Monday, March 12, 2012

Barbie Returns to 1950's Glamour

Gay Parisienne, from 1959, is probably the most desirable fashion for collectors of the Barbie doll.  Shown only in Mattel's 1959 catalog along with Roman Holiday and Easter Parade, it evokes the glamour of the late 1950's when Haute Couture was at it's peak. 

I'm excited that the Barbie Fashion Model Collection is finally returning to it's high fashion roots.  I recently received two of the new dolls: Walking Suit and the 2012 Fan Club exclusive, Afternoon Suit.

Walking Suit is a beautifully tailored, houndstooth suit with a fabulous blouse with fringed bow detailing at the neckline.  Accessories include the unique gauntlet gloves, umbrella, hat box, purse (not shown), stilettos and stockings.  Instead of using the black veiled hat that came with the ensemble, I remade a hat from Gene Marshall's Little Black Dress costume.  It was a wired, black velvet headband hat that I coiled to form a pillbox style.  The trim is original to the hat. 

This is my take on the Afternoon Suit.  I paired the belted jacket with a long and narrow black skirt.  I added the matching pink corsage and replaced the original pink buttons on the front of the jacket to black for contrast.  The hat is from an early Candi doll ensemble that I accented with the bow and feather trim from the original hat.  The structured handbag and jewelry are from D.A.E. Originals.  My model/muse is a wigged Suite Retreat Silkstone doll from BFMC.  Unfortunately there were some QC issues with my doll.  The hair was a choppy mess, so she will probably get a new wig.  The jacket was not as crisp looking as in the publicity still, and it did not fit well over the full skirt of the original costume.  With all that said, I am still happy with how the ensemble turned out.  I'm looking forward to what the rest of the year holds for the BFMC.

Set Credits:
Backdrop wall from RaiHing
Flooring is scrapbook paper
Table is the BFMC vanity with the mirror removed
A tea cup from a miniature tea set holds a miniature floral arrangement
Picture on table is a Mel Odom reproduction illustration
Leopard "statue" is a collectible trinket box from Hobby Lobby

1959 Gay Parisienne costume and doll are reproductions from Mattel.


  1. Wonderful. Love how you restyled the outfits!

  2. absolutely love what you did with afternoon suit
    I think its much better than mattles version
    I wish to do the same

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your comment. Have fun! Melissa