Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Midnight Mischief of a Madcap Modiste

The mischief?  A madcap murder featuring a most unusual weapon - a specially designed cape with a brooch laced with poison!  Follow: A decidedly deceptive modiste (French for fashionable dressmaker) designs an evening cape that must be closed with both hands thus prompting the intended victim, a model, to put the brooch in her mouth.

The murderess or intended victim?  Victoire Roux models the late afternoon cocktail cape ensemble Midnight Mischief from Mattel's Silkstone Barbie Fashion Model Collection. The original self-bow at the neckline was replaced with a "diamond" brooch. The extravagant, high-crown, beaded and feathered pink silk hat is from The Couture Touch.


Buenos Aires Victoire Roux is from Integrity.

The Case of the Madcap Modiste from the Perry Mason series originally aired on April 30, 1960. Charles le Maire was credited for the special gowns and fashion sketches used in the episode.

Leslie Parrish tries on the cape as
Dorothy Neumann looks on. From the
Perry Mason episode, The Case of the
Madcap Modiste, 1960.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

On The Plaza with Miss Gene Marshall

On The Plaza is an impeccably tailored suit ensemble from Sandra Stillwell's Holiday Collection that she presented at the 2013 Every Day's A Holiday event held in Kansas City. It was inspired by a Betty Rose design, circa 1950's.

Photo courtesy
The Betty Rose label was trademarked in 1926 by the Stern-Slegman Prins Company, Kansas City, MO. The company designed women's coats and suits as well as girl's coats under the Betty Rose label.

This chic and sophisticated black and white tweed suit is accented with subtle shots of silver metallic thread woven throughout the fabric. The highlight is the perfectly scaled decorative tabs and Swarovski crystal buttons. Accessories include a red wool felt platter hat trimmed with wine velvet, red gloves, drop earrings, and the most marvelously detailed red-trimmed black suede shoes.

Join Miss Marshall On The Plaza as she models this fabulous suit styled by The Couture Touch.

The original hat was re-modeled to form a heart shape meant to be worn off the face. The fur stole is from Integrity's "C'est Moi" Madra Lord ensemble, shoes and purse are from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection, and the gloves are from Ashton Drake. A pre-made satin bow is tucked under the front overlay and accented with a tiny matching flower. A restyled "To Have and To Hold" Gene Marshall from Ashton Drake has been enhanced with an Integrity articulated body.

Perfect for Spring: red and black accessories. The perfect topper: the black straw hat from Mattel's Muffy Roberts Silkstone Barbie doll. Red gloves are from Robert Tonner, the red corsage and black alligator handbag are from Integrity, and the earrings and white with black dotted scarf are from The Couture Touch. J'Adore Gene Marshall is the FDQ Exclusive BJD from Mel Odom and JamieShow. She wears the black, one-bun chignon from JamieShow.

Another delightful Spring look courtesy of the OOAK floral hat from Hunter-Goldblatt Designs. Yellow scarf and black gloves are from Ashton Drake, the OOAK "lucite" handbag is from The Couture Touch, shoes are from Integrity. The tweed jacket is paired with a black skirt from Bogue's Vogues. A white with black dotted pre-made bow is again tucked under the front overlay for accent. "Cocoa Crisp" Gene Marshall is from Integrity.

A fabulous tilt hat from The Couture Touch and the fur drape from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection provide the drama and gives this 50's suit a 40's flair. Brooch and gloves are from Ashton Drake, and the handbag is from Mark Middendorf. The gray feathered hair ornament from Integrity's Rich Girl ensemble was re-purposed as trim for the hat. "Symphony in G" Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

Be sure to visit for availability of fashions from her events.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A New Hat to Lift the Spirits

It's been a long, hard winter and even a miniature Hollywood film diva occasionally needs to rejuvenate the soul. And what better way to lift the spirits than with a new hairstyle and a new hat!  After a trip to the beauty salon, Miss Gene Marshall visits her favorite milliner at The Couture Touch atelier. Miss Marshall selects an off-the-face style chapeau to complement her new bangs. The winter white, wool felt hat features a split-brim accented with black marabou.

Miss Marshall's re-styled tweed jacket is from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr collection. The black leather handbag and fur drape are from miniature furrier PD Root. Print scarf is from Sandra Stillwell. Hat, jewelry, and black suede gauntlet gloves are from The Couture Touch. Fashion Plot Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

3 Reasons I Love Dark Desire's LBD

Madra Lord Dark Desire from Ashton Drake
Photo courtesy
1. Style - This circa 1942 tailored dress is exceptionally well-cut and well made. I love the front asymmetric banding and pleat detailing. The dress includes padded shoulders, a round neckline, and 3/4" sleeves.

Butterick 5281 dress pattern, circa 1940's
2. Color - Don't we all have at least one little black dress in our wardrobe? In 1926 American Vogue published a fashion illustration of a simple black, crepe de chine dress designed by Coco Chanel. A month later, French Vogue declared it the "uniform of the modern woman". The concept was perhaps a little ahead of its time, and it wasn't until a decade later that the "little black dress" became a popular phrase in advertising with major department stores heralding it as the piece of clothing a modern woman "can't live without".

Chanel's 1926 "Ford" dress
Photo courtesy
Chanel did not "invent" the LBD. A year earlier the New York Times mentioned a "particular smart model" from Lanvin, "a dinner dress built of black satin with no trimming". In 1916 the English magazine, The Queen, used the phrase "little black satin dress", and as early as 1902 Henry James describes "a little black frock" in The Wings of a Dove. The LBD was around before Chanel's crepe de chine number appeared in Vogue, but she told us to wear it, and so we did. - Ali Basye, On This Day In Fashion.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, 1939
Fox Photos, Getty Images
The style and color lends itself nicely to the 3rd reason I love this dress....

3. Versatility - Accessories are the perfect way to change the look of a basic black dress. They can include everything from shoes and hats to collars, belts, and jewelry. Over the past few years I have shown this dress with a variety of looks. Here are 2 more:

Gene Marshall accessorizes the LBD with a belted blue and black wool herringbone jerkin and matching gauntlet gloves from The Couture Touch. The lace jabot is from Ashton Drake's earlier "Little Black Dress" costume. The over-sized breton hat is from Robert Tonner's Par Excellence suit ensemble. Oxford shoes are from Integrity. J'Adore Gene Marshall is the FDQ Exclusive BJD doll from Mel Odom and JamieShow. Miss Marshall's restyled wig cap is from Phoenix Gene.

The LBD takes a dramatic turn courtesy of a black and white striped turban with attached scarf from The Couture Touch. The gloves are original to Dark Desire. The white fur muff from A Touch of Hospitality has been embellished with various trims. Brooch is from Ashton Drake and the black and white t-strapped shoes are from Tonner. A restyled Shadow Song Gene Marshall is from  Integrity.