Isaac Mizrahi designs dolls for Madame Alexander

This collaboration was announced way back in January 28th this year but I only just got wind of it. Isaac Mizrahi, one of the most likeable designers from USA (and very talented - back in the late 80's some of his collections were simply genial) announced that he and The Madame Alexander Doll Company will make a new collection of dolls, doll apparel and accessories. Isaac says: “Dolls have a special place in my heart. In a way, I began my design career with dolls. When I was a young, I would use my dadʼs sewing machines to create little puppet dolls. Now, itʼs coming full circle by working with Madame Alexander. They have always represented the highest-quality and most beautiful dolls in the world.”

The doll collection will consist of both limited-edition "collectibles" and 18-inch play dolls. The dolls will be available in June 2014 (are they?) at specialty and department stores as well as select websites including (still on a coming soon notice). 

Limited Edition 250 dolls. SKU 68280. The Collection Doll, ages 14+ Isaac Mizrahi Classic Iconic – $199.95 

Based on a classic lsaac Mizrahi runway look, 16" “Alex” doll is dressed in a white ribbed tee shirt and long "Isaac pink" taffeta ball skirt with a pink tulle under-slip. Topped with a short orange and pink striped puffer jacket and brown faux fur trapper hat, this classic is completed with black motorcycle boots. The doll comes with an illustration card drawn by Isaac Mizrahi. 

Limited Edition 75 dolls. SKU 68285. The Collection Doll, ages 14+ Isaac Mizrahi Modern Iconic –$999.95

Designed by fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi, this 21" fully articulated Cissy doll is dressed in a modern iconic dress inspired by one of Isaac's recent designs, an elegant red and pink satin dress with self belt. Sunglasses, watch, bracelet and clutch are based on accessories from the Isaac Mizrahi New York Collection. If you peek under her skirt, Cissy wears a polkadot, panties and crinoline. An illustration card, drawn by Isaac Mizrahi is included as a special bonus. 

According to Mizrahi, the decision to collaborate with Madame Alexander was a very organic one. He first learned to sew by making another type of childhood toy: puppets on his dad’s sewing machine. “That’s what my first creative endeavours were. Puppets of all kinds,” Mizrahi told “I know a lot about making miniature clothes and things, and for me this is a very natural association.” The 21-inch limited edition Cissy doll is dressed in a pink and red satin dress inspired by one of Mizrahi’s current Mikado dresses.

However, Mizrahi’s favorite is Alex, dressed in a design inspired by one of his early 90's collections. “That’s my favourite just because of the hat and the whole idea of the perfection, the way they captured the exact spirit of the outfit,” Mizrahi said. The rest of the dolls pictured are the play-line 18" dolls that sell for $69.95.

The only doll that would remotely interest me would be the 16" Alex doll and just for the chance of owing one Mizrahi outfit for my dolls - plus it is from his good period. But the price is too much for just one outfit, even though it is a Mizrahi one. Maybe I will be able to find it on the secondary market for a lesser price.

Jason Wu designs for Madame Alexander Dolls

Madame Alexander is not your run of the mill doll company. They have been around since 1923, producing dolls  for collectors and children alike. Their fashion doll collections have never been top of the trade though, mainly due to lack of promoting and too classic styling of dolls and fashions. They have also produced some excellent replicas of movie stars in this line, like Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich (which I both own) and also replicas of Audrey Hepburn costumes (yes yes I own two of them as well!) and of course Scarlett O'Hara.

When they announced that a collaboration with Jason Wu, the famous fashion designer and doll designer extraordinaire for Integrity Toys, it fell like a bomb in the fashion doll forums. Everyone was dying to see the end result while FR collectors cried "foul" seeing their beloved designer working outside the confines of the company that nurtured his talent. He first designed some Cissy dolls for  them and then came the main dish: he would re-vamp their 16" fashion doll line, the Alex dolls. With 17 points of articulation they look like a cross between the old Alex dolls and Avantguards. The collection is now online for pre-order so let's see what is the fuss about. All dolls are a Limited Edition of 150 pcs each. If you pre-order now, they are expected to ship in November and December 2010.

