The Monogram Collection was created to showcase real Jason Wu fashions done in 1/6 scale. The first dolls, released sporadically since the first charity-connected doll, Lifeball, did wear originals by Jason. Made in miniature scale, with exquisite detail and stylish as only models can be, the Monograms, due to their limited editions too, sparked the collectors' imagination immediately. Now the dolls become part of the regular releases - with a début collection that generally evoked a lot of praise from collectors and made the dolls highly requested - rumour has it that most dealers sold out before the timeslot allowed by Integrity to take pre-orders!
So this is actually the collection that Jason himself oversees now. This is obvious from the design of the outfits the dolls are wearing - they are not closer to style to his actual fashion collections anymore but they look like the earlier Fashion Roylaty doll fashions did - timeless, elegant, couture-like. So I guess this line is poised as the Haute Couture Line of Integrity, Fashion Royalty is the Ready To Wear Deluxe and NuFace is the secondary but avant-guard line. There are five dolls in the collection - and we start with the basic, Disclosure.
This is supposedly an underwear doll, although, as she is wearing a frilly bodysuit, she looks like she went out without her skirt - ooops! I think they should have given her one and sell her as a basic doll - I do not think a simple pencil skirt in a nice fabric would break the budget. She is rooted.
Enigmatic is the big hit with collectors. And why not? She wears a very elegant version of the little black dress, with a silk rose at the back of her waist, under a faux ocelot fur coat. Black jewellery, gloves, hat and pumps complete the look. What she is missing? A bag. No elegant couture outfit is complete without one. And tights too. The doll is wigged and looks like the mini-clone Androgyny with bright lipstick on.
I think she looks really elegant (minus the fur, I'm all against it) and must be the best face I have seen on the Monogram sculpt. I love the necklace and the red soles of the pumps - very Louboutin! The dress reminds me of Audrey Hepburn at Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Up next is Dreamscape. She is a gain a wigged doll, with a raven bobbed wig and a couture-like gown. The draping of the skirt and the bodice are very intricate but the overall effect is somewhere between a classic overblown old Dior gown and a more avant-guard John Galliano one - it just cannot decide which. I'm not thrilled about this one, I guess it needed a starting over. It seems she did get the best shoes of all the collection.
My favourite from this collection is Incandescent: a beautiful doll with rooted short hair, sleeveless cocktail bi-coloured dress (pink and white) and matching jacket with double collar and peplum, black straw hat and dark glasses and gloves. Very Audrey again but still missing a bag. Her short hair make her even more special.
The final doll is one that has already been revealed to the public almost a month before the presentation, due to a mix up at Integrity - the dealers had her and got their orders before the company had managed to actually do a proper presentation - collectors first saw her on-line at a Dolls Magazine ad! The result is that she is already sold out before the rest of the collection was presented. She is the only darker skinned doll of this series and looks better because of it - she could look like Sade if one found the proper outfit.
Brilliance's outfit looks very 50's Dior - but I think the darker middle part would have been better if smaller and looked actually more like a corset. The stitching is not A-grade and her weird hat does not improve things. She is wigged and I am told by collectors who got her that it fits perfectly. I must say this is a major improvement over the Modern Pompadour wigs which slipped of heads easily. She is missing her bag too which again looks weird on a couture doll. She is beautiful though.
Overall it is a very elegant collection - and promising for the future. My only objection are the dolls - the sculpt is too generic and bland, and even with the brilliant face-ups it is getting, it still looks a bit Stepford-wife to me. They lack personalities, like real models in a way, especially in the last few years. The Jeffery Kalinsky charity showed us that these dolls do have much more to give. Let's hope to see more of that soon.