Six young fashion designers dress Barbie for her 60th anniversary- British Vogue in collaboration with Mattel

Celebrating  Barbie’s 60th anniversary, British Vogue invited six leading young designers to dress the icon in their signature style. Here are the photographs of the designers and their models, read the full story here.


Matty Bovan

A wealth of artisanal techniques have been incorporated into the costume for his intricately constructed Barbie: hand-padded and sewn into her dress with golden Japanese yarn, she is the miniature embodiment of his magpie eclecticism. “It’s kind of like Barbie couture,” Bovan reflects. “I wanted her to have the same energy that my runway clothes have... She’s epic.”



Her Barbie is dressed in a miniature evolution of Mowalola’s spring/summer 2020 collection, with backcombed hair by Virginie P Moreira and make-up created by Daniel Sallstrom (using a miniature paintbrush), “she is a Mowalola superhero,” Ogunlesi grins. “She’s strong and captivating and ready to have a really good time. I want to be wherever she’s going.”


Richard Malone

“Barbie is a businesswoman – and a lot of the women I work with are too, but they don’t dress like men in suits; fashion is a part of their identity. I wanted to show that Barbie could wear a runway look but still live her everyday life and remain the boss that she truly is.”


Art School

Eden Loweth & Tom Barratt’s “non-binary Barbie” offers a perfect example of their take on figure-skimming glamour. “Art School is about making clothes that are really tolerant, that will stand with someone throughout their life, and as they evolve as in their own identity.”


Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

His Barbie (“Let’s call her ‘Wee Hen’,” he decrees in a Glaswegian drawl) exemplifies that spirit: dressed in a replica of the closing look from his spring/summer 2018 collection, which drew upon the history of cross-dressing through the ages, she is, in his words, “wearing the most fabulous piece ever.” “It took a whole week – but just looks like the actual dress!” he exclaims. “I’m really proud of her.”


Supriya Lele

Growing up besotted by Barbie (“I was an only child, so I had about 40”), Lele’s first venture into design was creating custom wardrobes for her – now things have come full circle, as she precisely scaled the measurements of one of her autumn/winter 2019 looks to suit Barbie’s size. In fact, so perfectly is her neon outfit reconfigured that even the pockets are fully operational. “I felt like a child again,” she grins. “But now I have an incredible pattern-cutter to help.”

Photography Credits:
Photographer: Stas Komarovski. Stylist: Poppy Kain. Art Direction: Dom Kelly. Hair: Yumi Nakada-Dingle. Make-Up: Thomasin Waite. Nails: Lauren Michelle Pires. Set Design:Andrew Clarkson. Production: Verity Cousins.

Photos and text courtesy of British Vogue and Mattel.

Integrity Toys 1st International Design Challenge - my entry!

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. 

Photo courtesy of Integrity Toys

Photo courtesy of Integrity Toys

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.

The sketch of my entry - Champagne At The Waldorf

The sketch of my entry - Champagne At The Waldorf

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.

Champagne At The Waldorf Dania Zarr contest enrty 1

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.

Champagne At The Waldorf Dania Zarr contest entry 2

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.

Champagne At The Waldorf Dania Zarr contest entry 3

All photos courtesy of Stratos Bacalis unless otherwise stated

V.JOHN releases his first doll - Devoted Affair Molly Hayward

Most fashion doll collectors are already familiar with the name V.JOHN - they snap up his limited edition fashions for their dolls the moment they become available. Now he has designed his very own resin doll, named Molly Hayward and she is a limited edition of 20, available on his website. She is a beautiful doll with a distinct personality and a mixed Asian/American style. I love that he picked copper/auburn hair for his first doll. She looks good posing too.

