The London Fashion Doll Festival 2019 was amazing - and I was there to experience it!

My second ever fashion doll convention, the London Fashion Doll Festival 2019, was held on the weekend of 8-9 June in London, at the lovely V&A Museum Of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London. I had promised the organisers that I’d join them in this second time of the convention being held, so there I was! The event took place over two days in the Summerly Room Of The museum, plus an adjoining smaller room for the workshop. 

The V&A Museum of Childhood in London

The V&A Museum of Childhood in London

The Summerly Room

The Summerly Room

A banner at the convention area

A banner at the convention area

Everyone registered upon entry, with an easy scan of our ticket. We were given our goody bags according to our registration level (with or without the exclusive Superdoll convention doll). As I found out, the bag had loads of lovely gifts!  Check them out below.

public.jpeg

The tables were set for eight persons and mine was named Carnaby Girl. I had the honour of being in the same table with Desmond Lingard (from Superdoll), Izzy Parker with her husband Ian, Christina Paul (who runs the Doll Club Of Great Britain website) and of course, from the organisers, Simon Farnworth, his husband Carl and Kim London. What an amazing company to be with! The tables had a folder with two lovely sketches inside by Navdeep Sikand, creator of the lovely Anouk dolls...

FullSizeRender.jpg

...who also offered ten of them for centerpieces on each table! They were raffled off to the attendees near the end of the day, Izzy won ours. The dress and bags are made by Ineke Hintz. The gorgeous base was given along with the doll. If enough requests are made, LFDF will be able to have some for sale. 

Our centerpiece doll! There were blonde and raven versions of the doll.

Our centerpiece doll! There were blonde and raven versions of the doll.

Everyone else at the table got a small gift as well - i won the miniature chess you see below in the round box. I was lucky enough to receive some lovely gifts from my table mates too - Kim gave me the tea set (donated by her), Carl the amazing jewellery set (by Alla Dolgaleva Rapoport), Sofia the miniature Barbies and the wonderful Thomas Bartholomew Maffei, who came all the way from the USA, gave me the Sparkle Girl outfits!

public.jpeg
IMAGE.JPG

Izzy had a gorgeous doll with her, the fantastic Glory resin Sybarite from the Los Angeles Convention earlier this year (above) , while Desmond had with him the 12” House Of Zenith Avenue, introduced earlier this year. She’s not wearing her original fashion and looked better IRL than in photos I had seen (below).

IMAGE.JPG

Soon enough, it was time for the workshops to begin. I had registered for both, so my schedule was full! First one was the Face Up workshop by Claudio Coronado, who was introduced by Simon Farnworth. 

IMAGE.JPG

Claudio was very thorough in showing us the steps in how to begin painting a doll’s face. A slideshow helped him show the detailed work he does. 

IMAGE.JPG

We got a great list of all the steps to follow when painting a doll face and helped us understand it is no easy task. Which is why you see the “before” photo of the doll head I had to paint, but not the “after”! 

IMAGE.JPG

The artist at work. This magnifying glass type is perfect for detailed work, I must get one.

IMAGE.JPG

After the end of the workshop, I had the chance to photograph the dolls on display. The Carnaby themed set up was beautiful.

IMAGE.JPG

The items that were going to be raffled off the next day, to support a great cause, the Children With Cancer UK charity, we’re also on display. See the slideshow below. I should also mention that there is an ebay auction with exclusive OOAK creations (dolls or outfits) for LFDF 2019, to benefit the same charity, that ends on the 22nd of June 2019, so go to this link to check the offerings and bid!

If you love Sybarites, you know Desmond is an incredibly talented photographer as well. Some of his magnificent prints were on display and for sale.

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

There was a small exhibition of 60s dolls as well, check them out below in the slideshow.

Emperis Dolls had a beautiful display as well and I got to meet the lovely Marcus and William who make them. They had both their new 12” dolls and their 16” ones on display and for sale. Some amazing OOAK dolls were there too, check out Cher in the slideshow below. The guys told me they almost sold out during the day.

Then it was time for the second workshop of the day: Sofia Kalaitzidi from Microsonik London showed us how to make a flower wig. These were very popular during the 60s in editorials and covers of fashion magazines. Elizabeth Taylor and members of the British Royal family were sporting them often in events.

IMAGE.JPG

Here are the materials Sofia gave us for the wig plus a prepared base for us to work on.

IMAGE.JPG

I managed to go as far as you can see below during the workshop (I’m hopeless with a needle). Some just threaded the larger flowers through the base as they had long wire stems, so no sewing needed, but I wanted a more delicate effect. Will try and finish it home!

