Saturday, November 28, 2020

The First Convention Doll Out of the Hangar - #30 of 2020 Red Hot Evelyn Weaverton

Make no doubt about it, Chris Stoeckel knows a thing or two about designing doll clothes.  Unfortunately for those who love his work and the East 59th Street line, there was only one offering at The Integrity Toys (IT) Legendary Convention, Red Desire Evelyn Weaverton.  Chris has shared with collectors that the Evelyn mold is a personal favorite as the character was inspired by his grandmother, the lady who actually taught him to sew and instilled his love of fashion design.

I have collected the East 59th Street line ever since its humble beginnings as the Victoire Roux line back in 2011.  Victoire was introduced at the IT Jet Set Convention with Fauboug St. Honore and a separate fashion entitled Avenue Montaigne

One of my favorite things about his doll is that, not only does Chris offer new fashions based on vintage designs, the Victoire Roux body can actually wear Vintage Barbie clothing.  Here is Honore wearing a pink pak skirt, body suit, and belt.

Connecting the dots, it was soon realized Victoire Roux's body could wear the incredible IT clothing made prior to 2006 since the original IT body was shorter and had similar proportions to the original Barbie.  Here is St. Tropez wearing the 2005 Lustrous Silhouette Adele Makeda ensemble (edition size 500).

In 2017, new characters, Evelyn Weaverton and Constance Madssen, were introduced and the line was officially changed to East 59th Street.  I was all over that!  My doll collection increased quite a bit.  Here is a compilation of my Victoire/East 59th Street collection:

As you can see, I'm not a "casual" collector of this line.  When a W Club member generously offered to help other East 59th Street collectors get Red Hot Evelyn Weaverton at retail convention cost, I jumped at the opportunity.

Here is the promotional photo by IT.

Here is a closeup of the doll NRFB that arrived last week.  There has been a lot of criticism this year about the quality of lighting in the promotional photos of The Legendary dolls.  As you can see, Red Hot Evelyn's dress is no where near the shade of red as originally shown.

I knew that dress had to be released from that little box!  When I got her out and started putting everything together, I quickly realized there were just too many shades of red on this one doll.   The factory was unable to execute Chris's design faithfully.  The shoes, gloves, purse, jewelry, train, and mani/pedi were not all the same shade of red.  Here is a photo of the accessories from IT.

I opted to leave off the gloves and change the shoes to an older FR shoe.

I prefer this look.  (Note:  I do not use a flash.  Most of my photos are taken in natural light and I try to capture the true colors in the ensembles.)

And here is a better closeup.  

Many collectors are bothered by the high forehead on this doll.  The production team created the hairlines a little too high.  My doll's forehead didn't bother me as much as the hairline problem over her left ear.  No one's hairline is like that.  Another collector referred to this as, "looking like her wig was blowing off".   

Have I mentioned how much I love Chris Stoeckel's work?  I really do.  I believe there was the potential for this doll to be a stellar stand-out at the convention.  The dress is perfection!  The faceup is breathtaking.  Sadly, the lack of quality control continues to be a serious issue at the IT factory.   Do I contact Customer Care?  We all know how that goes ... remove the head, ship to Canada, wait for weeks or months for a replacement, hold you breath when it gets returned in hopes it's not worse than what you sent off.  I'm tiring of the dance ...

Until I make up my mind, here is #30 of 2020 Red Hot "Mess" Evelyn Weaverton ....


Monday, November 23, 2020

History of Color Variations & Re-imaginings

If you were to count color variations, it could be noted that Integrity Toys (IT) has a very long history with re-imaginings.

The very first Fashion Royalty separate ensemble, Toast of Paris, was produced in tones of charcoal with lavender embroidery.  It was recreated in soft tones of gray for "Miss Carroll's Study Group" in an edition size of 100.  The following year the separate ensemble was Soir de Paris, produced in rich wine colors, and Purple Factor Adele Makeda showed up wearing a pale lavender version.

The year after that we got both La Petite Robe Blanche and La Petite Robe Noire.  

