Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

Miss Gene Marshall, circa 1930's.
Courtesy Monolithic Studios.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Perfectly Suited for the Holidays

A cocktail party with friends or an intimate dinner for two suggests an elegant suit ensemble as the perfect choice.  Barbie chooses a one-of-a-kind, fur-trimmed suit of rich burgundy and black moire silk with matching handbag from Hunter-Goldblatt Designs.  The floral-trimmed, black headband from Ashton Drake's "Little Black Dress" set is fashioned into a chic pillbox.

Walking Suit Barbie in ooak suit from Hunter-Goldblatt Designs
Barbara Millicent Roberts


Walking Suit Silkstone Barbie is from Mattel.

Styling from The Couture Touch.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gene Marshall Shares a Recipe

We've all been there.  You are invited to a Holiday soiree and the hostess asks if you could bring a dessert.  You'll be the hit of the party with my mom's recipe for "Quick Caramel Oat Bars".

Here's what you will need:

  • 1-1/2 Cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 Cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 T unsalted melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
15 minutes before baking, place rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9" x 13" pan (To reduce fat use a non-stick pan or vegetable cooking spray).  In a large bowl mix the oats, sugar, butter, and baking powder until all the oats are moistened with butter and there are no lumps of sugar.  Press into the pan in a thin, even layer.  Bake 10 - 12 minutes until golden (7 - 10 minutes if using a non-stick pan).  Cool at least 10 minutes and cut into 2" squares.  Carefully transfer the squares to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Yield:  24 - 2" squares
Preparation time:  15 minutes
Baking time:  10-12 minutes (7-10 minutes using a non-stick pan)

  1. Press above mixture into pan in a thin, even layer.  Sprinkle with 1 small package of semisweet chocolate chips.  Bake as directed above.
  2. Remove from oven, immediately sprinkle with finely, chopped nuts.  Let cool thoroughly before cutting into squares.

Photo Credits:

Cocoa Rose Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.
Apron borrowed from Mattel's Holiday Hostess Barbie.
Dress from The Couture Touch.
Brooch from Integrity.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Say It with Pearls

Who wouldn't love a gift of an elegant strand of genuine cultured pearls.  However faux pearls have long been popular as an affordable alternative.  One of the premier manufacturers of faux pearls during the early part of the Twentieth Century was Richelieu.

vintage 1940's Richelieu ad for pearls
From the October 1942 issue of Harper's Bazaar, this Richelieu ad shows three chic choker styles referred to as a duchess collar.  And by the way....LOVE the hats!

Film star Gene Marshall endorses the look with a twist on the stylish duchess collar.  Two separate pearl necklaces are combined to create her 4-strand choker perfect for the jewel neckline of the top from A Lady Knows, all from Ashton Drake.  Hat, gloves, cabochon pearl earrings, and fur muff are from The Couture Touch.  White Orchid Gene Marshall is from JamieShow.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thursday, November 15, 2018

1940's Make Do Style

Despite wartime shortages and rationing, the inventive women of the 1940's made do with what they had.  Not only did this creativity boost morale but became a banner of individuality.  Ashton Drake's "Little Black Dress" set, designed by Tim Kennedy exclusively for the Gene Marshall Collection, brilliantly addressed this intriguing period in our history.

Miss Marshall refreshes her "Little Black Dress" by narrowing the skirt slightly which gives a slimmer silhouette.  The original butterfly decoration from the vest is replaced with a delightful bow pin recycled from a dangle earring.  A beret from another outfit is updated with vintage veiling and assortment of trims.  Hats during this era were often decorated with unrationed fabric flowers, bows, ribbon, and braiding.  Handbag and embroidered gloves are from Ashton Drake.

Madra Lord does her part to make do in style.  A silk tweed vest and suede color-blocked gauntlet gloves gives the "Little Black Dress" a smartly sophisticated look.  The hat from Ashton Drake's "Doing Her Part" takes a dramatic turn achieved with simple re-shaping and a touch of marabou.  Vest, gloves, and necklace are from The Couture Touch.  Handbag from an unknown designer.

