Friday, March 17, 2000

Twilight Rumba Gene Doll Outfit Review


Twilight Rumba made her grand entrance at the FAO event in Feruary at the swanky Fifth Avenue store. When I first saw the photos of the competition doll that inspired this outfit, I was not enthused, but when I went to the Gene event at the Landmark, I got my first look at the finished product.

There she was, a vibrant red head with a sexy attitude. From the intricate twisted coiffe with its HHH curls  that graced her head to the dainty silver strappy shoes that adorned her feet, Twilight Rumba was a portrait of elegant detail.

Designed by Doug James in a dazzling lavender sarong, open on the side to allow freedom on the dance floor. Both the sarong and its matching crop top feature an intricate pattern of lavender, white, gold and crystal beads and lavender sequins that cascade down the front of the sarong from the flower cluster at the waist all the way to the hem. The top is similarly beaded. The delectable outfit features Gene’s first hair comb, a floral pattern that matches the flower cluster at the sarong’s waist. The overall effect is stunning and every detail works to make this a terrific doll and outfit.

Nance Walker shared her opinion saying, "I think Twilight Rumba is beautiful, and especially her clothes, which I think is the best thing that Ashton Drake does.  The irridescent beading is exquisite, and the costume fits the body well. lavender color of this outfit really complements the bright red hair of this Gene.  Her hair is really red, and is a pretty set, except that I tend to like my Gene's with softer hair, so I will do something to fluff up her curls to make them look more like the picture, rather than having the glued on spray netted feeling.   The silver shoes with the cross-the-toes straps and matching ankle strap fit the outfit.  All in all, I am really pleased with this doll. "

Friday, March 10, 2000

Meet Madra Lord from Ashton-Drake

by Kathryn Darden

Look out, Gene! There's a new girl in town! Ashton-Drake is releasing a new character doll to step into Gene’s world, the infamous Madra Lord. Combining “Beauty, Talent and Temper,” Madra, although slightly taller than Gene, is the same scale, so their outfits will be interchangeable. However, there the similarities cease.

Gene is sweet and innocent; Madra is bold and brassy, with just a hint of evil in her nature. If you don’t believe me, read the names of her costumes! Madra is a 15 3/4" doll inspired by the more flamboyant and temperamental divas of Hollywood’s golden age. To further pique collectors interest, Madra comes with bend knees and elbows, another first for the Gene collection, as well as her own provocative storyline. 

Madra's "story" is of a hard working, self-assured woman who knew what she wanted from an early age - stardom - and she wasn't afraid to do whatever it took to get to the top. Growing up in Milwaukee during WWI, Mabel Lorkovic left the west coast of Lake Michigan for the West Coast, and somewhere between the pines of Wisconsin and the palms of California, Madra Lord was born. Once she hit Hollywood, she slowly worked her way to the top, using her beauty, brains, talent - and guts. Madra Lord reigned as one of the undisputed stars of Hollywood, consistently pleasing fans with her dynamic performances and giving directors ulcers with her volatile temper. But no one could disagree that Madra had what it took and was every inch a star. Who could blame her if Gene's sudden skyrocket to success left Madra green with envy - almost as green as her famous, flashing eyes. 
The premiere Madra collection includes "First Encounter," a costumed doll wearing a sumptuous full-length white "mink" coat over a dramatic ball gown; six couture outfits - and a pair of beautifully sculpted white porcelain Saluki dogs (Madra would never own REAL dogs - they shed!). There will also be one limited-edition costumed Madra doll called “Black Widow” with an issue of 2,500 and one limited-edition costume produced, “Highland Fling”, limited to an issue of 3,500. Other ensembles which are not limited included:  Heartless, Catwalk, Devil May Care, So Evil My Love, and Pink with Envy which was reportedly one of Mel's favorite dolls at the 1999 Gene convention competition. Intricate details, from lavish handbeading, fully lined dresses, right down to the seams on the back of her sheer stockings, all add to Madra's appeal.

