High Five!

Five years already! Today, as Fashion Doll Stylist celebrates its fifth blogoversary, I'd like to stop and reflect back on how our doll world has changed.
Tyra, a Tonner, was the first fashion doll I bought (2007).
Not many years ago, there were few choices of doll types on the market. And those that existed shared the same, exaggerated wasp waist body proportions along with stiff, straight limbs. Compared to our vinyl divas of today, not only does Barbie and her friends like to show off their "belly button" torsos, they also enjoy full articulation and a variety of proportions from curvy to svelte. They also have skin tones almost as diverse as the human race itself! The Fashion Royalty dolls have removeable hands and limbs allowing us to more easily dress them or so that they might wear garments with narrow sleeves. 
Barbie Basics Collection 001. These girls marked the beginning of my collection (2010).
And, there are more doll communities now. My early days saw me hanging out at dollobservers.com. (Simon was the first to befriend me on Twitter!) That is where I discovered the existence of Integrity Toy's Fashion Royalty and Superdolls' Sybarite beauties as well as other beauties that followed--Modsdoll, Kingdom dolls.

S.I.S Barbies (2011). I fell in love with them as well as all of their sisters and cousins. They immigrated massively into my heart & house.
Over the years, social media has made it easier to meet other collectors and the wide variety of dolls in their possession. Though blogs continue to play an important part in my life, I've do appreciate platforms like Instagram which allow for an easy exchange of ideas and exposure to the talents of others. As a result of all this mingling, I've taken note on the audaciousness of many collectors in their efforts customize their own dolls. As we see what others can accomplish, it gives us the courage to pick up a paintbrush and change a doll's makeup, pick up a needle and change a doll's hair or even breathe new life into a stiff old Barbie by snapping off her head and mounting it onto a taller body of articulated  limbs!
A 1990's Barbie and her cloned buddies (Kirat, Maria and Cheryl) were gifts that came to me back in 2011 when friends discovered I played with dolls!
I'm impressed at how easy some folks mix action figures with their fashion dolls. This comes as Mattel's offerings have become quasi-banal and Integrity Toys dolls, though exquisite, have prices through the roof! It's as though doll collectors are taking control over their collection and recreating the dolls they can't find or cannot afford in the marketplace.
Ingrid (r) and Donyale (l), I bought as blank faces to attempt my first repainted dolls.
Each year, I swear I will cut back on the number of new dolls I bring into the house. I lie. I'm a sucker for a pretty face and last year, more arrived than the year before! There was a slight difference, however! Many of the new dolls literally came to me head first! I bought heads then added the body of my choice. The water color pencils and chalk pastels allowed me to capture the "fresh scrubbed" look I see on the world's catwalks. In a couple of cases, I bought blank faces and filled in the details myself. I didn't stop their either.
The wig doll, a novel idea, allows you to change up her look to suit the fashion!
I bought "wig dolls," those daring divas with painted on hair that allow for a quick change of wigs and looks. One doll and six wigs equals....six dolls for the price of one!
Morgan was my first attempt at rerooting. 
And then there was that doll head I bought to try my hand at rerooting. The tutorials looked soooo easy! And perhaps had I started out with a soft head Barbie, it would have been the case. Many packs of broken needles later....I finally rerooted a head that the previous owner had given up on! (Morgan is eternally grateful!)
Rebodying a doll like Radiah (Hard Rock Cafe Barbie), gives a doll a whole new personality.
Giving a doll a new articulated body often results in a totally unique and more vibrant addition to the family. That is what I discovered after rebodying my Hard Rock Cafe Barbie. She went from being a star to a superstar thanks to a taller, articulated body that allowed her to better express herself and rock those edgy fashions!

Veronica (FR Veronique Fresh & Delightful)
While on the subject...13 new models came into the house last year. In order of their arrival, they were: Veronica, Meagan, Natasha, Radiah (the last of my "holy grails), Morgan, Ingrid, Donyale, Jamal, Emanuela, Helen, Lynn, Joan and Zoe.
Meagan, (FR Dasha)
Natasha (Kyori Sato Belle du Soir 2006)
Radiah (Hard Rock Cafe Barbie)
Joan (FR Fashion Fantasies Isha-2017)

Helen ( IT JWu doll-2009)
Morgan (FR Dania Zarr 2010)
Emmanuela (FR Natalia Fatale Queen of the Hive 2006)

Lynn (FR Adele Makeda-Paparazzi Darling 2013))
The very kind words you leave on my comment list are always appreciated. But know that I also learn from many of you with blogs. Thanks to our friend, Jaye, another blogger who inspired me to customize playline Ken dolls as a way of increasing the number of male doll options currently available. Jamal, a Ken Fashionista, went from well scrubbed scholastic to bad boy chic thanks to pencils, pastels and a photo of an old college boyfriend!
Zoe (FR Natalia Fatale Queen of the Hive)

Jamal (Ken Fashionista-2017)

And thank you, Phyllis for showing off that grandmother Barbie whose hair you flocked to create a chic, grey bob! Not only did the link to the tutorial you provided introduce me to flocking, the success you had with your doll inspired me to create a super short "Ellen" bob for one of mine. That's how the look for Zoe came about.

 Since I don't have tattoos myself, I would never have thought about tattooing a doll had it not been for BlackKitty who came up with the idea of using nail art on her FB page! And, Olla, at some point I would like to be able to crochet half as good you! (But first I have to learn how to do it!)

As much joy as the doll community brings, there is a certain level of sadness built in. Ours is an ethereal world. People come and go. Change of lifestyle, loss of interest or simply life getting in the way of doll play? Last year we lost our fellow blogger, Vanessa (Fashions Dolls at Van's Doll Treasures).
Vanessa's fashionably dressed Dasia.

I loved her dolls (Dasia, in particular) and her fashions which were incredibly well made. While my dolls are tall, svelte and super easy to dress, Dasha was "real people" and I loved how Vanessa made clothes both stylish and perfectly suited to her morphology. I will miss Vanessa and Dasha. But I also miss others who have stopped blogging for reasons unknown. Friends like Billa of Billa's Dolls & Fashions, Linda from Darkroom Dolls and Marta from All4Barbie.  Fortunately the world is big and doll lovers are everywhere. So while we miss our old friends, we are happy to meet and greet new ones (like my new friends from Poland, and points beyond)! 
Olympia (lower left) was my first FR (Monogram) doll. Soon more
Royals entered into my doll "kingdom."

Over the past five years, together we have made designer fashion and fancy handbags, belts and hats. We've spoiled our girls with furs, transformed their hair with hairpieces, and pampered them by redoing their makeup, bleaching out skin stains and untangling their matted hair. When I look around my room, nearly every doll is wearing big name designer wear--labels that have eluded my own wardrobe! So with all of this in the tank, where do we go from here? Simple... Fashion will always be around as long as there are designers making new clothes and sending models down catwalks, celebrities prancing across red carpets and....Fashion Doll Stylist keeping an eye on all of this to better help you to fulfill your fashion fantasies through the medium of dolls!

The first guys to enter my collection (FR Hommes) and Ken.

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Violetta, my one and only JamieShow (Demi Couture) doll. She's also the only BJD in the house!
All photos and text property of Fashion Doll Stylist. 2018. Please do not reproduce without prior permission. Thank you.
Ordinarily I don't collect My Scene dolls, but we rescued them from being thrown in the trash and over time they grew on me. They also let me practice my repainting and hairstyling skills on them!

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