Monday, December 15, 2014

1940's Decorative Details: Applique Trim

Applique is formed by applying one layer of fabric, the applique, to the surface of another which is usually the garment section. An applique can be made of a variety of fabrics and designs or motifs. They can be bold and decorative or appear more subtle.

Miss Madra Lord
The clean lines of a classic, collar-less jacket is the perfect backdrop to showcase a pair of marvelous vintage appliques found at an antique clothing show and sale. A green suede and brown leather tilt topper, green suede gauntlet gloves, and a silk paisley shell complete the one-of-a-kind ensemble. In addition to using vintage appliques as trim for the jacket, a man's silk tie was used for the shell and trim on the hat. A woman's brown leather glove was used for the hat crown. The jacket "button" was originally part of some vintage trim.
Tip: Antique shops, thrift stores, and flea markets are excellent sources for doll fabrics and trims. Vintage scarves, handkerchiefs, silk ties, leather gloves, as well as clothing make great fabric choices. Buttons, beads, fur, lace, appliques, and embroidered trim can often be salvaged from damaged clothing.

Miss Madra Lord
Ashton Drake's "Dark Desire" Madra Lord has been enhanced with an Integrity articulated body. Miss Lord's circa 1941 suit ensemble is from The Couture Touch. Cigarette holder is from Ashton Drake.

Vogue 7485
Miss Lord's jacket was made from Vogue pattern #7485. The jacket was lengthened and the front waistline dart eliminated. A street-length, slightly a-line skirt was added for a smart, daytime look.

Vogue 355, photo courtesy Genie Hillen
Vogue 7485 was based on this original Vogue Couturier Design sewing pattern from 1940/41.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Versatility by Design

How do you take a chic and sophisticated sheath to over-the-top drama suitable for a Hollywood diva?


Miss Madra Lord poses in a smart, slim-fitting, pink dress featuring contrast collar and cuffs. The dress was made from Vogue pattern #7382 by Diane on Whidbey Island. OOAK hat and ascot are from The Couture Touch. Fur muff and gloves are from Ashton Drake, shoes from Integrity.

Miss Gene Marshall makes a dramatic entrance wearing the same dress accented with flamboyant, detachable bows. OOAK hat and bow detailing are from The Couture Touch. Gloves and jewelry are from Ashton Drake.

Vogue 7382
The pattern for this circa 1950 dress includes 3 variations. Using the original pattern, the bows were drafted as a separate piece that could be tacked or pinned in place yet easily removable for added versatility. 

Pool Pose Madra Lord and Star Entrance Gene Marshall are from Integrity Toys.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo courtesy

Wishing you a Safe and Bountiful Holiday
filled with Family, Food, and Friends.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Now Is the Time for Prints

When your clothes suddenly look dreary. When you whimsically wish for a little color. Then the time is right to add a print dress to your Fall wardrobe.

Monolithic Studios' diva extraordinaire, Miss Madra Lord, asked (or rather demanded) her stylist design a new dress to wear with her favorite asymmetric suede and straw topper. And after all, a star has to look fashion-forward even on her day off. As luck would have it, a trip to the local fabric store yielded this delightful and perfectly scaled print fabric. Dress, suede gauntlet gloves, and topper are all from The Couture Touch. Fur muff and handbag are from PD Root. Metropolitan Madra Lord was a 2007 MetroDolls Exclusive dressed doll.

Early 1940's fabric advertisement

1940's fabric advertisement

During the 1940's, rayon was the fabric of choice and available in a wide variety of colors and designs. At just a few cents per yard, a woman could update her wardrobe with a stylish new dress.

The cost of Miss Lord's dress: $1.27   Even a diva can look smart on a dime!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Accessorizing the Little Black Suit

As with the little black dress, the basic black suit is a wardrobe staple that lends itself perfectly to accessorizing. Monolithic Studios' star Miss Gene Marshall demonstrates three ways to accessorize a classic wool suit, circa 1946. Move over black and white, the LBS gets ready for daytime drama in the rich shades of Autumn.

Brown and black is so chic ....especially when paired with a magnificent mauve high-crown asymmetric feathered topper for a distinctive daytime look. Brown suede gauntlet gloves and hat are from The Couture Touch. Scarf from Sandra Stillwell, fur-trimmed purse from PD Root, and cigarette holder from Mystyna.

A delightful floral hat dresses up the classic suit for late afternoon cocktails. Gauntlet gloves are from The Couture Touch, scarf from Mattel, fur and purse from PD Root. The hat, with the original veil removed, is from Ashton Drake's "First Stop Chicago" ensemble.

All lines point to high style courtesy of a dashing red wool felt hat paired with a coordinating ascot, both from The Couture Touch. Fur-trimmed gloves are from Ashton Drake, handbag from PD Root, shoes from Integrity.

Ashton Drake's "Symphony in G" Gene Marshall has been enhanced with an articulated body by Integrity.

Miss Marshall's black wool suit is a variation of Vince Nowell's HLAYG exclusive pattern, "Fan Club Meeting".

Monday, October 13, 2014

The News from Paris & Schiaparelli

The sharply angled silhouette....the spiral flounces wired to flare out....paired with the high severity of black silk illustrated by Eric for Vogue, October 1, 1948.

