Dolls Eye View: Paris F/W 19 Trends: Part 1

Vive la France! Vive Paris! The girls landed in the fashion capital looking for something special and Paris did not disappoint. In fact, there were so many ideas, we decided to split this  report into two posts. What is so wonderful about Paris is there is something for everybody. In this Part 1, we look at the simple, more sober, mostly daytime styles in neutral tones. We'll also look at edgier, more colorful side of Paris fashion but for now, let's take a look as some dynamic looks you dolls might want next Fall.

Livin' Large
The first thing you will notice about the Paris collections is that silhouettes have fattened up. We see more width in the shoulders, A-line shapes swinging freely from marked waists as well as wide, loose trousers.a la Katherine Hepburn in the 1930's.  Maxi-length coats, swash-buckling capes, great big faux furs and overstuffed parkas are all favorite looks that will be keeping dollies warm in face of blustery, polar vortex assaults.

Keep dolly warm with a hunk of faux fur! Harking back to the 1980's, fur coats over jeans is the best way to get a casual chic look. This look can be as easy as simply taking a big rectangle of supple faux fur and wrapping it around dolly's shoulders. But for Latoya, I took the faux fur coat I made back in Milan layered it with a matching long vest on top. 

Coat of Arms
More so than any other winter season, there was a good array of coats on the Paris catwalks. Most are long, ample and wrap comfortably around the body. In fact, the wrap coat belted at the waist is the best way to go. Also look for A-line coats especially those cut in silk and worn over cocktail length dresses!

In the path of glen plaids, checks, tweeds and other menswear fabric, we see oversized windowpane plaids making a comeback. Again, this is a revival of late 1970's when patterns were quite popular and worn in all-over effects. Notice this "total look" where everything matches or...positive/negative plaids are worn in the same garment.
Normally, I am not a fan of Maria Grazia Chiuri, the current designer for Christian Dior. But I saw potential in the design and thought it could be fun for doll fashion. I could not find a corresponding plaid in 1/6 scale, so I cut up an old pair of my dad's pajamas and made this oversized "bathrobe" style coat with the frayed hem for Veronica. I thought a lace skirt was prettier than the net used in the original. The added plus is that bulk along the waist created by the lace skirt forced the coat into a distinct A-line silhouette which, in my opinion, is a tad bit more interesting than the one designed by Ms. Chiuri.

Skin Flicks
Once again....leather will be in abundance next Fall. There are, of course, the usual blazers, jackets, skirts and pants, worn in monochromatic ensembles or under a crisp, plaid jacket.
However, the outfit that caught Anna's eye is this "Darth Vadar" ensemble...a flared skirt with a leather cape tossed over the shoulders. I used a faux leather-like fabric to make the skirt. But for the cape, I did use real leather because it's grain adds a richness to the overall look. If you don't have access to leather or faux leather, you can always use a heavy black satin which will provide a similar effect. The hat is not perfect because I used a synthetic felt instead of 100 percent wool. And I didn't have the time to make a proper hat form. So I improvised and was thrilled with the overall look. Looking for her gloves? Look here.

The Long & Short of It
Also recalling the 1970's mini-maxi fashions is this lineup. Today, super short and extra long hemlines co-exist on Parisian catwalks. Look for ankle length silhouettes in both basic and Japanese complex designs as well as short, curvy dresses and jackets!

Katarina has such a serine, almost anti-establishment look, I thought she would be the perfect model to pull off the androgynous look of Japanese icon, Yohji Yamamoto. There is something absolutely fascinating about his clothes. They are like little puzzles which led me to search for a way to create a simplified version suitable for a 1/6 scale doll. Katarina's dress was made from a coat pattern with an extended, triangular front. I made a slit in one side seam and stuffed one side into the hole. This is worn over a slim skirt. The ensemble is made from a lightweight sweater knit.
Oh, I couldn't stop there. Katoucha's dress is really a cardigan sweater with a scarf that was draped and stitched in place over the shoulders. I decided to keep the skirt simple instead of the multi-tiered skirt of the original to cut down on bulk.

Digital Noise
If I had tweed on hand, I would have made more than one from this group. I love the early 1960's loose jackets and dresses cut from this menswear tweed. Nonetheless, since the Barbies have been reminding me to make fashion for them, I decided on the Mugler outfit, a crisp white jacket over a scrambled printed skirt and skinny pants.
For Gloria's outfit, I used a black and white patterned fabric polyester for the slim pants and gathered mini shirt. Over it---a long, princess line jacket in stark white.

Champs Elysees
Sleek, chic with understated elegance...this a theme that is quintessentially Parisian. Black, white or a combination of both, we're talking impeccably cut classics that never go out of style. These are looks you will use over and over to dress dolly.
Simple to make, stunning to wear, this is the easiest way to wear Chanel, Stephani's top is a simple bodice with sleeves (basic sloper with added seam allowance) cut from black sequins. Her trousers are wide and straight, pleated into the waistband with pockets added in the side seams.

Basic Instinct
It all comes back to basics! Simple (not so little) black dresses with interesting neckline treatments.
If you can knit, this is a beautiful, two piece cable knit dress to make. But if you can't (like me), make it from a sock.
The body of Nadja's dress is a tube that I've cut from a single sock. I've added spaghetti straps (made from embroidery yarn). Over it: a micro-sweater or "shrug"--a small strip of knit with sleeves at each end that rides over the bustline. 

Day to Night
Black and white--a theme normally reserved for springtime, has popped up for winter wear. This theme is a culmination of other major looks of the season: the wider trousers, A-line silhouettes, and structured styles--all sketched out in a contrast of graphic black and white.
Hey, we're just getting started. There's more to come and it's color!!! Stay tuned for Paris F/W'19 Trends: Part 2!!!
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