Saturday, December 31, 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holiday Dress-Up Glamour

Vintage 1950's party photo courtesy Tiki Lounge Talk


What's a gal to wear to her next Holiday party?  


Santa Baby Gene Marshall
Film star Miss Gene Marshall updates A Touch of Hospitality cocktail ensemble by adding the "fur" cuffs from her Star Wardrobe Brown Herringbone suit. Fashion and jewels are from Ashton Drake. Cigarette holder is from Mystyna. Shadow Song Gene Marshall is from Integrity. Her re-styled coif is from The Couture Touch.

Thursday, December 8, 2016 Holiday Greeting Cards

Who doesn't love receiving and displaying those cherished Holiday cards. Since as early as the Victorian times, sending and receiving greeting cards has become as much a part of the Holiday tradition as the turkey and all the trimmings.

Here are some favorites.

Circa 1930's greeting card courtesy Violet's Vintage Vault

Circa 1940's

Norcross greeting card, circa 1950's
Circa 1960

Integrity's Buenos Aires Victoire Roux wears The Walking Suit from Mattel's Barbie Fashion Model Collection. Hat and jewelry from The Couture Touch. Handbag from Joshard. Wreath from Robert Tonner's Timy Kitty Collection.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Quick Holiday Decorating Tip

Want a quick and easy way to dress up your Holiday fashion doll display?  Decorate a doll-sized mannequin with artificial Christmas picks or floral sprays found at craft stores such as Hobby Lobby or Michael's. Versatile floral picks are flexible and can easily be shaped and formed. Shown above: A larger artificial berry spray was cut apart and the stems were shaped to fit around the mannequin's waist. The dress form mannequin is from the Silkstone Barbie Fashion Model Collection Accessory Pack by Mattel.

Don't have  a mannequin?  No problem. A doll will do just fine....

Gene Marshall is decked out in festive Holiday attire achieved by using artificial garland and vintage Christmas picks for her delightful bubble skirt. Paired with the top from Crimson Sun, she makes a whimsical yet chic addition to any tablescape or Holiday display. Midnight Gamble Gene Marshall, top, gloves, and bracelet are from Ashton Drake. Earrings are from The Couture Touch.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fall For Suits

When the weather turns cool, it's time to fall in love with suits again. Two iconic stars of stage and screen pick their favorites.

Gene Marshall
Miss Marshall punctuates a black wool suit with pops of red accents. Suit ensemble from The Couture Touch. "Beaver fur" from Mattel. Spring in Central Park Gene Marshall, enhanced with an Integrity articulated body, is from Ashton Drake.

Madra Lord
Miss Lord struts her stuff in a regal taupe and black checked wool suit topped with a silk print, tilt hat with attached snood.  Suit, hat, and gauntlet gloves are from The Couture Touch. Blouse is from Ashton Drake. Fur from miniature furrier PD Root. Shoes from Integrity. Umbrella from Fashion Blvd. Siren in the Night Madra Lord, enhanced with an Integrity articulated body, is from Ashton Drake.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Two Fashion Attitudes Toward Autumn

Two dress styles...each one perfectly positioned for Fall. A classic shirtwaist in a delightfully tasty fall harvest print, and the sleek, modern lines of a cozy merino wool jersey sheath.

A vintage reproduction, brunette ponytail Barbie wears a chic knit sheath topped with a whimsical black felt hat, both from The Couture Touch. Gloves and fur muff are from Mattel. Bracelet and earrings are from Ashton Drake. Brooch is from Integrity.

Spa Getaway Silkstone Barbie wears the delightful shirtwaist dress from Mattel's Holiday Hostess Thanksgiving Feast Barbie Collection. Hat is from Hamilton Toys. Jewelry and purse are from Mattel. Wig is borrowed from a vintage Fashion Queen.

Vintage Reproduction and Silkstone Barbie dolls are from Mattel.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Repurposing Household Items for a Chic New Look for Madra Lord

Spotted in Manhattan Madra Lord
An old pillowcase transformed into a sleek sheath. A fashionable topper made by using a vinegar bottle as a hat block. Sometimes what's in your kitchen cabinet or linen closet can yield unexpected, hidden treasure. It's just a matter of looking at items in a new way.

OOAK ensemble is from The Couture Touch. Handbag is from Integrity. Spotted in Manhattan Madra Lord is from JamieShow.