Thursday, March 9, 2000

House of Wentworth Unveils Spring 2000 Line

©2000 by Kathryn E. Darden

The House of Wentworth unveiled their elegant fashion designs in New York, but if you think this unveiling took place in a chic fasion salon, guess again! These divine fashions were presented at Toy Fair and at a very posh party two days before Toy Fair. As most readers are aware, the House of Wentworth is the fictitious fashion design business run by Robert Tonner’s hit new doll, Tyler Wentworth. Tyler took the world by storm when she premiered in late December/early January, and her new line leaves nothing to be desired.
The basic doll for 2000 is Something Sleek. For swimming laps at the health club Tyler dons her sleek black maillot swimsuit trimmed in white with accessories: sunglasses, black slides, and a monogrammed towel. Dressed doll.
In 2000 Tyler gets a friend, the lovely African American Esmé. While shopping in a bookstore Tyler is struck by the natural beauty of the clerk, a pre-med student named Esmé. Tyler signs the ethnic beauty to a career with the House of Wentworth. Esmé comes wearing a simple belted red dress with black pumps and shoulder bag. Dressed doll.
For one night only attendees of a special Tyler event on February 12 were offered the opportunity to purchase the extremely limited Market Week. This is the snazzy ensemble which Tyler wears to meet with the fashion buyers on 7th Avenue: a fitted black wool jersey jacket with velvet collar and cuffs, over a black bodysuit and straight faux leopard skirt. Black tights and short black boots add dash to the tailored outfit. After the outfits were sold at the Tonner event, a few were sent to dealers who then offered the elusive ensemble for $80 or more to people who purchased the entire line. The outfit has an unfortunate amount of white thread used for snaps and seams, and one of the boots on mine broke when I tried to put it on Tyler's foot. See review below. LE 1,000. Outfit.
One of the loveliest dresses in the spring 2000 line is Champagne Bubble. Attending the Chase Modeling Agency’s annual spring cocktail party, Tyler makes a memorable entrance wearing a champagne-colored silk bubble dress with its bodice hand-beaded with gold and pearls and matching beaded bag. Gold sandals and jewelry complete the elegant look. LE 3,000. Outfit
Beverly Hills Chic - For a business meeting with a client in Beverly Hills Tylers wears a classic white linen jacket, matching white linen trouser skirt and a fitted man-tailored shirt with handbag and matching brown “leather” belt and sandals. Outfit.
Madison Avenue Afternoon - When meeting with Madison Avenue realtors to find the perfect location to house the flagship boutique of House of Wentworth, Tyler puts on a persimmon red cropped coat over a tank top of melon silk worn over burnished gold pants. Contemporary jewelry, gold sunglasses, shoes and bag finish the ensemble. Outfit.
My personal favorite is the limited dressed doll White House Dinner.  The First Lady invites Tyler to the White House to thank the young designer for designing the First Lady’s inaugural gown. Tyler is radiant in her elegant magenta silk gown with beaded black lace overlay and matching jet jewelry. This gorgeous outfit comes with a “gift” to Tyler from the First Lady. The prototype shows Tyler with a lovely brunette updo with bangs.  LE 3,000. Dressed doll.
Casual Luxury -  When Jack Frost is nipping noses in New York, Tyler throws on her luxurious double-breasted camel hair coat over her heather gray turtleneck top and winter white flannel pants. Accessories include a faux alligator belt, bag and boots. LE 3,000. Dressed doll.
Shakespeare in the Park - Tyler looks like a heavenly vision in a silver silk lamé gown with a tiered skirt of pleated organza which borrows its lines from classic Greek design. Her  matching stole, silver shoes, jewelry and bouquet of roses. LE 3,000. Outfit.
Sweet Indulgence - Relishing a stolen moment relaxing at home, Tyler wears a glamorous nightgown of pale violet silk-satin and re-embroidered lace. Her robe of pure silk chiffon with matching lace enhances the allure of this elegant night wear. Outfit.
Some other tantalizing outfits were premiered for a release in fall  2000: Opera Gala, a stunning portrait in red; Russian Renaissance, a vibrant brocade ensemble with smart beret; Premiere Pink, a demure full-length raw silk pink formal skirt and matching pink angora sweater with embroidery, limtied to 3,000 pieces and costing around $90; Weekend Retreat, sporty jeans, sweater, and a red peajacket with duffel bag; Manhattan Music Awards, a black lace and blue sating formal; Cashmere Rouge, red coat of soft cashmere with black pumps, bag and gloves.  Also new for 2000 are Tyler paper dolls, and the book, TheRobert Tonner Story.
The spring line is already a hit and the fall line is being looked to with much anticipation. The year 2000 should prove to be a good one for the House of Wentworth!