Devoted Affair - Molly Hayward
$550 / preorder deposit $300
Skintone_Regular Caucasian
Body: 20 Joints
Material: Japan Resin

Hair: Copper auburn centre parted handmade cap wig.
Light brown eye brow
Light Grey handmade glass eyes
Rose and berry lips
Grey fly up eye shadow blended with peach tone shadow

Fashion :
Black lace lingerie knee long dress
Gold and crystal earrings
Black and white horse fur effect drop shoulder coat
Python effect high platform ankle buckled heels
Wooden base doll stand

Head circumference 12cm
Chest 160mm
Waist 110 mm
Hips 175 mm
Height 415 mm
Foot length 50 mm
Foot width 17 mm
Glass Eyes 8 mm

All photos and information ©  V.JHON DOLL DESIGN  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Barbie now has an architect designed dream house

If you are frequent readers of this blog, you probably remember back in May when the AIA Barbie® Dream House™ Design Competition challenged AIA members to design a dream house for this worldwide but oh so American icon. Well, the results came out this month: from only 30 submissions, a panel of jurors selected five finalists with input from Mattel’s own team of Barbie® experts. They then invited the public to choose their favorite design. Almost 9,000 people, children, but also those still feeling like children at heart, voted. The result: Barbie’s dream house is the quintessential Malibu beach house; it is modern, functional, spacious, fun and most of all sustainable. The design submitted by Ting Li, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP and Maja Paklar, Assoc. AIA, received the most public votes, out of the 8,470 votes registered.

The press release from Mattel tells us how Architect Barbie designed her house:

Naturally the newly minted Architect Barbie took on the task of designing her own dream house. She is creative, fashionable, busy and powerful. She has gone through years of training to become a leading figure in her field. She is LEED AP and a member of the AIA. Although she is an internationally renowned globe trotter, when not travelling she loves to look smart, entertain her potential clients, and come up with innovative ideas in her high-tech, low energy consumption home.

The concept of this house reflects exactly who Barbie is in her new profession. She has pledged to build an environmentally sustainable home using the principals set forth by USGBC as well as to stay true to all the needs of a classic California girl! The house is situated on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The entrance faces north-west and the main body of the building has a panoramic view of the ocean. Distinct building programs are specific to each floor, connected by a center core of spiral stairs. 

The stairs rise around a hollow tube , which becomes Barbie’s tower closet. Since Barbie is the original fashionista, she inevitabily accumulated a large volume of enviable designer labels. This computer controlled closet allows for the clothes to be displayed and visible from every angle of the house. It also makes dressing easy: she can select her outfit, push a button, and the outfit is delivered to her bedroom via the double helix moving rack.

The house features 1,500 sq.f. of entertaining space and chef’s open kitchen on the first floor. A Steven Jobs approved office / library / meeting space as well as 500 sq.f. of terrace on the second floor. The third and fourth floors are Barbie’s private enclave, her bedroom and her inspiration room respectively. The roof has a green house and a landscaped garden for her domestic pets.

The design elements include solar panels, landscaped rooftop and irrigation system, operable shading devices, bamboo flooring, low flow toilet and sink fixtures, and locally sourced and manufactured materials and furnishings.

A joint statement from Ms. Li and Ms. Paklar stated, “We are very honored to have been chosen by AIA and Mattel as a finalist and as the public favourite - Barbie was both of ours’ favorite doll growing up in China and Croatia. We appreciate the versatility of our profession which allows us to express ourselves in a myriad of ways - from entirely built city environments to a Barbie Dream House. We hope to encourage more young female architects to flex their design muscles and just to have fun with architecture.”

“The intent of the partnership with Mattel to promote the launch of Architect Barbie was to engage and inspire young girls to experience the world of architecture and the range of possibilities that design thinking offers,” said AIA President, Clark Manus, FAIA. “We are thrilled that this initiative was so well received by the public and congratulations to the finalists and especially the winners of the design competition, Ms. Li and Ms. Paklar. Their submissions did an excellent job of showcasing the innovative approaches that architects reflect in the design of projects of all types.”

The bad news is that the architects’ submissions including the winning design, will not be produced by Mattel. The good news is that the creators of the winning design will have a $1000 donation made in their name to CHAD, a charter high school in Philadelphia focused on architecture and design. Bit AIA does not write if they or Mattel are making the donation.

Most text and info through The American Institute of Architects

BARBIE and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by Mattel, Inc. ©2011 Mattel, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Photos courtesy of Mattel, Inc.

Modern miniature furniture in New York Times

For all of you who, like me, love to look at (or even aquire) modern furniture for their dolls, here is an article in the New York Times about them. I resent the implication that people who collect stuff like that are eccentric and weird - it is the only thing that marred this article for me. I would love to have some of that stufff to photograph my dolls with. They have a nice slideshow too.