Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Fashion Doll Chronicles: Elusive Icons: Black Fashion Dolls 1968 – 2013

The Fashion Doll Chronicles: Elusive Icons: Black Fashion Dolls 1968 – 2013: The Elusive Icons exhibition was a chronological visual illustration and comparison of Black fashion dolls over the past 46 years to the pr...

Blogger Stratos Bacalis shares some photos from the Elusive Icons exhibition. That March 2014 exhibition featured Mattel's Black fashion dolls whose face molds include the original Francie mold for "Colored" Francie up to the Mbili-faced So in Style dolls. Aside: I do not see the personalized molds like the Brandy or the Halle Berry faces. But there might be other photos not shown in the blog. My vision isn't strong enough to distinguish all of the dolls: I see the first Raven doll with the Mbili face. I recognized her by her distinct orange and turquoise outfit. The display interested me so I share the link here.

Additionally, there are some photos of Sonadoll, an original 16-inch fashion doll by Mr. Frantz Brent-Harris, whose interest in Black fashion dolls has been mentioned in a Black Doll Collecting blog post. Lovely though these dolls are, I will not be getting them any time soon. First, because they are bigger than my range - whew! Second, because they cost a few hundred dollars. Worth it as an art doll, yes. But not affordable for me. Shrug.

You can find the Sonadoll page on FaceBook, too.


Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Hi D7ana,

I believe Frantz' intent was to include all face molds used for Black Barbies, which would be the reason the specialized head sculpts used for Brandy and other dark-skinned Mattel celebrity dolls would not and should not have been included in his Elusive Icons exhibit. That's so Raven was included because she uses the Mbili sculpt.


lindaivette montes de oca said...

Hola, gracias por compartir, ya lo vi, algunos no los conocia, fue una gran recopilacion, un beso.

Anonymous said...

Hi D7ana, I had never heard of the Sonadoll before. These dolls are amazing, I love everything about them, their body shape, the faces, the unique articulation... Not so much the price tag though :-). The exhibition looks beautiful, the separate display stands are so chic.

D7ana said...

Hi DBG, Lindaivette montes de oca, and Nymphaea!

Thanks for that answer, DBG! I *see* now: Mr. Brent-Harris wanted to show the "basic" molds used for Mattel's Black dolls. Makes sense to leave out the special, personalized molds when your focus is on the basic, general uses. You can follow the switch from "white" head molds to "ethnic/black head" head molds.

@Lindaivette -
Hola, eres bienvenido. Yo era feliz de compartir el artículo que escribió el Sr. Bacalis sobre la exhibición el mes pasado.

@Nymphaea - Sonadoll is new to me, too, Nymphaea. Then again, I do not follow the larger fashion dolls, so that is not surprising.

I would love to see a playscale doll by Mr. Brent-Harris that has the same details as the 16" Sonadoll. Someday ....

Muff said...

That was a very cool post. I would have loved to have seen that in person. If I owned the dolls I would have wanted them behind glass though, because just looking at the photos makes me want to pick up every single one.

This next comment is somewhat related to the Sonadolls which are gorgeous, by the way. Seeing his dolls reminds me of some story blogs I saw a while back where the collector had airbrushed away the joints of the dolls. I gotta say that I much prefer to see a dolls joints. When I see joints, I think doll, playable, posable. When the joints are missing, I think sculpture, static, limits. This comment is neither here nor there, but it just came to me so I spoke on it. ^__^

Barb the Evil Genius said...

It's truly an amazing collection. I think though, that no woman is shaped like a fashion doll. I don't buy in to the idea that this affects the self body image of the young children that play with them, however.

I also think wearing heels as high as his Sonadoll will wreak havoc on the feet!

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: I follow the blog of Stratos bacalis. He published a great post. Thanks for recommending it. Keep in touch

Anonymous said...

Hi Dana, I nominated you for the Liebster Award (I bent the rules a little bit too, like you did :-D), details are on my Liebster Award post).

D7ana said...

Hi Muff, Barb the Evil Genius, Marta, and Nymphaea!

@Muff - Yes, the dolls were impressive - both the line of Black Barbies and the Sonadolls.

Regarding doll joints - once, I did not like them. They made me think of Frankenstein. Since then - post Momoko and hosts of articulated action figures - I expect them to be "there." "Smooth" dolls look like they have the old-style rubbery limbs like some of the Tuesday Taylor and later, Jakks Pacific dolls. Those kinds of "poseable" limbs do not pose for long. So I prefer either the jointed or the straight limbed. Shrug.

@Barb the Evil Genius - hello, kindred spirit. No, the fashion dolls do NOT resemble real people. I never ever as a child or as an adult felt that they should look me or that I should look like them.

@Marta - oh, yes, Stratos Bacalis produces an excellent blog. You have great taste to follow his blog ;-) Beautiful photos, etc. I shared the link in case someone had not seen that particular post. You are welcome; I was glad to share the link and to talk about it.

@Nymphaea - yay, Nymphaea! Congratulations on winning the Liebster Award. Thanks for nominating me, too. I will have to go to your blog to read your other nominees.