Monday, August 30, 2010

Never judge a doll by its PR photos: Tonner "What's my lamb gonna wear?" Scarlett O' Hara

Sometimes, a friend tips you on a good buy and often, it turns out to be a pleasant surprise too! When a friend tipped me on Tonner's "What's my lamb gonna wear?" outfit only in eBay, I immediately tipped my courier about bidding for it for me. And luckily, I got it!

What was originally getting a lot of criticism (me included) for the color and amount of prints on the iconic Barbeque dress (from initial PR photos), turned out to be a beautiful sight to behold. Well, perhaps Tonner listened  too as the entire members of the Scarlett Yahoo group were writing Tonner about the color of the prints.

The dress is made of gauze-like chiffon. It's very thin. A strong tug and you could probably tear it apart. The prints are darker in color -- unlike what we see in the PR photos. The base color of that dress is cream and somehow there is a "green" reflect on the entire dress which then debunks the idea that the base is all white. The entire dress is put atop a thin cream satin -- perhaps this is the "cream" that diffuses the white.

There is a generous amount of cloth here for the skirt. Twirl the doll and the entire dress sways very much like how Vivien would sway her skirt when defying Mammy's admonitions to eat before the party.

The entire ensemble is comprised of gloves and a hat with a ready-ribbon and a clip to hold it in place. Quite tight too on the head. Deep-green pumps, a pantyhose and jewelry (similar to the real thing, save for earrings which look like chili  LOL).

So here are portraits of the doll. This one is a repaint of the Drapery doll. The curls came undone and I just left the length, the hair is softer here.  And if you would ask me, yes, there is a great lesson here: never judge a doll by its PR photos. What's my lamb gonna wear turned out to be somehow spectacular -- at least for me = )

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tonner Scarlett: A Hamilton Saturday Portrait

After watching "That Hamilton Woman" for the nth time. I thought of doing a portrait of the Tonner Scarlett in a dress close to this still you see here.  I have to apologize for the limited number of clothing these dolls have. I am trying to limit my purchases to GWTW only, because they are really price-y items. And the clothings are not really as many as what you see with other collectors. So pardon if they may seem reduntant. I try to be imaginative as possible, when the mind allows.

The gown this doll wears comes from two sources. The top is an Ashton Drake creation for Gene. The skirt is a creation of Alana Bennett.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Grand Finale! The Fence Dress by Beth Wilder, Louisville, Kentucky

To Beth Wilder of Louisville, KY , I was trying to find you, but could not. 
I hope you don't mind me giving credit to your creation.(featured in the TonnerSpace Newsletter, May 2008)

In the Tonner Newsletter May 2008, where collectors feature their collections as part of Tonner's Philosophy: "The Power of Play", a certain Beth Wilder from Louisville, KY posted a beautiful creation of her own of GWTW's last scene dress. It is never seen on film, however it is the last emotive moment for Vivien Leigh's character to convince us with her beautiful talent and face that Scarlett will get one true love back.  Beth Wilder was able to create a dress with the color similar to the Plunkett drawings. The buttons, the lace on the bodice and the length of it make her creation a wonderful wear for her Tonner doll. 
I know that I found somehow photos of that last scene with Vivien Leigh. I hope that Beth doesn't mind though. I used her dress here and photoshopped (highest gear) to put my repainted Return to Tara Scarlett atop that doll. With little fixes on the dress cuffs, doll hair and dress length (I magine it would have a small busle at the back for an elegant lift), I have a portrait of what could have been if that "lost costume" were found by Tonner. In my opinion, it could be considered as one real "lost costume" from the "lost scene". And that scene must be be lying somewhere waiting to be found too, can you imagine if it were?

"Lost and Found" seems to be the ultimate theme of Gone with the Wind. What she finds as true love is what she loses in the end. But hope keeps her up. And sometimes hope and courage are all we need to rise above any daunting situation. So, to Beth Wilder this Portait is for you. Thank you! I hope Tonner finds your inspiration in your creation and make this lost costume.
"Tomorrow is another day."
Beth Wilder of Louisville, KY's OOAK Fence Dress
(from the TonnerSpace Newsletter May 2008),
photoshopped to have a Tonner repainted Scarlett.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tonner Scarletts 2010: A Challenge in Reinterpretation

I haven't slept a wink because of a much-needed overtime editing a presentation for a client. Checking my mails was not much help upon seeing the latest with the   Tonner GWTW line. Fall of 2010 will see 3 new Scarletts being offered. But are they really new to our eyes?
The Scarlett Portrait Gown which is never worn in GWTW but captures our attention by its sheer glamor, is made of velvet and comes with earrings and pearl hair decor. For the GWTW Scarlett collector this is a good buy if one has lost chance (and hope) in getting the very elusive Franklin Mint version. What makes it different?