It's good fashion sense and smart dollars and cents to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your wardrobe with a versatile collection of accessories.  After all...."Variety is the Spice of Life"

Additional Credits:

Cocoa Crisp Gene Marshall is from Integrity.
Azure Elegance Madra Lord, enhanced with an Integrity articulated body, is from Ashton Drake.

Styling from The Couture Touch.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Night for Noir

It's the perfect time for a mystery thriller featuring our favorite femme fatale as a conniving spoiled rich girl.


Rich Girl Madra Lord is from Integrity.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Dressed To Travel

Whether it's crossing the continent by train or a transatlantic crossing aboard a luxury ocean liner, the stars from Monolithic Studios will be dressed to impress.

Gene Marshall
The jacket from Sparkling Sepia is dressed up with a fur collar recycled from a 1.6 scale jacket.  The original collar now becomes detachable cuffs.  A delightful restyled hat from PD Root tops the smart new look.  Suit from Integrity.  Gloves and earrings are from Ashton Drake.  Brooch from Mattel.  Train case from Robert Tonner.  White Orchid Gene Marshall is from JamieShow.

Madra Lord
A change of accessories updates the sheath and matching stadium coat from Miss Lord's Cat Walk costume.  You can't beat the power of red and black to impress the fans.  Hat and belt are from The Couture Touch.  Handbag, gloves, and necklace are from Ashton Drake.  Willow Madra Lord is from Integrity.  Cat Walk was designed exclusively for Ashton Drake's Madra Lord premiere collection by Jose Ferrand.

Gene Marshall
The ultimate travel ensemble....Fit for a Queen.  Hat and scarf are from The Couture Touch.  Brooch from Mattel.  Suit, cape, and train case are from Ashton Drake's Fit for a Queen costume set designed by Lynne Day.  The Star Wardrobe Collection's embroidered gloves and Love, Paris Gene Marshall are also from Ashton Drake.

Bon Voyage Ladies!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

1940's Outerwear

Furred casuals from the Chicago Mail Order Company, Fall/Winter 1941-42.  Soundly tailored tweed coats mounted with full, fluffy furs.  Stylish yet warm, you will be yearning for chilly weather.

Only cashmere and mink will do for Monolithic Studios' star Gene Marshall.  Mink trim accents the versatile coat from Robert Tonner's Tyler Wentworth Collection.  Cashmere Noir transcends the decades with its classic design.  Hat, scarf, and styling are from The Couture Touch.  "Fur" muff and gloves are from Integrity.  Midnight Gamble Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

Fur collars broaden the shoulders and make your waist appear smaller.  A flared hemline gives grace to your walk.  From The Chicago Mail Order Company, a luscious blonde lynx-dyed Guanaco fur collared coat.  Fall/Winter 1941-42.

Victoire Roux is ready for a Winter in New York with a stylishly classic black wool coat accented with contrasting blonde "fur" collar and cuffs.  Hat and scarf are from The Couture Touch.  Bracelet from Joshard.  Coat and gloves are from Mattel.

Wrap it....please.  A new fur coat for '41.  Beaver coat and sash from Ritter Brothers.  Hat from Lilly Dache.   Photo by Rawlings for Vogue.

It's a wrap....The enormously chic "fur" coat from Ashton Drake's Warmest Wishes is worn wrapped and cinched at the waist with a leopard "fur" belt from Fashion Boulevard.  The toasty-warm winter coat flares voluminously below the knee.  Hat and scarf are from The Couture Touch. Gloves and Fashion Plot Gene Marshall are from Ashton Drake.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Inspirations: Accessories

The accompanying part of a costume, known as accessories, serve both a functional as well as an aesthetic need.  They are the costume completers.

