I don't know if you still remember me. I'm Lolita, well that's what you named me. I'm your fifth doll. I'm actually Storm (X-men), a superhero. I let go of my marvel-ous identity as you welcomed me in your home. Not only that, you gave me a job as model, a family of my own (with my partner Vernie and daughter Puypuy) and new friends. I was really grateful. In case you have forgotten me, I have attached some photos to remind you.
(My first appearances in your old blog)
Then one day, new dolls came in. They excited you. They were new. We all know how important being new is. You wanted to redress and restyle them, give them new looks. You forgot about us, stored in a box. And now you have an army of action figures. Where do I fit in? In a storage box?
I wanted to wear the clothes that you made but you didn't let me. Is it because I'm on the "heavy" side? Is it because I pose like an amateur? Is it because my hair is wild? Please tell me. Am I THAT ugly? I need some explanation. I can take it. I'm tough. You characterized me as a tough woman.
(My old modelling portfolio)
I can improve myself. I'm willing to change if only you give me a chance. I haven't eaten in a while so I'm really skinny now. Plus, I beheaded a Dynamite Girl and snatched her body so I can pose fiercely. My hair, well it is still not what you would call normal but I think it looks better now.
How come Kayla gets all the job? Is there a chance I can get some modelling stint in your blog? Please say yes. Otherwise you should just throw me in the trash or give me to a poor girl who badly needs a doll! Please be considerate.
How are Vernie and Puypuy? I haven't seen them in a long time. Have you forgotten about them, too?
I really don't know what to say. Ummm... errr... I'll call you, maybe???
We almost never run out criticisms on Barbie products. In fairness to Mattel, they listen. I have mentioned in my previous blog that they should do the following and they did.
1. More Asian playline dolls
2. Asian Ken
3. A smiling Asian
So just in case Mattel is listening again, I'm posting this idea here. A lot of Ken collectors have been wanting this so I figured I echo the concern.
How about a rooted redhead Ken? I bet if that comes out even in a less articulated body, people would buy. I guess it would still be cheaper to buy that than to have a Ken head re-rooted with red hair. They can recreate Ken's redhead friend, Alan. Or why not a new Ken for the Dolls of the World line like an Irish Ken? They usually stereotype Irish people as redheads, don't they?
This post was inspired by Ms Leo's blog entry:
No pair of men's pants calls for attention quite like those red pants. This intense color is worn best by people with dominant personalities, people who can handle all the deadly attention.
For the first two looks, I tried to control the intensity with white, black and gray. The first look is more relaxed but still evokes sensuality. The second look, although very casual, still conveys strength.
The final look is that of a rock star. It's about power and control. A trace of ochre pulls the attention away from the red crotch to the intense face. The dominating red is down-played by black. The withheld intensity, softened by a fur wrap, is just about to explode.
Although white is an easy color to wear, it won't be so easy for a guy if it is so short!
The first look is sporty and typical, almost bland if not for the pop of purple. I'm from a tropical country so a blazer is just not part of out basic wardrobe. A blazer and shorts combo seems new to me, but it is not really out there. That just won't work for someone who knows he is special.
So how do you style a pair of white shorts and make a guy wearing it have that wow factor? Give him a little twinkle and take cue from Tony Manero. This look is not about being safe. It's about being a star. Wouldn't you like to dance with this star?
Blue is generally a safe color for men to wear. It is fairly easily to style a blue pair of pants. The first look is for a warm weather while the second, cold. Not that they look bad, but there's really nothing new with either. That just won't do for this fashion sensitive Ken.
I was looking for inspiration on how to style a blue bottom when I came across Pause (an online fashion magazine). I forgot what specific article I got the inspiration from, but it was one of those where they feature what actual people wear on the streets. The main trend was a touch of bold colors in men's wear but one guy caught my attention. He was mixing some military inspired pieces with bold colors. It seems like a major mismatch but I kinda liked it and used it in this look. Bold colors seem to make men look softer or feminine but with a touch of a military piece, there seems to be an added masculinity in the look.
I have chosen to style these three guys next. Before I do, I tried to figure out the personalities of the dolls. These are just from what I perceive NOW. Things can change. I don't plan to give them names yet. That's how tentative things are with these dolls. They might get a make over later. Who knows? I haven't played with them enough to figure them out.
First is the 2010 Harley Davidson Ken. Without his tattoo, he doesn't seem like a biker dude to me. His hair seemed always in place like he spends a lot of time in front of the mirror. If he is a superhero he would be Super Vain. He could be a fashionista, always on the look out for something new in fashion. I bet his tattoo is false as he seems like a false hero.
Next is Ken Basics model no. 17 from the jeans collection. He's a guy-next-door type, maybe. He doesn't have a strong character but he seems well-educated. He's usually reserved and often has a blank look on his face. Maybe he's into sports like a lot of guys are. Guys next door may be charming but they are close to boring.
Last is 2011 Doll of the World Japan Ken. He has long hair, a non-conformist. He looks too serious like he's always problematizing something. He seems like he has a lot of pent up emotions, always finding some ways to better express himself. He can be an artist--a poet or a rocker/musician. Often misunderstood, he doesn't seem to be the popular so his works don't sell. That explains the frown. He's like a Byronic hero.
This is my final project for the high-low series, another high-low top. The clothes are really basic. Anyone who knows how to sew doll clothes should be able to make one. The thing I find really interesting these days is the color combo.
When I say i find it interesting, I just don't mean on dolls. I mean, I'm using some colors that pop in my wardrobe as well. Just this year, I bought 3 colored shoes for myself, a turquoise/cyan sneaker, a mustard colored loafers, and a green one with elastic sides. I'm already used to wearing colored tops but I normally just use black, brown (for work) or dark blue (for the sporty look) for footwear. When I was younger I used to have green denim pants but at my age I find it hard to wear colored pants.
So my next project is to style some pants in vibrant colors in male dolls and make it look okay according to my taste, of course. Unlike with my female dolls, I do not want to use too many clashing or matchy-matchy colors. I guess, I don't want to use too many colors in general. The dolls on the background is a sort of preview for my next entries...well that is if I can make it work.
I challenged myself to find the top I made last year (1st photo below) and use it in a new look. I was reminded of this top because it still falls under the high-low category.
A classic look
Aside from the challenge of making something old look new, one has to overcome the physical challenge of sorting through a lot of stash just to find that specific item of doll clothing or accessory. It took me about an hour to find that top as it was almost a year since I used it. I almost forgot where I hid it.
This turned out to be a memory exercise and a test of patience aside from being imaginative.
Some say it was when these dolls were seen as collectible items that could fetch a higher price in the future. That sort of gave them the right to be expensive to start with. Dolls are mainly grouped in two--the collector/limited edition and the play line. That distinction alone spells a big difference in price. Some play line dolls have comparable quality with the collectors edition dolls, so it's not always about quality. It's the mere branding.
At first, I thought it was our fault that the prices went high. We kept on patronizing their products. They saw we were willing to pay so they asked for higher prices.
But then I asked myself, why are we doing that? I realized that they made us. There is this delusion being unconsciously implanted in our minds that a high price means a high quality.
I have a friend who creates custom jewelries. I asked her how she prices her items. She said that one should know the buyer to figure out the best price for the item offered to the specific buyer. Some customers wouldn't buy a cheap item for the sole reason that they are cheap. When she figures out that a certain customer abhors cheap jewelries, she instantly charges them triple the price she offers to her friends.
You have to understand their need for this delusion. The more they can make us pay for something, the more they will earn.