Magnificent SEVEN!


02/20/2020. (The "palindromic date reads the same forwards and backwards in all countries...first time in 909 years!)

And so here we are….alive, well and still around in the year 2020 with seven years to our credit! Thank all of you for helping us get there. Your continued support, kind words and encouragement are appreciated much more than you can ever know. I embarked on this adventure seven years ago at a moment in my life when I needed to return home to look after an aging parent. This environment that I have created for myself, "Fashion Doll Stylist" together with all of my glamorous models, helps me to focus, remain relevant and stay connected to a field for which I have maintained a passion since the age of 16. The life of a caregiver is not always an easy one, but my world of dolls, 1/6 designer fashions and you, the dolly community, helps me through each day. Thank you for being there.

Looking back over the last year... the number of posts we published in 2019 remained about the same as compared to 2018. There continues to be a lot of turmoil on the fashion scene which makes my job—translating current styles into 1/6 chic wear for our dolls—a challenge. It is still, quite difficult to find real inspiration. So basically, we’ve been playing everything by ear, at times reaching back in time for ideas. We continued with our classic themes—catwalk trends, red carpet events and, of course, tutorials. However I must note...coming up with new ideas is not all that easy in that my dolls have everything they’ve ever dreamed of from fur coats to fancy frocks, designer luggage to sexy lingerie.
Still, this past year, we made another dolly dream come true….. footwear for everybody! We arrived at making shoes and boots for every doll in the house no matter the size or shape!

Twenty-nineteen was a year we went back to basics. We took simple silhouettes and dolled them up by adding items like string, bows, and lots of shimmying fringe.

On the model front... fewer new faces were adopted into our family: Catherine (FR Emerging Rebel Kyori), Kym (FR Resurgence Nathalia), Noora (FR Rayna), Iman and her twin sister Beverly (FR Annick Vandale), Denise (FR Lady Aurelie Grey Champagne) and Matt (FR Suspense Lukas Maverick).

For Catherine (Emerging Rebel Kyori), I bought the head only. Some poor collector had tried to redo her makeup and removed one of her eyes instead. I was able to repaint that eye back on, then later found a replacement body. I rebodied Denise (FR Lady Aurelie Grey Champagne) onto a 12 1/2" Nuface body and loosened her hair. The Lady Aurelie collection is, in fact, dolls from the 1950's. This is not only reflected in their wardrobes, but also in their proportions. I fell in love with her beautiful green eyes. But when she arrived, her head seemed a tad too large for modern proportions to my eye. Everything I dressed her in looked so.... prom girl. The extra half inch as well as looser hair really made a difference!

To my surprise, I won a doll (FR Captivating Anja) who I renamed Priscilla. (She reminded me of Elvis Presley's widow.) I've also included my first (and only) doll of 2020, Khadija (FR Venom Jordan). Technically she was presented last summer and the right to buy lottery announced in late December, but the dol only arrived about 3 weeks ago.

There were a few more dolls  I had hoped to buy but unfortunately, I didn’t win certain “right to buy lotteries” and the prices on the aftermarket  for those same dolls were exorbitant! I realize now I fortunate I was to have begun my collection when I did. Rarely are their "cheap" dolls on Ebay. Even the older dolls.

At this point, my collection of 120+ dolls I already have a wide variety of looks and faces in all colors and ethnicities.

 I don’t have any more must-have “holy grails” at this point and I find, it is getting harder to find an interesting look I don’t already have (who works within the style of fashion I like). Besides, my divas have successfully built a coalition to block most of my bids on EBay! (Clever little devils!)



On Tuesdays nights, I host a #dollchat live discussion (around (9:30-10pm Eastern Time) on Twitter. There are only a few of us but anyone can join in on the discussion or make comments after the fact.  (Look for the hashtag #dollchat.)  Though we do go off on a tangent at times, the point of this chat is to discuss dolls. And one reoccurring theme involves changes we've noticed. From 2013 to now, the dolly scene has changed. To blog or not to blog…. That’s the question some of us have wondered for awhile now.  Many have left the scene including the very popular website, DollObservers.com. This was my first introduction to the world of fashion dolls beyond Barbie. Now a shadow of itself, this site which once drew a thousand enthusiasts together, finally closed down, resurrecting itself as a mere Facebook Community page!

Attention spans are brief as readers ditch blog and website platforms in favor of quick and easy eye candy on Instagram and FB Community pages.  And even there, I've noticed how the numbers seem to have diminished amongst adult collectors. Fewer likes, fewer new followers, fewer “sophisticated” dolly posts…. Is the whole doll thing waning? Was this just a fleeting trend? Have collectors moved onto new horizons or have they simply retreated into hibernation mode? Are we becoming so fragmented, so specialized, electing to see only what we collect without regard to what else may be out there in dollyland?

That said, it is worth noting a few bloggers have returned to the flock after a brief hiatus: (Linda’s  Yeye Dolls, and Jaye's Doll Space are back!). I'm also happy to see more recent posts from Jano's Hiyadolly and Olla's Blog o Barbie Fashionistas  Both bloggers were faced personal challenges but somehow found the strength to continue entertaining us with their talent and their dolls. As for this blog, I can assure you, me and the dolls are not going anywhere. While we participate in platforms (Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter and Pinterest), we still find value in maintaining a blog which allows us to take the time and space necessary to produce more detailed tutorials or provide a maximum of information and images on current fashion trends than is possible to do with a handful of photos on social media.

Photo: Courtesy of Mattel
Ten years ago, Mattel drew many of us into the world of fashion dolls with its Barbie Basics, an iconic collection of individually coiffed, diverse svelte Barbies in classic “little black dresses” and pumps. This provided a ground zero for many doll collections and ignited a newfound passion for fashion dolls. Now, almost 10 years later, Mattel has launched Barbie BMR1959, an eclectic collection of gender free dolls clad in colorful urbanwear.  New dolls, new expressions for a new generation of doll collectors! The question is….are these new kids on the block enough to attract new enthusiasts and keep the fire going?

In the year ahead, Fashion Doll Stylist will continue to do what it does best… bring you the latest information and inspiration from major sources of style: international catwalks, major red carpet events, and exhibitions…all altered and tailor made for our foot high divas. As things catch our eyes… or we stumble upon amazing wonders of the past, we’ll  find ways to capture their essence and present them to you as well. “Life is a cabaret, my friend. Come to the cabaret…” Let’s have some fun. After all…..the 20s are back!!!

Preview of coming attractions!!! 
Big dollie hugs,

April and the gang!

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