What makes it different? The hairstyle which is very much faithful to the Vivien Leigh portrait: 
ringlets surround the base of the head

Since I cannot judge the Tonner version by its press release photos (Tonner has known to change color and material sometimes in the actual for sale version), I might as well talk about the great values of the Franklin Mint version of the Portrait gown. For one, the velvet is soft and drapes beautifully. It really feels like the draping was in scale. It fits the Tonner Scarlett quite well albeit tight on the top area, it can do. FM's shawl is a fantastic capture of the actual painting. It is quite fragile too. Don't even try to tug. Tonner's version of the shawl is not too bad either. You still have those circular patterns very much like the portrait.
The Tonner Scarlett (repainted) wears the FM portait version. 

My gut feel about the Tonner Portait is that its cut may be impeccable. This I can somehow conclude from Tonner purchases. From the photos the pearls of the Tonner version are unlike FM's which look like miniature pearls. They seem to be like white beads -- minor detail that can be set aside -- but which FM didn't. Tonner's version seems to have puffed sleeves. FM's version has stuffing to create the puff. Still something you can set aside.  

One big difference is price. The elusiveness of FM's version fo the Portrait dress has raised its price (probably by virtue of its very limited quantities available). In ebay alone, this dress, if you can have the determination to outbid can rise to almost $200+!!! And that's just for the dress. 

Surprisingly, Tonner has this released at a much lower price than usual -  $199. You get the dressed doll with ringlets, accessories and a not really bad version of the Scarlett Portrait gown. 

Hold your horses! At around this time, Franklin Mint may be releasing new versions of their Scarlett. They're way ahead when it comes to the collection, so they could suprise you anytime with something you least expected. 

Katie Scarlett is Tonners 22" version of their "Waiting for Pa". Why it came in late, I do not know. This is an overtly done interpretation. While doll clothes drape beautifully on a larger scale, I am too scared to get a 22" Scarlett because of two reasons: Size and Price. At $349 you might as well forget getting an iPhone G4! That's a very hefty price to pay. But from its PR photo, the doll looks beautiful and somehow looks more like the actress than their 16" version. The hairstyle is in synch too. 

Tonner's 22 "Katie Scarlett" is a portrait to behold when it comes to draping, hairstyle...and somehow the sculpt. 
The waistline is truly Scarlett in proportion. 

The 16" version is equally beautiful but with one minor detail that Tonner overlooked (and which FM didn't) -- the brooch is not similar to the one in the film. Is this a negligible detail? You be the judge.
Too small to see but the brooch on this is not quite what Tonner did.

Tonner earlier released "Waiting for Pa" a miniature version of their 22" 2010 Fall release.
Doll here has been repainted. 

One doll seems to be a Meryl Streep look-alike -- Tonner's Anne Harper line featuring a blondie called, Carol Barrie. This line has  an exquisite sculpt and might as well be, in my opinion, their Scarlett sculpt.

A very appropriate nose for a Scarlett. Why didn't they? 

Tonner's Carol Barrie from their Anne Harper 2010 Line. 
Meryl Streep in "She Devil"

Monday, August 9, 2010

Scarlett O Hara.Org Searches for Winners for Vivien Leigh Booklets

It is always exciting news to hear icons of yesteryears being immortalized. Where else can this be more possible than with Turner Classic Movies. This September, Turner Classics features the talent of Vivien Leigh ("so beautiful she need not be talented. So talented, she didn't have to be so beautiful"). Imagine the entire month of seeing the porcelain beauty expressing her greatest gift on screen again. So reserve the dates for this guys! It's truly worth your while, for rare talent and beauty such as hers comes but once in every generation. There is a contest too that will give away 5 Turner booklets featuring on the cover this great actress. The details are found below. I joined, why not? She's all over the blog. And like Scarlett we are all determined to win -- tomorrow is another day! Here's what the blog says;