Vogue magazine has long been considered the ultimate fashion authority.  Here are some inspiring ads for fashion accessories from inside the pages of vintage 1930's and 40's issues.

Sensible yet stylish walking shoes, perfect complement to a tailored suit ensemble.  Circa 1936.

This uniquely styled handbag was available in black, brown, and important new fall colors for 1938.  I'll take one in each color please!  

Belts were a popular fashion accessory in 1939....and beyond.  

Wonderful stitching detail highlights these sueded cotton gloves.  Circa 1941.

Smart and comfortable shoes for 1943.  Love those oxford styles.

There are many ways to tie a scarf.  Here's a stylish solution for a bad hair day, circa 1943.

High fashion has moved down from the shoulder to the arm, yet still hands free.  New proportions for 1947.  Handles designed to take your arm.

Now you might be asking yourself, where are the hats!?!  Click HERE for more inspiring vintage ads.

Vogue is a Conde Nast Publication.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Stars Endorse Neutrals for Fall

Autumn is the perfect time to think of a rich neutral color palette.  Smart women build their fall wardrobe around a neutral such as beige, taupe, or black.  They are especially effective used for investment pieces such as a suit.  Timeless and elegant, neutral tones blend effortlessly with any color.  They can provide a canvas for soft, muted shades as well as dramatic bursts of color.

Actress Gene Marshall wears a smart black and brown suit accented with a pop of color at the neckline.  A stylish mink on felt hat tops the late 1930's travel ensemble.  Suit, hat, and scarf are from The Couture Touch.  Gloves and train case are from Ashton Drake.  Bracelet is from Integrity.  Brooch from Robert Tonner.  Blue Fox Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

While location scouting in Chicago, director Ivy Jordan agrees to pose for a local department store's magazine ad.  A little publicity never hurts.  A classic 1940's suit is paired with ochre accents while a dramatic mink and felt hat tops the distinctive look.  Jacket and handbag are from Ashton Drake.  Hat, gloves, scarf, brooch, and skirt are from The Couture Touch.  Cigarette holder is from Mystyna.  Lady Director Ivy Jordan is from Integrity.

Mauve and taupe make the perfect pairing for Miss Marshall's delightful mid-forties suit ensemble.  Suit, scarf, and handbag are from Integrity.  Hat was borrowed from D.A.E. Originals' Business Class costume.  Gloves, bracelet, and Cocoa Rose Gene Marshall are from Ashton Drake.


Gene Marshall and Ivy Jordan appear courtesy Monolithic Studios.

Styling from The Couture Touch.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Two Little Tea-Timing Mannequins

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I adore vintage miniature mannequins.  It's perhaps why I was immediately taken with Ashton Drake's Gene Marshall line of fashion dolls.  They were and still are the perfect "mannequin" if you will, for those wonderful fashions of the early to mid-twentieth century.  I was delighted to find a copy of the April-May 1935 issue of Vogue Pattern Book where on the cover graced two marvelous miniature mannequins by Margit Nilsen dressed in miniature copies of Vogue patterns.

Credits:  Photo by Bruehl-Bourges.  Mannequins and setting are by Margit Nilsen.  Suit - Vogue 6904.  Bolero ensemble - Vogue 6910.  Hats were copied from Florence Reichman originals.

A press photo of Margit Nilsen with two of her amazing mannequins.  Circa 1938.

Fast forward to the 1940's where Monolithic Studios' rivals Gene Marshall and Madra Lord graciously come together to appear on the Aug-Sept 1943 cover of Vogue Pattern Book.

Credits:  Miss Lord's ensemble - Jacket, hat, gloves, and jewels are from The Couture Touch.  Skirt from Sandra Stillwell.  Scarf from Ashton Drake's Fit for a Queen.

Miss Marshall's costume - Dress from Bonnie and Blythe, handbag from So Evil My Love; both Ashton Drake.  Restyled Bonnie and Blythe hat, gloves, and belt are from The Couture Touch.  Bracelet and fur from Integrity.

