Dolls' Eye View: Emmys 2018

My dolls search for any and all excuses to get all dressed up and show off. This year, however, I asked if they really wanted to continue to go to the Emmy Awards (the U.S. television Oscars). After all, many of the celebrities and their nominated TV shows are scarcely known outside of the country AND (more importantly) the gowns are not always on par with the "gold standard" gear of the Academy Awards or the Golden Globes. To this inquiry, there was a resounding YES vote throughout the house (including from dolls who do not wear gowns). This red carpet event, they explained, allows them to upstage the stars in spectacular fashion by restyling or even redesigned the gowns!

The problem with the lackluster look of today's red carpet events, is what seems to be the missing element of glamour! To our eyes, there seems to be a lack of imagination, a lack of passion for sensational fashion! What happened to opera length gloves, what happened to the stoles, the swashbuckling capes, tornadoes of tulle and chiffon, the piles of jewelry...the tiara? My girls want to strut their stuff the way movie stars from the golden age of cinema did. So once again, my girls headed out to the Emmy's. Think of this session as a lesson in...."if dolls ruled the (fashion) universe!

My girl, Liu loved the black sequined sheath worn by actress Constance Wu (best known for her role in the comedy series, "Fresh Off the Boat" as well as the film, "Crazy Rich Asians." The dress, designed by our beloved Jason Wu, is pretty basic with most of the interest focused on the asymmetrical detailing crossing the shoulders of the draped, bare shouldered sleeves. Since the sequined fabric stretches, I used a basic pattern for jersey dresses. The sleeves are tubes attached to the dress at the underarms. I used tiny strips of the sequined scraps for the detailing over the top of the dress. Liu liked the dress as is, but said, she'd like to take it totally over the top with a shawl made of rectangular black and silver sequins, which she's holding in her hand. (No she could not wait for me to make her a jacket.)

It's always nice to see a fresh burst of color on the red carpet. We know that actress, Regina King--dressed in a neon lime Christian Siriano strapless gown--did not expect to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in Netflix's Seven Seconds. We assume that's why she was dressed so simply to claim her award. There's nothing wrong with simplicity, and we do love the color and the cut of the gown...but simple doesn't have to be boring either. With just a little bit of effort, my girl Naomi took the same strapless gown and tossed a brocade kimono coat over the shoulders and a statement necklace around her neck. It moves simple to sensational! (A brocade shawl with fringe would also have been spectacular, but Naomi, unlike Liu, waited for the coat!)

Okay, we get it. The actress put on this very basic dress and assumed she'd wow everyone with her beauty. And yes, Nathalie Emmanuel, Game of Thrones star, you are gorgeous as is. And while we love the stark simplicity of this black gown by designer Anita Ko, my girl Akure still felt something was missing. "Give me gloves," demanded Akure. We gave her opera length gloves, a furry white jacket and teardrop pearl earrings to make the whole ensemble look like a million dollars. You can do this dress with a (bodice & skirt with waist seam) or in one continuous line by creating a strapless princess line dress. Once you've made your pattern, be sure to add a train. You can see how that is made by looking  HERE.

We took a good, hard look at Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany's outfit and notice the Rosalind Russel "Auntie Mame" moment she was having in this very 1950's pants ensemble designed by Christian Siriano. Again we loved the color and the drama of the top as well as the sassy stovepipe pants. Veronique, however, didn't feel this ensemble was dressy enough. She insisted the black pants should be replaced by forest green taffeta and that the accessories should be more in-your-face-present. Replicating this outfit was super easy. It starts with a halter neck top over which I have simply draped a piece of fabric over one shoulder and across the bodice. The trousers are the standard slim fitting pants. We gave her a chain belt and some statement gold earrings to pull off a super glam look.

This is an instance were we completely redesigned the dress. Yara Shahidi, is a beautiful 18-year old actress best known for her role in the hit TV series "Black-ish" wearing this gown from Gucci,.We were immediately drawn to the flower in the center of the body with fabric radiating from the central point. In our view, the gown itself is well.... a tad bit matronly for a girl of 18. The drapery does nothing for her young silhouette, the beading, even the fabric undermines the freshness of the concept. So we kept the flower and the color but swapped out the sequined silk for a lightweight sheer fabric. We dropped the halter neck for the simplicity of strapless. Iman's dress begins with the base of a strapless foundation over which we simply draped the fabric and tacked it in place. Then, we added a flower in the middle of our drape.

Speaking of fresh flowers....spotted on the red carpet was actress Elisa Perry in a white dress designed by Jovani. The girls absolutely LOVED her dress.....but as a wedding gown!!! Still, we again attracted to the 3-D aspect of her dress filled with blooms. Even though it is a little bit late in the season for this dress, I gave in to Joan's request to make it for her. (She was out of town when we were celebrating the Royal Wedding!)  The 1/6 version starts with a strapless sheath in white lace. I bought small silk flowers from the craft store then stitched them on randomly over the front of the dress right down to her toes. A little bit of gathered tulle is added at the waist in the back. And since we're doing a Billie Holloway number here, we put a flower in Joan's hair. Aloha!!

My girl, Kelly, insisted on being part of this post. She selected the feathered gown worn by Sarah Poulson (Oceans 8 star) from the house of Oscar de la Renta. This is just a 1-piece corset top over a tulle skirt with LOTS of feathers sewn on top. The bustier, as simple as it appears, is a real challenge on this scale due to its deep décolleté. I tried numerous things to make this neckline work but the deep neckline causes everything to spread apart. But at the end of the day, I ended up using felt for the stiffness and pinched it in over the bust--which worked...sort of.... Ok, so I cheated...and glued stretch velvet over the whole structure after it was on the doll. If she doesn't move, her boobs won't fall out! It's not perfect but this was the closest I could come to replicating this neckline and frankly, the end result is not half bad! We fiddled with accessories, but with the skirt this large, settled on the simple addition of silver and crystal jewelry.

With that, we end on a pure and simple note here with actress Kristen Bell in a white Solace London gown. We pretty much remained faithful to the design of the original dress. It is a strapless sheath with sleeves sewn onto straps which I added to keep them on at the cap. The message here is to make a statement with your choice of fabric. Something with texture of interest. The actress, best known for her roles in Veronica Mars and Anna in Disney's Frozen, is clad in a super simple white dress. For my taste, the fabric is too matte, too plain. And while we feel the fit is flawless, my girl Meagan wanted it in a more glamorous fabric...one with a bit of sheen. Meagan's dress was cut from a champagne white polyester fabric with a distinct, striated sheen (a bit too difficult to appreciate in these photos) that reflects light and gives a sculptural look to her curves. We gave her accents of pearl jewelry, all of which match her luminous platinum hair. And for the last photo, we gave her a snowy white furry stole.


Don't go away.....up next....the girls' first report on Fashion Month from New York!!!

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