Thursday, July 31, 2014

YSL and His Paper Dolls

Photo by Francois Pages, 1957

Found at the Foundation Pierre Berge Yves Saint Laurent, an archive of delightful paper dolls created in painstaking detail between 1953 - 1957 by a 17 year old Yves Saint Laurent. The archive consists of 11 dolls, 443 garments, 105 accessories, 7 patterns, and 2 collection programs.

Cover of a collection program illustrated by YSL.

One of YSL's paper dolls dressed in the chic daytime ensemble 'Lord'.

Click HERE to read the fascinating article The Yves Saint Laurent Paper Dolls originally posted on Shrimpton Couture's blog, Curate in April, 2014 by Sr. Content Editor, Maria Echeverri.

All photos courtesy

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Transitional Dressing

A classic sheath in a great color + a change in accessories = a look that easily transitions from late Summer to Fall beautifully.  Removing the original teal chiffon scarf and pin from the dress designed by Tim Kennedy for the FAO Schwarz 1998 Fall Exclusive "Warmest Wishes", reveals a flattering silhouette featuring a jewel neckline, dolman-sleeves, and working pockets. This style was common in the late 1940's and continued well into the 1950's.

Miss Gene Marshall's rich make-up palette complements the rust-colored, knit sheath topped with an unusual-shaped, crown-less, suede hat. Additional accessories include a suede belt, brooch and earrings, all from The Couture Touch. Gloves are from Ashton Drake's "Winged Inspiration" ensemble, bracelet from Integrity, and handbag from an unknown artist.

Perfect for the crisp Fall days ahead: a tweed shoulder cape and coordinating green suede topper with feather accent from The Couture Touch. Bracelet from Facets by Marcia, green leather clutch from PD Root.

Ashton Drake's "Blue Belle" Gene Marshall has been enhanced with an Integrity articulated body.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Les Femmes Chic

Dateline:  Paris, France.....

The chic women of Monolithic Studios, Miss Gene Marshall and Miss Madra Lord, took time off from filming to attend Paris Fashion Week. The ladies graciously agreed to model their favorite Fall fashions from the show.

Miss Madra Lord
Miss Lord wears a striking gown from Integrity's Gene Marshall Collection. A blush pink satin bodice is worn over black tulle accented with black feathers and sequins. Long black gloves and "diamond" jewelry complete this stunning 2008 W Club Exclusive. Miss Lord's pale blonde, size 4/5, "Brittany" wig from the Monique Collection is available in several colors from facetsbymarcia.

Madra Lord
Miss Lord models the chic daytime dress from D.A.E. Original's "Charmed Traveler" ensemble topped with a dramatic black suede hat from The Couture Touch. Additional accessories include beaded color-blocked gauntlet gloves, belt, and brooch: all from The Couture Touch. Earrings and the delightful structured handbag are from Ashton Drake.

Miss Gene Marshall
For those crisp Autumn days ahead, Miss Marshall wears "Sparkling Sepia", a smart tweed suit from Integrity. The jacket has been belted and at the neckline, a soft peach flirty bow. Additional accessories include a fur hat and embroidered gloves, both from Ashton Drake.


"Spotted in Manhattan" Madra Lord and J'Adore Gene Marshall are from Mel Odom and JamieShow.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Spotted in Vogue

Carl Erickson illustration for Vogue
Why Miss Lord, of course!  In 1957,"Spotted in Manhattan" Madra Lord made her modeling debut in the iconic fashion magazine. Join me for an exclusive look at Miss Lord's photo shoot for the Autumn Fashion Forecast layout, styled by The Couture Touch.

From the American Designer's Collection, a Betty Rose inspired suit from Sandra Stillwell wrapped in luxurious fur. Hat, fur and shoes are all from Integrity. Gloves from Ashton Drake. Handbag from Madame Alexander.

Perfect for those crisp autumn days, Robert Tonner's luscious "Cashmere Noir" coat. At the neck, a scarf tied ascot-style from Mattel. Additional accessories include leather gloves from The Couture Touch, hat and earrings from Ashton Drake.

For dramatic evenings, an intricately beaded figure-hugging gown and stunning evening coat from Violet Water's 2004 "Blues in the Night" ensemble by Ashton Drake. Jewelry from JamieShow.

Miss Lord graces the cover in the delightful shirtwaist dress from Ashton Drake's 2001 Coca-Cola Calendar Girl ensemble "April Showers", based on a March/April 1957 calendar photograph from the Coke archives. Hat from Mattel, belt from The Couture Touch, gloves and earrings from Ashton Drake, and bracelet from Facets by Marcia.


"Spotted in Manhattan" Madra Lord is from Mel Odom and JamieShow.

Miss Lord's hairstyle provided by the "Johnny" wig, size 4/5, from Monique shown in carrot red. Available in a variety of colors from

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Haute Madra

Everyone's favorite fashion doll diva is back, exquisitely executed in resin by Mel Odom and JamieShow.

"Spotted in Manhattan" Madra Lord wears her original wigcap that has been restyled to give her trademark bangs a fuller look. Miss Lord's marvelous organdy dotted blouse from "Heartless" is layered over the black satin sheath from "Black Ribbon", both from Ashton Drake's Gene Marshall Collection. Earrings are from Integrity and the OOAK cigarette holder is from Mystyna.