Click HERE to see how Miss Lord's hat was made.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Miss Marshall Makes Fall Fashion News

Film star Gene Marshall is a veritable "Lady in Red" in the tailored crepe suit borrowed from reporter and friend Brenda Starr. Her lampshade style chapeau is oh so chic!

Miss Gene Marshall
Reporter in Red suit and Par Excellence hatbox are from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection.
Hat, gloves, and jewelry are from The Couture Touch.
Star Entrance Gene Marshall is from Integrity.

Don't cry Brenda, you'll get your suit back....eventually!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Monolithic Studios Stars Raid WHOSE Closet?

Why 007 of course.....

Zita Charles
Somewhere along my travels across the web, I read where someone successfully used a Ken sewing pattern for Gene Marshall. Mattel's 2002 "James Bond 007 Ken & Barbie Gift Set" provided the costume department at Monolithic Studios a classic black gabardine jacket to add to their wardrobe. The fit was remarkably good. The sleeve length was a little short, but easily remedied with gloves. The back seam was tapered to the waist for a nipped in 1950's silhouette. The overlap at the jacket front was reversed and new buttons added. Paired with a black rayon faille slim skirt and a white satin top, the look is pure Hollywood daytime glamour.

Miss Zita Charles
Skirt & gloves are from The Couture Touch.
Top is from Sandra Stillwell's Zoe suit ensemble.
Fur is from miniature furrier PD Root.
Hat & purse are from Ashton Drake.
Brooch is from Mattel's Barbie Fashion Model Collection.
Azalea Ice Zita Charles is from Integrity.

Gene Marshall
Miss Gene Marshall
The versatile black suit goes from boardroom to cocktails with a change of accessories. The pink & black houndstooth hat/purse set and earrings are from Ashton Drake. Gloves and brooch are from Integrity. Scarf and fur stole are from Sandra Stillwell. Black suede hat is from The Couture Touch. Phoenix Gene Marshall is from JamieShow.

So if you are looking for a basic black jacket to add to your wardrobe, look no further than....
Bond.... James Bond.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Styled for Fall

With help from her personal wardrobe stylist, Miss Gene Marshall updates some favorite wardrobe pieces just in time for Fall.

Monolithic Studios' star Gene Marshall
"White Orchid" Gene Marshall
By simply removing the teal chiffon neck scarf, this rust-colored knit sheath from the FAO Schwartz Exclusive "Warmest Wishes" (1998) becomes a versatile yet chic daytime look. Accessories include the fur drape from miniature furrier PD Root, gloves from Ashton Drake, handbag from Integrity, sunglasses from Retros, brooch from Robert Tonner, and hat from The Couture Touch. "Warmest Wishes" was designed by Tim Kennedy, circa 1948.

"Phoenix" Gene Marshall
The sheath from Ashton Drake's "Stormy Weather" (2001) comes out of hiding to reveal a figure hugging, classic style based on a 1950's home sewing pattern. A black grosgrain bow was added to the bodice to accent the contrasting fabric detailing. Accessories include a velveteen pillbox with dramatic feather, brooch, and earrings from The Couture Touch. Cigarette holder is from Mystyna. "Stormy Weather" was designed by Tim Kennedy.

"Symphony in G" Gene Marshall
Every fall wardrobe needs a new suit! A sophisticated jacket with an unusual shaped peplum that mirrors the hemline of the skirt borrowed from Ashton Drake's "Fashion Plot". It's the ultimate restyle of D.A.E. Originals' "Tour d'Argent". The wing-collared dickey and dramatic hat are from The Couture Touch.

"Blue Belle" Gene Marshall
An elegant cocktail ensemble features the black tulle overskirt from "El Morocco" layered over the satin sheath from "Black Ribbon", both from Ashton Drake. The fur stole is from Madame Alexander, jewels from Ashton Drake, and gloves from PD Root. The "diamond" encrusted evening bag and wine suede hat are from The Couture Touch.

Additional Credits:

Gene Marshall Collection costume source: Gene 3rd Edition by Carolyn E. Cook.

The Models:
White Orchid and Phoenix Gene Marshall are from JamieShow.
Symphony in G and Blue Bell Gene Marshall (both enhanced with Integrity articulated bodies) are from Ashton Drake.

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."