IMAGE.JPG

And here I am next to the lovely Francesco from Fred-Dolls at the workshop - we had so much fun!

IMG_6214.JPG

After the workshop ended, it was time for afternoon tea! A proper British tea, with everything necessary - tea, scones, clotted cream, jam, milk, sandwiches, sugar, macaroons and other treats! It was delectable.

IMAGE.JPG

During tea time, members of the organising team (l to r: dear Ismail, Simon and Claudio) presented the people dressed in sixties or sixties inspired clothes.

The t-shirts worn by the organisers ate the official convention shirt and all attendees got one!

The t-shirts worn by the organisers ate the official convention shirt and all attendees got one!

there were eight of them, all lovely and dapper in mod outfits…

public.jpeg

…and the winner was Olga, who was the most popular - people voted for their favourite contestant by giving them their raffle ticket!

public.jpeg

Near the end of the day, it was time for the most anticipated reveal: Desmond unveiled the exclusive convention Sybarite doll!

public.jpeg

Her name is Dejah and she is the last Generation X Sybarite doll to be released! The edition is 30 dolls and there are two more available at the LFDF site - hurry up!

public.jpeg

You can see my doll below, as I opened the box right after the presentation. The last photo is the official one from Superdoll. She’s like a Motown singer from a girl group the 60s or a Northern Soul singer on a tour in Britain in the late 60s..

And here I am with dear Desmond - this one is for you Shazam Paname! Charles was in China, supervising doll production in the factory.

public.jpeg

This was the first day of the London Fashion Doll Festival, full of wonderful people sharing our doll passion, making beautiful memories and seeing so many gorgeous dolls. Next up, the Salesroom day.

Integrity Toys Luxe Life 2018 Convention: the highly anticipated Menswear Collection Launch did not live up to the hype.

Friday afternoon at the convention continued with more shopping and workshops, but many convention guests (and many more not attending the convention) were eagerly anticipating the Menswear Collection Launch Event and Party. The new Hommes body and line have been in the pipeline for many years (five if I’m not mistaken) so everyone that collected the Male Integrity Toys dolls were holding their breath. The importance was such that the reveal had  replaced the very popular Friday night bazaar and masquerade ball.

Unfortunately, even though guests got to hear about the design and inspiration behind the newest line, named The Monarchs, from Integrity Toys designer Vaughn Sawyers, something was amiss. All attendees received the Undercover Declan Wake Male Doll. More information on the line will be revealed to W Club members by email, and some prototypes were shown on a slideshow, with one also sent by email to Club members that is under strict no-show order. There was no centerpiece for the event, just an empty acrylic base with the new line logo, that was raffled instead. One can imagine how disappointed people were, as they were expecting to be able to purchase a dressed male doll from the new line, as the convention package mentioned. The doll was nowhere to be seen. Because of that mishap, the unveil lasted only a short time and the only information people managed to get out from Vaughn was that attendees would get first dibs on a dressed male doll sometime soon.


Item # 21008

Undercover

Declan Wake™ Fashion Figure

The Monarchs™ Homme Collection

2018 Luxe Life Convention Exclusive

Edition Size: 500 Dolls

IMG_7023.JPG

The doll shown was offered to everyone who attended the launch event for "The Monarchs". The formal introduction to the new line will take place later this winter, with a full reveal of the new storyline, characters and looks.

IMG_7024.JPG

So this is the body that took Integrity Toys five years to redesign. Other than making it skinnier and more defined, I do not see an actual improvement over the old one. No improved articulation, no better neck joint. Cosmetic changes are all nice and well, but real redesign should have made for a better articulated body, with a neck allowing male dolls to move their heads better and make them look more expressive.

IMG_7025.JPG

None of the old, first wave of Hommes will be part of the new lin up: no Pierre, Francisco, Darius or Takeo. Which is a pity to hear, as they are very special and beautiful sculpts. I’m a Declan fan but this looks like his best ever version too much to be considered great. His hairstyle does not help - it looks like some third rate Mediterranean lover boy would sport while out cruising the tourist traps. Easy pass. And no, having a semblance of a penis will not make a doll better. Nice bag though - the big one. The other can simply disappear into the eighties it came from.

IMG_7026.JPG

 All photos and information contained herein is copyrighted Integrity Toys, Inc. and Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC 2018 and may not be reprinted or disseminated without express written permission. The W Club is a trademark of Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.Layouts and graphics by Alain Tremblay, Marketing.