Set - Sofa and coffee table are from Liz Cole for Retros.

Spotted in Manhattan Madra Lord and White Orchid Gene Marshall are from JamieShow.

Vogue Pattern Book is a Conde Nast Publication.

For more on miniature mannequins, you may be interested in the following posts:
The Doll as Mannequin and Inspirations: Theatre de la Mode, 1945

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Are You Ready For Fall

A New Season.....A New Suit

In fact, a trio of distinctive suits updated just in time for those chilly days ahead.

Monolithic Studios' diva Madra Lord wears a re-imagined version of Gene Marshall's J'Adore suit.  The jacket buttons were changed and a black linen asymmetric band was added to the skirt hemline for a decidedly 1930's feel.  Hat, gloves, scarf, belt, and shoes are from The Couture Touch.  Brooch from Mattel.

Film star Gene Marshall tops Integrity's Suited for Fur with a marvelous topper from The Couture Touch.  Gloves are from Ashton Drake.  Handbag from Michael Scott.  The "fur" cuffs had been previously removed from the jacket for an earlier post.  They were left intact so they easily slide back on the sleeves.  Liberties were taken as to the placement.

Miss Lord accessorizes a versatile black suit with elegant brown tones for a smartly tailored look.  Suit, hat, belt, gloves, and scarf are from The Couture Touch.  Fur from miniature furrier to the stars PD Root.  Cigarette holder from Mystyna.


Siren in the Night Madra Lord, enhanced with an Integrity articulated body, is from Ashton Drake.

White Orchid and J'Adore Gene Marshall are from JamieShow.

C'est Moi Madra Lord is from Integrity.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

A Simply Magnetizing Idea

A brooch, often referred to as a pin, brings interest to a basic suit, dress, or even a muff.  In the 1940's, the brooch was meant to be worn at the center-front of the neckline.  Lapel ornaments were in the form of a pin, novelty clip, or pendant-type.

You can easily make your own unique brooch for a favorite fashion doll.  Old earrings, broken necklaces, and unusual buttons can be recycled for a distinctive look.  Antique malls, thrift stores, flea markets, and even the clearance jewelry section of your local department store can often yield interesting pieces.  Of course, my motto is to first shop your own jewelry box as I did for the following examples.

Madra Lord
A black onyx and "diamond" earring gives just the right amount of elegance to Miss Lord's garnet suit.

Gene Marshall
Even the modern earring lends itself perfectly to Miss Marshall's chic 1950's suit ensemble.

Components from a broken necklace add a touch of surrealism to a wool boucle muff.

Here's what you will need:

  • Magnets, 1/4" or smaller
  • E6000 adhesive
  • Wire cutters
  • Emery board
  • Safety glasses
  • Latex gloves

A Word of Caution:  

Be sure to carefully read any warnings on your package of magnets and adhesive before you purchase.

To convert an earring to a brooch: 

  1. Wearing safety glasses, remove the post with your wire cutters.  Smooth any sharpness with the fine side of an emery board. 
  2. To prepare the surface for the adhesive, lightly roughen the back of the earring with the emery board.  Wipe the surface clean before applying the glue. 
  3. Apply adhesive and attach a magnet.  Let dry according to package directions.  For better control, squeeze a small amount of glue onto a paper plate or a piece of foil.  Use the tip of a pin or toothpick to apply the glue to the back of the earring. 

Madra Lord
A colorful, jeweled button becomes the perfect accent for a luscious fur drape.

Spotted in Manhattan Madra Lord and J'Adore Gene Marshall are from Integrity.
Like A Fox Madra Lord is from Ashton Drake.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Fashion Editor

Always on the hunt for the latest designs, fashion editors are eager to select the finest from hundreds of garments shown to them.  Barbara Millicent Roberts, known simply in the industry as "Barbie", previews a stylish new suit ensemble perfect for those crisp days ahead.


Fashion Editor Silkstone Barbie is from Mattel.

