Trying to put my thoughts & ideas down somewhere and give another outlet to my creativity. It's all connected, so I can't say it's a blog about just this or just that. Dolls. Fashion. Art. A little bit on travel, whatever... let's take it wherever it goes...

2013-10-12

Back to the 80s

I've been on a little Barbie doll shopping spree... Yes, not everything Mattel did in the 80s was just great, but as I have hopefully been able to show with earlier posts of 80s outfits, there was some good stuff out there, and most of it is sadly undocumented in collectors' books!

First of all, a "new" doll arrived - "Feelin' Groovy" by Billy Boy, one of the first designer dolls ever, from 1986. She's a real stand-out, with the Steffie facemold, jet-black hair, purple eyes, green eyeshadow and hot red lips. Sound crazy? Well, it works, as you see:


She comes complete with glittery shoes and her own little beautycase. The coat with it's jewel tone print on metallic fabric, fur trim and extreme shoulders is fittingly extravagant. As it's a "Glamour a go-go Gift Set", there are of course a few more items included so that Barbie can change her look!


Glam evening look! And if she wants to go out partying... all she needs is a little mini dress, those cool black shades and her little camera:
VoilĂ !
If you have Billy Boy's excellent book on Barbie doll, you may have noticed that the prototype - as always with Mattel - of course looked even better:
  Glittery closed-toe pumps, a slit in that skirt and pink tights - that would certainly have been great! They did give her some panties though, which in the 80s was already a rarity... no, I won't go further into that!
That tag on the case would've been great! Looks like they put some Lady Lovelylocks streaks into her hair too!
The coat's fabric looked more colorful too. Ah well, that's Mattel... never trust their prototypes...

I've also had a little dress-up fun with two dolls I bought in the US, earlier this year. Kara and Trichelle, two more additions to the So in Style-family (of which I have talked before here), ca. 2012:
 
Kara wears Babyphat, Trichelle was an inexpensive edition with stiff legs and came with a little purple car. But for 10 bucks, you don't argue about a cheap purple Barbie doll car. The car found a new owner through our fleamarket stand, and I have another pretty Trichelle doll. Her face paint is exactly the same as my other Trichelle's, just her hair is different. Normal size heads, beautiful face paint, poseable bodies... now if all current playline Barbies were like this, I'd be buying 'em like mad! Okay, I'm not a fan of Babyphat per se, but Kara's outfit still looks way better than what "normal" Barbie dolls come with these days!


First, Kara got to try on the vintage 70s raincoat from "Red for Rain". I think red suits her! Trichelle got an early 90s evening outfit from one of the Haute Couture/Paris Fashions lines. That red, gold and black looks like something Christian Lacroix could have dreamed up! And the little lace and sequin hat just add that little extra touch.

As I've been buying up some wonderful 80s outfits, I had to try these on those two lovelies as well! First up, City Style fashions from ca. 1988. I think they're all fab - at least Barbie's, and I wish I had them all. Ken's is... well... rather 70s looking!
Anyway, Kara looks great in this typical power suit, which even came with a "patent" handbag:
 
I like her even better though in a slightly updated version of this:


I think this blouse and skirt combo is really smashing on its own!

Then we come to some Day-to-Night Fashions from '85. I defintely want the Dress Designer, Dancer and Business Executive outfits, they look gorgeous! It's funny how Mattel then still thought that a hat was needed with a "business suit"!
 What I got now is the romantic Teacher fashion. The "Day" outfit looks like "early Princess Diana" - romantic and fussy, with big shoulders. Unfortunately it's made of a fairly stiff fabric which doesn't help:

The "Night" look is quite cute though, even though the shades of lavender don't all match:


Could almost be a bridesmaid!

I'm waiting for one more doll and outfit to arrive, so there will be more 80s Barbie action here soon! Call me crazy, and yes, the quality wasn't always great, but they still made some really nice outfits at that time, and they certainly reflect it well. I am still hoping someone's going to write a book about those some time, but the problem is that most collectors probably discount the 80s fashions totally... I have pretty much all of the booklets etc. that one can have from the time, but I still find Barbie things from the time that I can't place...

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