Integrity Toys has been holding a Design Challenge contest for every convention they hold. This year, they decided to extend this for W Club members from all over the world and proclaimed their 1st International Design Challenge. As many other club members, I jumped at the chance of participating - putting my years of studying pattern making and fashion design at work. The brief was to pick a past doll from Integrity Toys and remake her as her opposite - i.e. if she had a day look, the entrants should remake her in its evening version and vice versa.
I decided to use the gorgeous Aperitif At The Balthazar fashion from Fashion Royalty 2004 Voyages collection. As it was a day outfit, I would make my fashion an evening look. And since it was only an outfit, I could pick any doll I wanted to remake. My pick was Dania Zarr Rare Appearance, a 2014 W Club doll. I named her Champagne At The Waldorf, referencing an iconic hotel of New York, with legendary balls held in it, much like Balthazar is an iconic French style brasserie of the city.
I made the design easily - the inspiration came quickly and I focused on making something that would be relatively easy to make commercially, as the winning entry gets to be made by Integrity Toys to sell. The evening look kept the two-piece part of the suit, turning the jacket into a vest with a shawl collar. The bottom part of the skirt and the collar were made from pink muslin, echoing the lining of the original suit, while the rest was the same pied de coq print as the original - finding the fabric was easier than I would have ever thought! I picked pink for the buttons as well.
As my sewing skills are negligent (I can sew a button but that's it), I turned to my friend Maria from Habilis Dolls for help and she recommended her friend Ursula, a very talented seamstress that has made some perfectly made doll fashions to sell; luckily agreed to sew my prototype. The final look was enhanced with a pair of rhinestone and pearl jewels fixed on the ends of the shawl collar.
As for the doll, I restyled Dania's hair into an up-do, to match the evening look, and added feathers in her hair with a rhinstone and pearl brooch, as the original had a small fascinator with similar small feathers on it. You cannot see the shoes but I used some beautiful black pumps with ribbons at the ankles. The entry did not make the final round but I am happy I entered and would do it all over again! Let me know what you think of my design in the comments.
All photos courtesy of Stratos Bacalis unless otherwise stated