears a chic daytime ensemble guaranteed to turn heads. Sheath and hat are from The Couture Touch. Purse, gloves, and necklace are from Mattel. Chinoiserie Red Sunset Barbie Doll was a 2004 Barbie Bazaar Special Offer.

City Smart
Sunday Best
City Smart and Sunday Best are from Mattel's Barbie Fashion Model Collection.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Nostalgic for Barbie

A reproduction brunette ponytail Barbie
in my vintage Campus Belle (1964-65).
No, I haven't abandoned the stars of Monolithic Studios. Gene, Madra, and the gang will inevitably return. But lately I have been nostalgic for the doll that started my love of fashion, sewing, and designing. As a child I spent idyllic hours dressing and redressing my beloved Barbie doll.  As a grown woman, I still enjoy spending idyllic hours dressing and redressing my beloved Barbie doll(s). So pardon my trip down memory lane....just enjoy it!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

An Iconic 1959 Sheath Dress

Nothing could be more chic than the modern, sleek lines of a surprisingly flattering, form-fitting sheath. 

The Apple Print Sheath #917 (1959 - 1960) was a smart, figure-hugging dress that accented Barbie's every curve. The rolled collar and delightful print made this an eye-catching ensemble. The identical sheath was also paired with a black faille coat in one of the most coveted outfits from the 900 series, Easter Parade #971 (1959). It was Haute Couture at its finest!

Photo courtesy

The sheath saw its greatest popularity during the 1950's and 1960's. Its simplistic design gave the wearer a sense of glamour and sophistication. In 1962 Mattel created the Fashion Paks for Barbie that included the Silk Sheath (1962 - 1963). The slim skirt and fitted bodice were accented with a wider rolled collar and self-bow accent. The sheath was available in pale yellow, black, turquoise, red, green, white, and golden yellow. 

Bias rolled collar sheath pattern with interesting seam detailing designed by Luis Estevez.
Made by McCalls exclusively for The Quaker Oats Co., 1959.
Photo courtesy

A decade earlier, Dior created an antithesis to his New Look called the "Vertical Line", a sleeker sheath with fitted bodice and a longer, pencil-thin skirt. It often featured a scoop or boat neckline enhanced with collars and bows.

Photo by Gordon Parks, 1949.

The versatility and elegance of the iconic sheath dress make it a must-have for every miniature fashion diva's wardrobe.


The Models & Fashions:

Trench Setter Barbie from the Barbie Fashion Model Collection wears the apple print sheath from the vintage reproduction Easter Parade (1994). Bubblecut wig was borrowed from a vintage Fashion Queen. All from Mattel.

Holiday Hostess Thanksgiving Feast Barbie wears a vintage pale yellow silk sheath. Dress & accessories are from Mattel. Purse is from Randall Craig.

Trench Setter Barbie wears an OOAK periwinkle sheath ensemble from The Couture Touch. Purse & bracelet are from Randall Craig. Shoes & earrings are from Mattel.


Barbie Fashion, Vol. 1 by Sarah Sink Eames.

History of the Sheath Dress from the fashion archives at

The Second New Look of 1949 from

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Can We Talk?

Screen shot from The Women, 1939.
Photo courtesy

"Did you see Joan's new hat?  And that fabulous suit she is wearing? To Die For!  Just hop on over to the Chapeaux à la Mode blog darlings for a head start on Fall."

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Barbie and Victoire Roux in Paris

Barbara Millicent Roberts is ready to take Paris by storm joining French fashion model sensation Victoire Roux for a fashion shoot highlighting Fall suits.

Debut Barbie
Barbie makes her entrance wearing a signature print swing coat over the black satin sheath from "Vintage Elegance" Candi fashion by Hamilton Toys. White with black trim patent clutch is from Randall Craig. Hat, belt, and necklace are from The Couture Touch. Earrings are from Integrity. Coat and bracelet are from Mattel.

Suite Retreat Barbie
Barbie slips into a chic bubblecut wig from D.A.E. Originals for an evening location shoot at a Paris cafe wearing a raw silk jacket from the "Natural Instinct" Candi fashion over a slim black skirt. Jewels, gloves, and scarf are from Mattel. Fur and skirt are from The Couture Touch. Hat with replaced trim is from the Manhattan Moods "Fashion Week" suit ensemble by Hamilton Toys.

Victoire Roux
Just in from Buenos Aires, Victoire models the sophisticated black wool suit from the Manhattan Moods "Fashion Week" Candi fashion ensemble by Hamilton Toys. Purse is from Integrity. The dramatic, leopard-trimmed hat and matching gloves are from The Couture Touch.

Debut and Suite Retreat Silkstone Barbie dolls are from The Barbie Fashion Model Collection by Mattel.

Buenos Aires Victoire Roux is from Integrity.