Italian Doll Convention 2018 - Day II: the Gala night

Saturday is the busiest day of IDC: seminars, presentations, the fashion show and the gala dinner! For most of us It begun early in the morning, as we had to go and get the extra blond version of the convention doll, Ciao Poppy! She’s gorgeous but I do prefer the pink haired one. This one will go to my friend Maria of Habilis Dolls, who could not attend. And that is why you see her in the box.

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Then it was time for a great presentation. My dear friend (we finally met!) Ada of Papusile Mele was giving us a lecture about Manga in Doll Culture! She showed us all the famous manga characters that got made into dolls, like Astro Boy, Lady Oscar, Sailor Moon and Candy Candy, giving us many details about manga history in between. Lots of rare and OOAK dolls were shown in the accompanying slideshow. 

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We stayed in Japan with the next presentation: the story of the doll Licca, by the lovely Kazuko Hosokawa. Not only she told us the amazing tale of how Licca came to be, with lots of details and how she developed throughout the years until now, but also brought with her part of her incredible Licca collection, with the complete original Licca family a stand out. Both this and the previous presentation had the awesome Antonio Russo helping out with the translation, from English to Italian. Some dolls and gifts were raffled to attendees, ending the presentation in a most ideal way.

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Third presentation of the day was called PoppyParkerly, this time dedicated of course to last night’s star, the lovely Poppy Parker: Daniela Ferrando talked about how the 60s are perceived aesthetically nowadays through our modern sensibilities compared to how it was back then, by using the 60s contemporary Barbies and today’s Poppies.  

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The last presentation was a much anticipated interview: dear Ada got the chance to ask the talented Linda Kyaw, Mattel designer and stylist of @barbiestyle, lots and lots of questions about her career, Barbie in the past, now and the future. The questions were send by Ada’s readers and, strangely enough, Mattel did not censor them! The interview was very informative even for people who are not even doll collectors. Linda is very intelligent, gracious and kind. She answered all questions, avoiding pitfalls and confidential information of course, and, with Ada being a wonderful interviewer, the session was a blast. It was accompanied by lots of Linda designed Barbies in displays and ended with lots of dolls and other gifts being raffled to attendees.

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 Linda’s OOAK contribution to the IDC auction  

Linda’s OOAK contribution to the IDC auction  

 Me with Linda Kyaw  

Me with Linda Kyaw  

After a brief interval (and a change of clothes), it was back at IDC for the Cartoonia parade fashion show! Anyone interested had registered for participating in this show, dressing up as a cartoon or doll character of his choice. The catwalk was set up in one of the hotel ballrooms. The show was a hoot: participants had incredible outfits, that had taken them countless days to make, complimented by styling, make up and hairstyles matching their characters, not to mention the choreography each one had prepared for their presentation. Lots of compliments, applause and bravos to all participants for the show that everyone thoroughly enjoyed! The photos of the show below (as a slideshow) are by another Greek collector that was there, Makis (thank you so much dearest!), as my seat was not ideal for catwalk photos.

Everyone attending the runway show could vote for his favourite costume, which was quite difficult as they were all amazing! You just had to give your favourite the corresponding coupon that was given with the rest of the registration stuff.  All participants were assembled at the hotel’s stairs for a last photo op and then it was time for the welcome drink before dinner, or, as Italians call it, l’aperitivo. An hour later, we were ushered into the ballroom for the gala dinner.

 Athena was the winner of the runway show

Athena was the winner of the runway show

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 Me with Antonio Russo and Oriele  

Me with Antonio Russo and Oriele  

 The welcome drink space

The welcome drink space

The whole room was decorated with lots of cartoon elements. Each chair around the big rotunda tables had a transparent balloon tied to its back, lit up with a string of colourful led lights. The centerpiece was a Barbie doll made up as a comics/cartoon hero by doll design duo Lantis Kelly and Catia Destro. Each seat also has a pair of sketches made by Living Plastic Doll for the gala.

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 The centerpiece doll

The centerpiece doll

I had been assigned to one of the Spanish tables, table no.20, with the lovely Lionel as our wonderful and amazing host. The table gifts were all amazing and I added mine to the bunch: cute mini polka dot dresses in various colours, with matching headband bows and earrings, all made to order by my dearest friend Maria from Habilis Dolls. I already knew Lionel and José from Facebook and got to meet the rest of the table mates there for the first time, all amazing and some of the best I could have: Christelle, Fito, Francisco, Gloria, Maria, Nuria and Pepita! My warmest thank yous and best wishes, you were all amazing!

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 From left: Lionel, me, Gloria and Fito

From left: Lionel, me, Gloria and Fito

 Table gifts! You can see one of the Habilis Doll polka dot dresses I gifted on the top left of this photo.

Table gifts! You can see one of the Habilis Doll polka dot dresses I gifted on the top left of this photo.

After a beautiful ballet introduction, with the dancers dressed in Disney prince and princess outfits, Mario Paglino took the stage, welcoming everyone. He talked about the recipient of this year’s charity auction profits, Dynamo Camp and introduced their team. Then it was time for a speech from Linda Kyaw about Barbie, its history and its future, as next year is the doll’s 60th birthday. There was no preview of anything regarding that front, but we got to see lots of gorgeous Barbie photos, some of which were shown for the first time in public. Then Gianni surprised everyone by announcing that there was a gift for everyone, a special limited edition book (300 copies) dedicated to Linda Kyaw and filled with photos of her Barbie dolls, exclusive to the convention and Mattel approved: The World Of Linda Kyaw. A gorgeous book, printed in quality paper, with lots of doll photos! 

 The dancers  

The dancers  

 Mario welcomes everyone  

Mario welcomes everyone  

 Linda Kyaw speaking  

Linda Kyaw speaking  

 Karl Lagerfeld OOAK doll  

Karl Lagerfeld OOAK doll  

 Ralph Lauren OOAK doll  

Ralph Lauren OOAK doll  

 60th anniversary logo

60th anniversary logo

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Lots of gifts were raffled off to attendees during the night, including many dolls. Our table won two of them! After dessert it was time for the convention doll. No surprises here, it was the same doll that was presented in the Paris and Tokyo conventions, Striking In Stripes Barbie. She is Gold label, has the Karl sculpt and a model muse body. Designed by Bill Greening, she wears an asymmetrical striped evening dress, with black strappy sandals, silver clutch bag and matching jewellery. It’s my first official convention doll (that I get while attending I mean), so I’m keeping her.  

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Then it was time for the extra convention Barbie, the one designed by Magia 2000, Mario and Gianni. This one was based on the Totally Hair Barbie, remade by Magia 2000, with new hairstyle, make up, freckles and a spectacular dress with an overskirt in custom printed fabric (with comic related print) and a black body hugging Lycra dress encrusted with colourful rhinestones. She wears black stockings, pink shoes embellished with crystals and star crystal earrings. Miniatures of her own special box and the official convention booklet created by Roger Corbeau were included. 

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One could see the OOAK benefit auction dolls in display in a corner of the ballroom. The talented creators really outdid themselves, as you can see in the photos below. How lucky are the people that bought them! The centerpiece dolls were raffled to each table, ours was won by Christelle - contrary to IT conventions, here you win both centerpiece doll and base for free.

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After lots of fun, laughs, raffles and doll fun, we were ready to wrap things up and call it a day - there was a disco set up in another hotel hall for people that wanted to continue but it was already late and I had to catch the last metro train back to my hotel. The next post will be about the third and final day of IDC. 

 Milano Centrale station  

Milano Centrale station