I’m here to announce a new CONTEST! This contest is open to everyone and you will have 2 chances to enter, see details below. As I announced in May on the Vivien Facebook page, TCM (Turner Classic Movies) has chosen to feature Vivien Leigh as their Star of the Month in September. Every Tuesday evening in September, Vivien Leigh films and documentaries will air! In total, 15 events and 2 documentaries are scheduled.  Thanks to TCM, I have 5 beautiful Viewer Guide booklets to giveaway to you! The 33 page booklet features Vivien Leigh on the cover, an article about Vivien Leigh written by Robert Osborne, and listings of the films, documentaries scheduled to air on TCM in the month of September!

Films & Documentaries To-Be Shown:
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
Dark Journey
Sidewalks of London
Storm in a Teacup
Streetcar Named Desire
Gone with the Wind
Yank at Oxford
Waterloo Bridge
Fire Over England
That Hamilton Woman
Ship of Fools
Anna Karenina
Caesar & Cleopatra
The Making of Gone with the Wind Documentary
Scarlett & Beyond Documentary
Eligibility to win a TCM Viewer Program:
1)  Simply leave a comment and tell me which of  the Vivien Leigh films TCM has chosen to play in September is your favorite.
2) For a second chance to win, either link to this giveaway on Facebook or write about this contest on your blog (and leave a second comment telling where you linked, FB or your blog)
Giveaway ends Tuesday August 31st at 8 p.m. EST.  Five winners chosen by

Here's the link:
image from Scarlett O Hara.Org

Friday, August 6, 2010

Taking a break from Scarlett: Tonner Antoinette

After a long hiatus another repaint (while studying Oliva de Havilland's face, my attention was drawn to another doll). I was curious about this doll. Not only did it allow for one to practice repainting (as the faceless Antoinette was meant to be for), it also had a very feminine sculpt and body that was model-like, soft and reminiscent of models one sees in fashion magazines. Personally, I really go for soft looks, very feminine simply because they look like women. "Beautiful" always is a classic and reigns beyond time.
In repainting this one, I was inspired by Louis Malle's Pretty Baby of Brooke Shields (in her gentler, softer younger years). But I didn't want to make too much of a Brooke -- although I think the brows here are a giveaway. They are iconic and her personal trademark. I think they set her apart too.

What other things are beautiful about the Tonner Antoinette?
Pose-ability: she poses much better than the Tyler mold although the elbow knob screws outward when moved and you end up with a decapitated arm. Easy to put back though, but I wonder how long it will last.
The face sculpt even without factory paint is classic. The basic oval shape is somehow universal when it comes to models and actresses.
There is a generous length of hair that reaches the hip area or even beyond that. You have a nymph-in-the-making there.

What gives?
She can't borrow clothes from the tyler mold. So, if you've been collecting Tyler clothing, you'll have to collect new ones for her size. I haven't checked if she fits Franklin Mint. I don't have much in my collection.

So here she is now debuting in her first magazine cover. Years in the creative department in a publishing company made me somehow some basic rules: Eyes facing camera, strong blurbs and a bigtime cover shot. I hope I got this one right ; ) This Antoinette has no clothes so I had to borrow from Bella Swan. SPECIAL, SPECIAL THANKS to ERIC CARON whose generosity allowed me to have the right brushes. They really, really make a difference. = ) Merci Eric! If you notice (the pictures do not show them closely), I've repainted the edges where hair meets head. With point 5/0 brushes, one can simulate the little fringes of hair found on the forehead and temples. It frames the head well (very therapeautic too if you're listening to your itunes faves).

Meantime a new Scarlett is on the shelves -- Tonner's version of the Barbeque dress which looks much better than the Press Release photos. I'm still saving up for that. I have to work on Melanie. That girl has been patiently waiting for months for a repaint, so help me heaven. Celebrity repaints on dolls are the hardest if one has had no training in portraiture. I truly admire the work of Noel Cruz, Laurie Leigh, Isabelle, Joo and Yu, and many more, I can't seem to remember them all. Their passion and determination are always an inspiration to me. More of Antoinette in weeks to come.