Suit and handbag were a doll show find, designer unknown.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Color Me a Fashionable Autumn

The news from Paris.....Colorful, whimsical hats are all the rage and were prominently featured on the runways of the top fashion houses.

Join us as the original, iconic fashion model and her sophisticated Parisian counterpart add their own colorful twist to a fashionable fall wardrobe.

A Model Life Barbie
Barbie pairs black with contrasting bright colors that spell drama.  Dress and fur are from Dressmaker Details.  Purse from Madame Alexander.  Jewels and gloves are from Mattel.

Buenos Aires Victoire Roux
Victoire makes a strong fashion statement by mixing red with black and white houndstooth.  Jacket and gloves are from Mattel.  Necklace is from Randall Craig.  Bracelet from Joshard.  Earrings from Ashton Drake.  Skirt is from The Couture Touch.

Black and White Bathing Suit Barbie
Beige is ever so chic when paired with vivid touches.  Suit, handbag, and brooch are from Mattel.  Fur from PD Root.  Earrings from Integrity.  Gloves and bracelet are from The Couture Touch.


Silkstone Barbie is from Mattel.

Victoire Roux is from Integrity.

All hats and styling are from The Couture Touch.

Click HERE for instructions on making these Captivating Chenille Hats.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Captivating Chenille Hats

A new DIY project for fashion dolls.

Warning.....These delightfully whimsical hats are highly addictive.  Simple shaping of a chenille pipe cleaner and a little imaginative trimming can yield spectacular results.  Who knew a pipe cleaner could be so chic!

J'Adore Gene Marshall.  Suit from The Couture Touch.

"Haute Luxuries" Veronique Perrin.  Dress from Bogues Vogues.
 Purse from Mattel.

Black & White Bathing Suit Silkstone Barbie.  Fur from Integrity.

Click HERE for the tutorial which includes instructions for both 1:4 and 1:6 scale fashion dolls.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Summer Fresh Wardrobe Mix-Up

A palette of neutrals with a pop of color that's perfect for a day of shopping or sightseeing.

The top from Sandra Stillwell's Zoe suit ensemble pairs nicely with the billowing skirt from Ashton Drake's Love, Paris.  A turquoise scarf wrapped at the waist pulls the look together.  Black and white accessories finish this summer fresh outfit.

Additional Credits:

Hat and gloves are from Ashton Drake.
Scarf is from Integrity.
Handbag is from Hunter-Goldblatt Designs.
Jewels and styling are from The Couture Touch.

Pearls and Pink Ivy Jordan is from Integrity.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ripped From the Pages of a Favorite Fashion Magazine

The Autumn Fashion Forecast

The July issue often provided a wealth of fashion ideas in transition.  A sneak peek if you will of upcoming trends for the fall season.  Discovered recently in an attic....a treasure trove of pages from beloved fashion magazines spanning the 1950's featuring a few familiar faces.  From editorial pages to those marvelous ads, here's a small sampling for your viewing enjoyment.

Gown and jewels from Integrity.  Gloves from D.A.E. Originals.  Hat from The Couture Touch.  Symphony in G Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

Suit ensemble from Bogue's Vogues.  Handbag from Ashton Drake.  Gloves and jewels from The Couture Touch.  Ooh La La Gene Marshall is from Integrity.

Suit from Sandra Stillwell.  Gloves from Ashton Drake.  Hat, scarf, and jewels from The Couture Touch.  Phoenix Gene Marshall is from JamieShow.

Suit from Madame Alexander.  Fur from PD Root.  Gloves and cigarette holder from Ashton Drake.  Hat, scarf, and jewels from The Couture Touch.  It's A Cinch Gene Marshall is from Integrity.

Dress from Diane Carino of DLC Creations.  Gloves and umbrella from Mattel.  Earrings from Ashton Drake.  Hat and bracelet from The Couture Touch.  Buenos Aires Victoire Roux is from Integrity.