London Fashion Doll Festival takes place this Saturday! Are you ready?

I know Simon Farnworth for many years, first online through doll groups and social media, and of course his incredible doll portal Doll Observers. We finally met for real last month at IDC in Milan. And now he's presiding over the London Fashion Doll Festival, which will be held this Saturday, 30th of June at the V&A Museum of Childhood.

BannerEventBrite.jpg

The LFDF 2018 is organised by members of the London Fashion Doll Club, a not for profit organisation. A group of like-minded collectors who came together with the dream of organising an inclusive event for Fashion Doll Collectors. The event is not directly affiliated or sponsored by any doll brands or companies, including Mattel. Money raised from the raffle on the day will be donated to the V&A Museum of Childhood and proceeds from their Charity Doll Auctions will be donated to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity.

is it spring yet_.png

The event is titled WONDERLAND and the organisers have also managed, in association with Superdoll Collectables, to secure a very special Sybarite Doll Upgrade Package for attendees to purchase. I think this is a doll anxiously awaited by all, attendees or not.

LFDFupgrade_Superdoll.jpeg

The Summerly Rooms at the V&A Museum of Childhood will be home to the event with salesroom, exhibition, talks and more. Special OOAK Alice In Wonderland themed centrepiece dolls were specially designed for the event. Attendees will have the chance to win one for themselves. An Exclusive Fashion by Microsonik London will also be handed out along with a goodie bag.

london fashion doll festival.png


There will also be time for a spot of Afternoon Tea, following the general theme. A special breakout event for the unveiling of the exclusive Superdoll Collectables Sybarite event doll will also take place for the upgrade conventioneers. Charles Fegen from Superdoll will also treat attendees to a talk about the history of the Sybarite dolls. Other dolls brands exhibiting at the event include Andymy Designs, RDG dolls, Emperis, Janka Creator, Anouk, and Free Fantasy Dolls

Untitled design (11).png


Registration for the event was £70 which includes entry, refreshments, goodie bag and more. The Superdoll Upgrade Package, which includes the regular registration price, Sybarite doll and VAT was priced at £448. Cannot wait to see the dolls and photos from the event. Hopefully next year, I might be able to attend myself!

LFDFlogo-Horizon-Blue.png

Italian Doll Convention 2018 day one: my first ever doll convention!

I’ve finally attended my first ever doll convention! as you’ve probably read in a previous post, I took the plunge last year and registered for the 2018 Italian Doll Convention, and boy did I make the right decision! The experience was a blast and so I’m going to present the whole event here in the blog, with lots of photos and information. We will begin with Friday, 18th Of May, the first day of the convention, which was dedicated to Poppy Parker! 

The lobby of my hotel

The lobby of my hotel

I arrived at Bergamo airport at 11:00 am Friday (Rayan Air helped to keep the budget low) and popped over to Milan with a bus. Checked in at my hotel near Milano Centrale FS - not staying at the convention hotel was not the most convenient option but it was definitely the cheapest. Being familiar with the city, since it was not my first time there, I then took the Metro (underground train) to the convention hotel, to get registered, managing to arrive a few minutes after it had begun.  

The convention hotel

The convention hotel

One of the amazing Magia2000 guys was at the registration, the lovely Mario Paglino, along with assistants gorgeous Sebastiano Zaffalon and the incredible Ibrahim Ismail, who registered me and walked me through the do’s and dont’s of my first convention. I received the convention bag, full of goodies and all necessary stuff for the next three days, plus my convention bracelets, to be worn proudly for the duration of my stay, while nixing every chance of flirting with gorgeous chic Italians in the wider Milan metropolitan area!

First indication you are in the right place

First indication you are in the right place

Registration queue - being early means no waiting time. Mario is in the middle, Sebastian with the darker pink shirt and Ibrahim with the black one.

Registration queue - being early means no waiting time. Mario is in the middle, Sebastian with the darker pink shirt and Ibrahim with the black one.

The magical bracelets guaranteeing entry to all events

The magical bracelets guaranteeing entry to all events

Finishing early with the registration meant I had quite some time until the start of the first day event, which was at 20:00. So I decided to visit the Armani Silos building near via Tortona, in one of the most fashionable districts of the city, near the lovely canals, I navigli. On one side of via Bergognone are the Silos and right across you can see the company’s headquarters and the Armani Teatro, where the runway shows of the famous designer take place. A pilgrimage for every serious fashionista indeed!  