Madra Lord embraces the softer side of the new silhouette by pairing a knit bodysuit from Robert Tonner's Urban Sport fashion set from the Tyler Wentworth Collection with the plaid ruffled skirt from Integrity's Willow Madra Lord. Easy elegance for an evening out or at-home entertaining.

Ashton Drake's Black Widow Madra Lord has been enhanced with an articulated body from Integrity.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Autumn, 1950

It's Time to Romance the Suit.

Two of my favorite styles....the fitted jacket with nipped-in waist and a belted jacket that features a dramatic peplum, both worn over a "pencil" slim skirt.  Elegant and sophisticated silhouettes for those cool days ahead.

Actress Gene Marshall wears the drama of a wool OOAK, belted, peplum jacket accented with over-sized pockets and button detailing from The Couture Touch. A wing collar and 3/4 length cuffed sleeves complete this chic ensemble. Muff from Mattel. J'Adore Gene Marshall wears her original black felt hat that has been restyled.

Ivy Jordan, renowned director for Monolithic Studios, dons a recreation of a Pierre Balmain suit by Debora West and styled by The Couture Touch. The double-breasted, fitted jacket features a funnel neckline with tucking detail. The sleeve can be worn as shown or folded back to reveal contrast pink cuffs. Miss Jordan accessorizes her suit with a dramatic black suede hat and coordinating color-blocked clutch, both from The Couture Touch. "Diamond" brooch from Facets by Marcia.

The suit was created based on this Studio Commissary header photo of a Pierre Balmain (1914-82) design. His designs echo his architectural background and tended to favor a narrow silhouette for his tailored suits.

Moss Rose Ivy Jordan is from Integrity.
J'Adore Gene Marshall is the FDQ Exclusive BJD from Mel Odom and JamieShow.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

On The Set with Madra Lord, 1942

Monolithic Studios' star Miss Madra Lord arrives on the set of her new film smartly dressed in a tweed plastron layered over the black crepe dress from Ashton Drake's "Dark Desire" costume. Plastron, suede color-blocked gauntlet gloves, belt and jewelry are all from The Couture Touch. Cigarette holder from Mystyna. Props are from Ashton Drake.

Miss Lord is coiffed in a wig from the famous Italian wig-maker to the Stars, Ilaria Mazzoni of Time of Doll. This miniature work of art is reminiscent of Ashton Drake's "Stolen Moments" early 1940's hairstyle.

Set in German occupied Paris during WWII, Miss Lord plays a fashion shop owner who becomes involved with spies. But which side is she on? Well, you decide. For this scene she wears a leopard plastron over a classic black dress. Plastron, belt, gloves, and train case are from D.A.E. Originals' "Charmed Traveler" costume set. Dress and earrings are from Ashton Drake. Hat from Integrity. Brooch from The Couture Touch. Miss Lord wears the Havana Nights wigcap from JamieShow. It has been cut and restyled.

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Monolithic Stars Model More 1950's Daywear

You may have noticed that my last few posts have focused on the 1950's. Obsessed you say? Definitely.....Magnificently! My passion for the fashions of the 1950's was recently renewed with the latest resin wonder from Mel Odom and JamieShow to enter my menagerie of miniature fashion doll mannequins: Spotted in Manhattan Madra Lord. Miss Lord along with her longtime rival J'Adore Gene Marshall embody the glamorous look and style of the 1950's. Here they are modeling two more costumes from the Monolithic Studios' vault.

Miss Marshall wears "Cocoa Crisp", the impeccably tailored suit from Integrity's 2007 Silver Screen Collection. The smart, fitted, two-piece suit features three-quarter length sleeves that flare over floral-embroidered white balloon cuffs. The felt hat was borrowed from Buenos Aires Victoire Roux.

Miss Lord looks delightfully coquettish in the teal dress from Integrity's Silhouette of the 1950's Ivy Jordan. Accessories include a lamp-shade style black straw hat from Mattel, earrings and gloves from Ashton Drake, and sunglasses from Retros by Liz Cole. The monogrammed straw bag was a favor from a Mel Odom Gene Event hosted by Gigi's Dolls in Chicago.

Vogue #S-4841 Special Design 1957
Integrity did a wonderful job recreating the details of this circa 1957 dress. Pattern illustration courtesy Wade Laboissonniere, "Blueprints of Fashion, Home Sewing Patterns of the 1950's".

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gene's New Hat

As Sandra Stillwell Presents opens her Toast of Manhattan event this weekend, Monolithic Studios' darling Miss Gene Marshall shops for a new hat for her favorite cocktail suit from Sandra's 2011 Golden Gate Glamour convention. Bandolier Morado is a luscious silk, tailored suit featuring alternating black and tonal lilac stripes. There was never any doubt that Miss Marshall would find the perfect hat: a delightful concoction of lilac and rose-colored flowers embellishing the little black matador-style hat from Ashton Drake's Song of Spain costume. Ole!

Additional costume credits: Muff from the 2005 Annual Gene Convention costume Lotta Moola, scarf from Robert Tonner's Cashmere Noir, and pin from Facets by Marcia's 2004 Hollywood Set. Black suede gauntlet gloves, bracelet, earrings, and re-styled hat are from The Couture Touch.

"Symphony in G" Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

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.