Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Most Unusual Hat Stand

Inspired by imaginative department store window displays for women's hats from the 1940s, this whimsical hat stand was created utilizing doll heads and found objects. An artificial topiary was used for the base along with two wire extender brackets from a closet shelving unit. This project cost nothing as I used objects I already had on hand. A trip to your local craft and/or hardware store can also yield some interesting results sure to be a conversation starter. [Left and middle hats are from The Couture Touch. Right hat is from Ashton Drake.]

No Zita....just your body!!!  One thing to keep in mind: the heads are heavy so you will need sturdy supports so they don't topple over. Pencils, small dowels, or chop sticks can be inserted into Styrofoam, or a floral oasis or frog and covered with moss and greenery. [Left and middle hats are from The Couture Touch. Right hat is from Robert Tonner.]

In this example, pencils were inserted into the Styrofoam on either side of the original topiary support. [Middle hat is from Ashton Drake, the other two hats are from The Couture Touch.]

A delightful 1940 Sibley Department Store window showing mannequin heads sprouting from branches.

This Sibley Department Store window from 1941 was my original inspiration for this project.

A 1940 window from McCurdy Department Store in Rochester New York. Those mannequin head stands remind me of candle holders. probably know where this is going!

A metal rod from an Integrity Fashion Royalty doll stand is inserted into the top of a brass candle holder. To keep the rod from toppling over, Tacky Wax was placed inside the opening where a candle would normally go. Foil was then crumbled up and inserted tightly inside the opening. The rod was inserted after poking a small hole in the foil with the sharp end of a compass. Duct tape with a tiny hole to accommodate the rod was attached across the top to further secure it. The "fur" collar from Robert Tonner's Par Excellence suit ensemble hides the duct tape. [Hat is from The Couture Touch.]

You can use any length neck support you like. This variation uses a metal retractable lip brush. [Hat and fur are from The Couture Touch. Handbag is from Robert Tonner.]

Using a doll head as a hat stand is certainly not new. Boudoir doll heads were often used to decorate vanity accessories such as powder jars, candlesticks, and of course...hat stands. This chic doll head tops a stand that has been covered with trim. The possibilities are endless.

I hope this inspires you to create your own unique hat stand perfect for displaying your doll hats.

Here's A Quick Tip:

Cover the metal rod of an Integrity Fashion Royalty doll stand with a drinking straw cut to size. [Hats from The Couture Touch, handbags from Sandra Stillwell and Robert Tonner, shoes from Facets by Marcia and Robert Tonner.]


Sibley and McCurdy Department Store archival photos are courtesy of the Rochester New York Public Library. To view the photos at full size, right click and open in a new window.

The Doll Heads:  Azalea Ice Zita Charles, Metropolitan Madra Lord, and Blush Gene Marshall are from Integrity. Blush's custom hairstyle is from Jim Gaddis. Filigree Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Allied Elegance

Gene Marshall, Circa 1944-45
Our favorite miniature Hollywood diva wears a delightfully patriotic frock inspired by the paper doll fashions of Danish artist Gerda Vinding.

Gerda Vinding (1921-1987)
Vinding created paper dolls during the 1940's focusing on young, career women such as nurses and office girls who also just happened to have the most fabulously glamorous wardrobe. Professional dressmakers even used her fashions as inspiration. Not only was she a talented artist, but a writer, director of a publishing house, and active in the Danish Resistance Movement during World War II.

Allied Elegance (1944-45)
The Allied Elegance paper doll set featured fashions representing the Allied countries during World War II including the USA, England, France, China, Norway, India, Sweden, Denmark, and the USSR. The countries national symbols were often incorporated in the designs.

Here are a few more favorites for your viewing enjoyment....

Model E

More fashions for Model E

Berit, Model D

Three more sensational outfits

Miss Gene Marshall
Costume Credits:  OOAK dress and gloves are from The Couture Touch. Doll, jewelry and handbag are from Ashton Drake. Straw hat is from Madame Alexander.

History of the Danish Paper Doll by Dorte Meiling Nielsen
The Nordic Museum
Johannes Paper Dolls

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

"Blue Parasol" Gene Marshall wearing Mme. Alexander.
Fur from Ashton Drake. Italian jewels from Camilli De Bellis of Coverdolls.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Spotted in a NY Art Gallery

Our favorite miniature Hollywood diva immortalized on canvas by a famous artist.

Gene Marshall abstract, circa 1940's.

Well in this case, the not so famous "artist" took a photo of Gene and used the tone curve adjustment in a basic photo editing program to "paint" Miss Marshall. The variations are endless. And you might just come up with something suitable for framing on your own "gallery" wall.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Versatile Perfect Gift

The dark green silk shantung suit from Gene Marshall's "The Perfect Gift" is surprisingly versatile. It can be belted, paired with a different skirt, and accessorized for a variety of looks. Here are three examples, two from the archives and one new....just in time for a Holiday lunch with the girls or last minute shopping to find; you guessed it....the perfect gift.

A suede topper and fabulous oxfords gives this suit panache.

A killer femme fatale look for Miss Marshall.

Black and white accessories add a touch of chic distinction.


Ashton Drake's "The Perfect Gift" was designed by Regina Ganem, Young Designer of America winner.

Filigree Gene Marshall (enhanced with an Integrity articulated body), and Love At First Sight Gene Marshall (restyled) are from Ashton Drake. White Orchid Gene Marshall is from JamieShow.

OOAK hats are from The Couture Touch.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Chic 1940's Accessories: Hat, Gloves, and a Gas Mask?

In 1939, Britain issued gas masks to civilians fearing the Germans would drop bombs containing toxic gas. Men, women, and children were encouraged to keep the masks with them at all times. Of course the resourceful 1940's woman needed a fashionable carrier for her mask.

For the knitter, a pattern for matching scarf, gloves, turban, and a gas-mask container.

From Women's Fair, two smart pattern styles to match your ensemble. Circa 1939.

Love this style from Ideal Home, 1941. Do I see a new handbag in Gene's future?

Thankfully, gas was never used against civilians in World War ll. For more on this fascinating subject, visit the following websites: Find My Past and Primary Homework Help.

The second and third photos are courtesy Vintage Chic.