The Armani Teatro where they host their runway shows

The Armani Teatro where they host their runway shows

The Armani Silos turned out to be quite the experience! The ground floor, apart from the reception, cafe (more later) and guardarobe, have a temporary exhibition space, these days dedicated to the photographer artist Paolo Ventura. His work is characterised by the short stories he makes by constructing small scale dioramas and photographing them, creating his own worlds. Photographs, models and paper dioramas combined into a great experience, which was the icing on the cake that was Armani Silos. 

Paolo Ventura models

Paolo Ventura models

Paolo Ventura Paper diorama

Paolo Ventura Paper diorama

The rest of the edifice is dedicated to the master. Three floors brimming with his clothes, divided by floor into three categories/themes: androgynous, ethnic and stars. Androgynous is about the brilliant way he fuses masculine and feminine in his clothes, his most prominent charachterisic along with his fluid tailoring. Ethnic is about the way he incorporates influences and elements of other cultures without merely copying them. And, finally, stars, was about his scintillating evening wear, minimal yet opulent, in a way only Armani can do. One of the great things about this exhibition is that you can walk amongst the clothes, able to look up close to all the details and workmanship involved. The only fault (for me) was the lack of detailed information on the outfits: apart from the respective collection the outfit comes from, no other information was given. Half of the third floor is taken over by the brand’s digital archive, accessible through huge touch screens and iMac computers. There is also a small screening room, where films and ads made for the house are shown - when I was there, a film by David Lunch was being projected. 

Androgyny

Androgyny

Ethnic

Ethnic

Stars

Stars

Accessories 

Accessories 

I had to have a coffee at the ground floor cafe, both to relax and absorb what I had just seen, but also to charge my phone. The experience kept on being full Armani, with branded water and even sugar cubes and chocolate! There’s a lovely outdoors space too. I left to have lunch at the big canal, Grande Naviglio, at a favourite osteria, but had to hurry back to the Silos afterwards, as I had forgotten my convention bag at their guardarobe! After that, back to the hotel to freshen up. Below you can see the contents of the convention bag - best gift in my opinion: the amazing Balmain pencils! Thank you Magia 2000!

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
Grande Naviglio

Grande Naviglio

Convention bag goodies!

Convention bag goodies!

Best of the bunch: Balmain pencils!

Best of the bunch: Balmain pencils!

Time had come for the first event of the convention: the Harajuku party dedicated to Poppy Parker and the special guest from Integrity Toys, the designer David Buttry! A big ballroom was transformed by cartoon balloons, lighting and decorations into a harajuku scene, with many attendees dressed up as manga and anime characters or merely following harajuku style. A lavish buffet took over half the room, with lots of food and drinks available. A DJ was there to enhance the effect, later helping attendees burst into karaoke performances with the Spanish contingent making the biggest impression! Meeting people that until then were only known to me through doll groups or social media turned out to be the best part of the convention, with first and foremost the lovely, kind and talented David Buttry.

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
Me with lovely David! It was great meeting him at last!

Me with lovely David! It was great meeting him at last!

David Buttry made his appearance on stage to give an interview to Rogier Corbeau, from the great blog Dutch Fashion Doll World. I found out that the questions, submitted by readers of the blog, were screened by Integrity Toys beforehand, which is kind of weird. The interview itself was great, with David telling us about his work process, his inspiration sources and how Poppy came to be. He also told us that the exclusive convention Poppy begun her life as part of the Swinging London Collection but was kept out of it to then transform into the event doll. He had also brought along another Poppy, a prototype doll from the Swinging London Collection that was part of the exhibition of various Poppy Parker dolls (all from the collection of Lauretta Tonini) at the event.  

David being interviewed by Rogier 

David being interviewed by Rogier 

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

Another exhibition inside the ballroom were the brilliant photographs taken by José Rdriguez (Ken Mad) with Poppy at the Scala of Milan as theme. Each photograph had Poppy transformed into an opera heroine, from Tosca to Norma to Aida. We were extremely lucky to each receive a lovely box with the printed photographs. 

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

Ciao, Poppy! was the gorgeous event doll, finally revealed to us with a special presentation, and given to all attendees upon the presentation of the corresponding ticket received upon registration. The exclusive doll, limited to 250 pieces, even less than a centerpiece in other conventions, dressed in colourful clothes, with pink hair, a flower necklace in multicoloured stones, short skirt, knee socks, high heeled peep toe pumps and a shopping bag with her face and the words Ciao, Poppy! on them. She has the high heel feet instead of the classic Poppy articulated feet and her make up is more modern, matching her harajuku style perfectly. 