There have been many of these. 2005 gave us Flirtatious Veronique Perrin and Bodacious Adele Makeda  in different colourways of the same ensemble.   

2006's Lights, Camera, Royal Veronique lavender gown was produced for the IT convention as Lights, Camera, Royal Blonde ("photo courtesy of Amanda" according to the Fashions Royalty Reference Pages) in black.

2007's High Drama Eugenia Frost's Deep Blue version of Talking Drama Adele Makeda's taupe gown.  

2008 brought us Shirred Not Shaken Vanessa Perrin's black version of the blue gown worn by Most Desired Eugenia Frost

as well as Fine Jewel Eugenia's red version of Vanessa Perrin's olive Color Therapy.  

2009 gave us another double whammy of Optic Clash Dania Zarr's black and pink version of Optic Verve Agnes Von Weiss's yellow and gray gown, 

while Silver Zinger Agnes Von Weiss said "turn about is fair play" with Dania Zarr's Red Zinger.

Of course we saw this cross over quickly to the FR2 line with 2011's Evermore Vanessa and Forever Veronique.

IT Basic Editions brought back color variations in  2013 and 2014.  We got Light Strike Natalia Fatale in White, Red Strike Janay, and Night Strike Monogram in Blue.

Then there was Flawless Impact Dania Zarr and Immaculate Finley Prince (only difference is the color of the belt).

The 2015 Integrity Convention brought us High Frequency Kumi (in teal) and Heart Stopper Natalia Fatale in Hot Pink versions of the same gown.

And Santa's Secret Grab boxes of 2015 gave us Wondrous Tatyana Alexandrova (pale lavender), Mirage Ayumi Nakamura (white), and Cloudscape Dominique Makeda (pale blue).  

In 2015 we got an ITBE Ignite Janay with a red version of 2011's Flawless Elyse dress!

But if you consider "re-imaginings" as taking one doll and changing the doll/design to reflect a different take on things, well, that started in 2009 at the IT Convention Iconic.    We got Luxe Life Vanessa Perrin offering an amazing spin on sister Veronique's Lush Life from 2003.

Eugenia Frost's Diamond Society based on 2003's Veronique Perrin Silver Society.

And Poesie Enchantee Agnes Von Weiss taking on the mega Poesie Sans Couleur Vanessa Perrin.

In 2010, things started getting combined.  Flame Bleue Vanessa Perrin took on A Fashionable Life Vanessa from 2005 for hairstyle and face but wore a blue version of 2003's Veronique Perrin Flame Rouge.

Then ... I think there was a temporary shift from re-imaginings because Jason Wu's human lines took off and he started giving us miniaturized versions of some of his favorite designs.  

The idea was resurrected in 2017 with the Design Competition which required the entries be based on a previously issued FR design.  The winner that year was Vasilen Milkov's Passion Week Elyse Jolie based on 2004's Red Blooded Woman worn by Kyori Sato.

And we can't forget the 2018 IT Convention Optic Illusion Giselle Diefendorf taking on the the mighty Optic Verve Agnes Von Weiss.  (The ensemble I'm not so crazy about, but the Giselle is amazing.)

Of course, poor Bergdorf Goodman Poppy Parker from 2010 has been re-issused almost as many times as the original edition size.  2018's Split Decision Poppy Parker solidified the strongest resemblance.

Since that time we've had some direct copies of facial screenings.  Designer Jessy Ayala likes doing this often ... a little too often for my personal taste. In 2019, we even had almost exact replicas of specific "Grail" dolls.

There is the 2019 IT Convention NYFW offering of Spring Romance Adele Makeda which was incredibly close to The Muse from 2008.

And the upgrade W Club doll this year was Le Tuxedo Eugenia Frost ... Going Public's twin.

I guess it was only logical that IT would base all the dolls from it's 25th Anniversary Convention called "Legendary" on previous versions.  Some were obvious choices.  Some were easily recognizable.  Some still have me scratching my head.  There were even a few, I wouldn't consider "legendary".