Saturday, September 26, 2015

Style Notes Isha

Integrity Toys (IT) introduced the Fashion Royalty line in 2001-2002 with two characters - a white doll named Veronique Perrin, the owner of an acclaimed fashion house, and her black supermodel friend, Adele Makeda.  These were the only two characters until 2004 when we met Veronique's sister, Vanessa, and Veronique's fashion competitor, Natalia Fatale, who had an Asian model named Kyori Sato.  In 2005, we received SE Asian superstar Isha Kalpana Narayanan.  I think this cultural diversity was a driving force for collectors who wanted dolls who represented all races internationally.

There were three separate editions of Isha in 2005, and two versions of a single edition in 2006.

IT decided to do something it had never done in 2007.  They changed the skin tone on a mold and gave collectors a separate character.  The white version of Isha became Luchia and turned out to be more popular with collectors than the SE Asian counterpart.  There were three Luchia dolls produced that year and only one Isha.  This happened again in 2008 with three more Luchia dolls and only one Isha.

In 2009 Isha disappeared altogether and Luchia appeared solo in two editions.  The mold did not make a showing at all in 2010.  In 2011 Luchia became a different mold altogether and has only appeared twice (but somehow showed up at the convention with the original Isha mold).    In 2011, IT decided that Isha could be any color they produced, but just not the SE Asian skin tone as they retired that color.  Confused yet???

This summer, collectors received their very first FR2 Isha, Style Notes.
I love the dress (especially the little black panels under the arms).   The accessories included were a great pair of stiletto pumps and cream purse.
She has a lovely screening.
Here is a comparison with Age of Opulence Isha in the original SE Asian Skin Tone.  I think she's lost some of her ethnic identity.
But she is still a very beautiful doll and I like having her in my collection.  I've seen photos where collectors have taken her hair down and she looks phenomenal.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Royal Treatment?

I had to use a question mark in the title of this blog entry.  This gift set has me confused in many ways.  Whenever Integrity Toys (IT) has an online reveal of new dolls, the W Club members are given an opportunity to purchase an exclusive gift set.  Last year it was High Visibility Agnes Von Weiss.

High Visiblity Agnes, though not a favorite for me personally, came with a purse, hat, two pair of shoes, three bracelets, earrings, sunglasses, a long mermaid skirt, a pencil skirt, a brown crop jacket, and a bustier.  She cost members $135.
This year's offering was Royal Treatment Veronique Perrin.  She came with an evening gown, teddy, sheath, coat, a pair of earrings, one bracelet, a purse, one pair of shoes, and a gloved pair of hands.  Her cost was $225.
Many W Club members complained about the rise in cost for a gift set with such minimal accessories;  others were uncertain about the doll.  When both combined, less than 400 were sold.  This is quite shocking for an exclusive doll that is made to order based on purchases.  The actual production doll has a nice face up in my opinion.
This gown has received no fanfare.   It is unlined (unless you count the polka dot underskirt as lining - there is a chiffon overskirt).  It does have a satin slip sewn in.   The chiffon overskirt is sewn directly onto the black hemline which, in my version, is sewn incorrectly.   I believe the pattern was too complicated for the unskilled labor who tried to duplicate it.
I added a crinoline underskirt (from Talking Drama Adele) and replaced the thin belt with a black ribbon and bow.  It helped, but I think I will be contacting Patient Care about this garment.  I don't care for the earrings she came with, so I added a different pair.
Many collectors are looking for the sheath on secondary market - I bet they'll be looking for a long time since most who purchased the collection wanted the sheath as well.  The belt is a real booger to close.  It's best to stretch the fabric and thread as much as possible off the doll before trying to close it around the waist.  It's quite a well made, lined, sheath.
The box coat is a nice light weight tweed but doesn't seem to go with the summer yellow dress.  I added a hat and pin to help the look a little.
The lingerie is quite good!  But a pair of thigh high black hose would've been a nice addition.
For me the worth of any doll is how she looks redressed.  Here she is wearing her sister Full Spectrum's red dress.
I wanted to show you the hairstyle from the side.
I think she looks great in black. She borrowed Dovima's Woman Who Thinks black dress.
And since so many are comparing her to Agnes, here she is with Aristocratic (released earlier this year).

I think she actually holds her own and the two complement each other.  My final thoughts, for what they are worth:

I believe IT missed an opportunity here.  It wouldn't have been a major cost to include another pair of shoes, some hose, better jewelry (including a pin for the coat), and a hat.  That would've tipped the scale.  I believe the Royal Treatment is a lovely doll, but they overcharged for a gift set that wasn't executed well.  It's left a bad taste in the mouths of their loyal collectors.