My convention Ciao, Poppy! doll.

My convention Ciao, Poppy! doll.

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
photo by Integrity Toys 

photo by Integrity Toys 

photo by Integrity Toys 

photo by Integrity Toys 

 photo by Integrity Toys

 photo by Integrity Toys

 photo by Integrity Toys

 photo by Integrity Toys

Ciao, Poppy! box unopened.

Ciao, Poppy! box unopened.

Everyone was so happy to get this special doll, but there was one more thing: a special gift in the form of a bathing suit designed by David in retro style. But that was not the end of it. Another Poppy doll, the blonde variation of the first one, was available to all attendees for purchase, to be bought the next morning for €160,00. This version was again limited to 250 dolls. Apart from the different hair colour, her lips are pale pink, contrary to the strong red ones of the pink haired version. I did not want a second one but bought it for my dear friend Maria of Habilis Dolls, who could not attend and loved her. 

IMAGE.JPG
 photo by Integrity Toys

 photo by Integrity Toys

The extra gift outfit 

The extra gift outfit 

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
 photo by Integrity Toys

 photo by Integrity Toys

 photo by Integrity Toys

 photo by Integrity Toys

The rest of the evening was full of fun, drinks, song, dance and friends. The prototype Poppy Parker was raffled off to attendees, and the lucky winner was Lamanda Rae Scott! You can see her below with David and the OOAK Poppy! 

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

It was a wonderful evening, being with great friends and getting lovely dolls - what a great way to start a convention! As I got on the Metro train to return to my hotel, I felt happy and excited for the next day. Read all about it in the next post. 

All photos and videos, unless otherwise mentioned, are courtesy and copyright of Stratos Bacalis and the Fashion Doll Chronicles- not to be copied or shared without permission  

The Italian Fashion Doll convention is coming - are you ready?

One of the best things about collecting fashion dolls is meeting extraordinary people with the same passion and exchanging ideas, making friendships and get creative with them. Best place to do that in real life is attending a fashion doll convention. For years I have been yearning to go to one of them, especially the grand events that get organised in the US. Budget of course gets always in the way for far away trips like that. Europe is closer, the conventions might be smaller but there are many of them and the costs are significantly lower.

IMG_5474.JPG

So I took the plunge and finally decided to attend a European convention, especially after discovering it would be the first one featuring a specially made exclusive Poppy Parker for it. The Italian Fashion Doll Convention, held annually in Milan, begins on the 18th Of May and I am happy to announce it will be my first convention. I cannot wait to finally meet all those wonderful fellow fashion doll collectors that are, for now, online friends and acquaintances and enjoy three days full of fashion dolls.

IMG_5475.JPG

Not only that, two very talented people will be attending as well, making the event even more special: David Buttry will be in Milan to present the very first exclusive european Poppy Parker on Friday, 18th of May. And then, Linda Kyaw, the well known Mattel designer, will be attending the Barbie gala dinner on Saturday, 19th of May. Both designers will be signing dolls on Sunday, 20th of May. The theme of the event is Cartoonia, so the whole convention is inspired by cartoons, comics and animation. And apart from the exclusive Poppy Parker and the Barbie convention doll, there is an extra doll, for those who chose the corresponding package, made by the very talented duo Magia 2000.

IMG_5476.JPG

What happens on Sunday you ask? Well, apart from the signing events with David and Linda, there will be a huge doll bazaar, filled with every kind of fashion doll, available both to attendees and the general public. Lots of dealers, doll creators and doll fashion designers will be selling their wares. See them below.

FullSizeRender.jpg

But that’s not all. There was also an auction of specially made OOAK dolls, to benefit a very special cause. Because fashion doll people are people who care for others. This year the recipient of the proceeds from the auction is the Dynamo Camp. Dynamo Camp is the first camp of Therapeutic Recreation in Italy, specially designed to accommodate - for free - children suffering from serious and chronic diseases, from 6 to 17 years in therapy and in the period after hospitalization. These are mainly children affected by haematological cancers, neurological issues and diabetes. Dynamo Camp will offer these sick children the opportunity to go back to being "just children" spending a week of fun in a safe and secure environment. The auction was online here, ended on Monday afternoon.

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Check out more details about the various events throughout the duration of the convention below.

IMG_5483.JPG

There will also be some great presentations on Saturday.

IMG_5484.JPG

The results of the photo competition shown below will also be announced!

IMG_5485.JPG

And here is the schedule for all days. See you in Milan!

FullSizeRender.jpg