First up is 'Mahogany Alex'. She is a completely re-sculpted Alex. She has rooted side-parted auburn hair, "blue eyes dramatically arched eyebrows, gorgeous lips, and lovely lashes" (that is what they say on the site, you cannot see through the sunglasses) She is wearing a khaki-colored twill skirt paired with a nude-colored ruched blouse,has black lace panties and a thigh-length faux-fur coat. Her accessories made of black pleather include full-length gloves, a belt, and a handbag. She is sporting lace-up open-front ankle boots, a five-chain gold necklace with pearls and black beads, a gold bracelet, diamond rondelle earrings with diamond stud posts, and black sunglasses which of course do not let us see how she really looks. Pity.

Next is 'Graphic Content Paris'. Paris is a friend of Alex's. She has dark, olive green eyes and waist length black hair. She wears a hat made of black eyelet that wraps around her head and is finished with a bow on top. Her sleeveless, full-skirted dress of twisted tulle is combined with a fuchsia satin bodice overlaid with a sheer, black velvet windowpane fabric that’s threaded with silver. A fuchsia satin sash at the waist, black lace panties, pink pearl teardrop, with gold studs, earrings, a black clutch detailed with an over-sized bow and flocked turquoise, ‘wrapped to the ankles’ stilettos (which should have been deep purple or lime green to look amazing) that are finished with a bow at the heel, complete her ensemble. She actually looks great and probably is the only one I might have bought if I had a bigger doll budget this year.

The second Alex of the collection is 'Virtually Stunning Alex' . This one is blond with hip-length hair but has locks cropped to frame her face and bangs as well. She is wearing a black outfit with punches of colour: black lace cocktail mini with black bead detail, paired with black fishnet stockings and black pleather handbag. Topping it off is a black straw hat decorated with magenta flowers. Her shoes are gold faux-alligator pumps with metallic-look gold heels. Matching bracelet and earrings complete the ensemble. She looks a bit boring and the "fishnet" stockings personally turns me off.

The second Paris of the collection is 'Going Platinum Paris' She is dressed in a creamy white tulip long skirt with matching sleeveless high-neck bodice. A black satin belt marks her waist, with a hook-and-eye rhinestone closure at back. Around her neck she sports a  ruffle of white pleated crepe and black pleated netting finished with a black organza bow. On her feet she wears open-side black crepe pumps with black platform sole and heel, metallic gold-braid ankle straps ,and gold leather binding at center back of heel. Accessories include white pearl drop earrings with metallic gold studs, two metallic gold chain and white pearl bead bracelets, and a clutch with applied fuchsia fabric flower petals. Classic and elegant.

The Alex Signature Collection is completed with the 'Luxe Finishings' Accessories pack. This is the only item that will be shipped next year.  Included are; a sleeveless, black satin bodysuit, a short, black and white checked, silk skirt, a gold and crystal bracelet with matching tear drop earrings, knee-high, black pleather, high heeled boots, pink pleather, high heeled bootines that feature a cut-out pattern and lace up the front, fuchsia, high heeled bootines that have an open toe and are detailed by a cut-out pattern and black plastic sunglasses. Doll shown is not included - and her legs are so much like the old Alex it looks weird (also notice the different knee articulations, someone is bad at photoshop). This is something that Integrity should have been releasing regularly for their dolls like they did in the past, I think it would be very successful. 

Madame Alexander's Greta Garbo

Garbo as a doll eh? Sounds strange but here she is. Madame Alexander made two Garbo dolls, one in 2002 (along with a Dietrich and a Garland) and one in 2003. The first one was named Grand Hotel (from the film) and the second one Camille, each dressed in outfits from the corresponding movies. Each was released in 1500 dolls worldwide. I have the first one, Grand Hotel.
The body is not highly articulated - only joints in shoulders, neck, legs, waist. She does look like Garbo, especially if you play with her hair a bit. The face paint is good, the hairdo not as much. The problem is that, as in other Madame Alexander fashion dolls, the body does not seem to have proper proportions. But she does look a bit better than the highly articulated Alex doll.

She comes wearing a lovely blue satin dress, thirties style and simple, with a zipper down her back, and a single strand pearl necklace. The pearls do seem a bit large for her size. no earrings though. Over the dress she is wearing a blue wool coat with fake fur collar and big buttons. The ensemble is topped by a matching blue hat and completed by simple dark blue fabric pumps and a nondescript bag.

I like the sculpt a lot - she looks mysterious enough for Garbo and I just have to find the right outfits for her to wear to show the likeness off. Maybe from Gene's wardrobe. See her in b&w: a real movie star of days gone by.

Sans hat and coat: "Gif me a viskey, ginger ale on the side and don't be stingy!"*

* Garbo's first line on her first talkie picture.