For years, Miss Lord reigned as queen of Hollywood. Now she reigns as queen of the catwalk. The circa 1950's sheath is from The Couture Touch. Accessories include restyled jewelry from D.A.E. Originals, gloves from Ashton Drake, and hat from Hamilton Toys accented with a bow recycled from a Mattel Barbie doll hat. The bleach blonde bobbed wig is from Monique.

There is nothing more synonymous than sumptuous fur and Madra Lord. OOAK hat and earrings are from The Couture Touch, fur drape from miniature furrier PD Root, gloves from Ashton Drake. Auburn wigcap was borrowed from J'Adore Gene Marshall.

"Spotted in Manhattan" Madra Lord wears a Christian Dior inspired cream satin halter gown with leopard accents, circa 1950. The matching leopard shoes are to-die-for. OOAK cigarette holder is from Mystyna. Carrot red bobbed wig is from Monique.

Christian Dior, 1950

Thursday, May 22, 2014

1940's Victory Rolls

Linda Darnell, circa 1940's
Photo courtesy
A victory roll was actually the name for a WWII fighter plane maneuver. The women of the 1940's took this term and made it their own. Thus the hairstyle that defined a decade was born. Many Hollywood stars happily embraced this glamorous hairstyle.

Rita Hayworth poses for a circa 1940's jewelry ad
Photo courtesy

Ann Sheridan from "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (1943)
Photo courtesy

Hair accessories such as flowers, ribbons, bows, and scarves were the perfect complement to the victory roll. One of my favorite accessory for the victory roll is a snood.  Snoods function similar to a classic hairnet that were used to keep the back hair neat. They were the perfect option for medium to longer-length hair. Snoods could be worn during the day or evening and were available in a variety of materials. Crochet or knitted snoods were the most popular, but they could also be made of the same material as a dress to create a coordinated look.

The classic 1940's crochet snood in a fabulous color.
Photo courtesy

On the girl in blue: A sequin snood accented with a
sapphire & moonstone clip.Costumes from Nettie Rosenstein.
Jewels from Tiffany & Company.
Photo by Horst for Vogue Nov 15, 1940.

"Belle of the Ball" Gene Marshall wears a silvery knit evening
snood from The Couture Touch to complement her sensational
brunette victory rolls.

Fabric snood to match a dress or top, circa 1942
Photo courtesy

"Parfait" Zita Charles wears her victory curls in an elegant
 evening style. Ransom in Red gown is from Ashton Drake.

Back view of a tightly rolled hairstyle option, circa 1940's
Photo courtesy

"Destiny" Gene Marshall in Pinque Passion.
Gloves from Gold Sensation. All from Ashton Drake.
In search of the perfect victory roll? Try curling the hair first. Here's how I created Destiny's victory rolls.

What you will need are some regular size drinking straws, end papers (found in beauty supply stores), straight pins, jewelry pliers, eyedropper or small measuring cup, a small pot of boiling water, a small bowl of cold water and ice, and a doll hairbrush. I use a Mattel's Barbie hairbrush.

Be sure to start with clean and tangle-free hair. I sectioned Destiny's hair from ear to ear and parted slightly off-centered. Each side was rolled using a straw cut to size. Wet the hair with water (or hair gel if desired) and wrap the ends with end papers before rolling. Hold the hair taut as you roll. To hold the roller in place, insert a straight pin through the straw and into the vinyl head with jewelry pliers. Repeat with the other side.

Fill an eyedropper or small measuring cup with the boiling water and carefully pour a little over the rollers avoiding the face and remaining hair. Immediately repeat with the cold water. Blot dry with a paper towel and allow to air dry for at least 24 hours.

When thoroughly dry, remove the pins with the jewelry pliers. Carefully remove the rollers and end papers. I just positioned the curls and secured with a couple of straight pins. That's it. The remaining hair was left long and slightly curled. No cutting or trimming was necessary for Destiny's hair length.

Disclaimer: I am by no means a professional hairstylist. If I can do it, so can you. If possible begin with an Ashton Drake Gene as their hair fiber is much more forgiving. And if you don't like the result, you can always rinse it out and start over. Happy Rolling!

Love 1940's hairstyles and want more? Click HERE to read my popular 2011 post on 1940's Hairstyles: Pompadours, Rolls, & Bangs.


"Belle of the Ball" Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake's 2001 Tulsa Oil Baron's Ball Gene Convention.

"Parfait" Zita Charles is from Integrity's 2010 Stardust Gene Convention.

"Destiny" Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Persia in Randall Craig

Persia, the exquisite handmade resin doll by Darrell Wallace, makes a fashion statement in Randall Craig. Speak Low (worn backwards) is a smart black and grey knit sheath with zebra accents on the collar and cuffs. Persia swaps out the original white belt with a black patent belt from Mattel. Brooch is from Robert Tonner's Tiny Kitty collection. Gloves and shoes are from Integrity. Dramatic black suede hat is from The Couture Touch.