Sew Crafy

Thursday, May 10, 2012



I'd like to remind everyone that this year's competition does NOT include an overall winner on purpose.  This was waived in the interest of presenting a competition where all levels of designers would feel comfortable that they were going up against people in their own skill set, and that each category named would have a winner.  The divisions were outlined in my initial February 8, 2012 post just in case someone didn't get the memo.

I mention this lack of a necessity for an overall winner because I've seen a few comments online insinuating there should be one -- some of these comments were even on a well-read blog.  Don't get me wrong - it's great to get mentioned on other blogs IF they check their facts before they post.  Remember, dahlings, this is the ONLY OFFICIAL BLOG for CDDC, so if in doubt, always come by here for the definitive word for all things CDDC.  The judges worked hard, and did a great job in picking all the winners we needed.
From Beginners to Professionals with an Intermediate category in the mix, too, the designers signed up and named their own category. Prizes are nice, it's true; but most of our competitors seemed more interested in the challenges in this type competition than they were interested in the prizes - these are the type artists who thrive and develop competitively!  

Anyway, after choosing a category the designers cleaned off their work areas and prepared for the challenges.  Larraine with some help from Judge Rob on one particular challenge, then came up with challenges she hoped would push all of the designers to present something unique - and it's easy to see from the designs that resulted, that these challenges were a success!!  Thanks to Larraine and her very professional crew for another wonderful presentation on CDDC.  Here are the winners!!     


 Her prize include:  All six of Anita's designs will be featured in an upcoming Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine. Anita also wins from Couture Doll Shops a six month rent free shop. Finally, from the Tonner Doll Company, she wins the Freedom for Fashion Sor Aiko doll.

Now that we've outlined the winner and what she won, we are going to have some fun - first we'll look at a run down on how Anita got here, and then I'll tell you a bit about her. I'll be doing that for all three winners - so be prepared for some good reading.

 Here are the challenges, her designs, and a partial description of her design process for each one.  All of her designs were made on the diminutive darlings of the fashion world.


Challenge One - Be a Sport  WINNER

I got the inspiration for this outfit in a flower shop when I was looking at my favorite flowers - orchids. They are beautiful and tempting, and I was trying to capture that in my outfit, and combine those features with comfortable, sporty elegance.  Modeling is Vanessa Fashion Royalty.


 Challenge Two -  Angry Birds: Gamer

This outfit was inspired by Minecraft. All the world of Minecaft and everything within is made of cubes and squares. So is my outfit. The dominating colors are gold and brown – the colors of the earth, which is the core element of the Minecraft world.


Challenge Three - Mash Up   WINNER

I have mixed Chanel and Dolce&Gabbana styles.  Jacket is characteristic for fashion of the leading creator of all - Coco Chanel.  Skirt is inspired by this year's  Dolce&Gabbana. This is a brand that arouses desire, sensation and continually provokes. It is determined by the ability of breaking conventions and going beyond cultural boundaries. Dolce&Gabbana offers also a joy with contrast, passion and femininity.


                                                   Challenge Four - Old Hollywood 
                    I hope Irene would like the Hollywood gown

Challenge Five - Say Konichiwa To Fashion       

No information given - I would suppose she let her garment do her talking.

 Challenge Six - Avante Garde for Ga Ga 

Avant-garde ecodesign clothes. Most parts are made of used materials. Decoration on the head is made of packaging paper,  jumpsuit - bubble wrap and used tea bags. Lady Gaga has already been wearing a lot of strange things and I think that she wouldn't mind to show up also in my project.

There you have it; featured together here they show a quirky yet interesting, well made group of clothing that this designer should be proud of.  She clearly loves fashion and design work as she has participated in all of the Couture Doll Design Challenges to date.I found it quite interesting that most of her ensembles included hats, and this appears to be no coincidence.  Judging from the large gallery of hats on her web site, this accessory is one she excels in making.  She is prolific in making her one of a kind designed dolls, also, and has orchestrated Exhibitions called "Little doll - Great star" that include over 200 dolls clothed with miniature wear. The exposition shows extraordinary composition of fabrics, textures and colors in conjunction with tailoring, but minimized to a doll’s size. It impresses not only with precision of performance, but also shows some tricks of miniaturized dressmaking.

All this came from her desire to make some nice doll clothing for her daughter's doll.  Who could have guessed she would embrace her passion for designing and making doll clothes so much that it would lead her to study Art at the Silesian University in Cieszyn.   Here she had an opportunity to deepen her knowledge and perfect her skils.  She also loves art photography, most specifically for dolls.

                CONGRATULATIONS, ANITA!!

  We at CDDC are very happy for your success, and look forward to you selling your wonderful designs at our sister site, Couture Doll Shops, if you so desire.  Hats off to this wonderful Polish designer for winning in the Professional category.

Now on with the other two winners - what fun!.  BUT here I'd also like to put in a note.  In a last minute decision, Couture Doll Shops decided to offer a free six month shop to all of the designers because they were so impressed with all winners; look to see this indicated in the following packages as well.

 His prize package includes:  Three of Cholo's designs (Designer's choice) will be featured in an upcoming Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine. Cholo also wins from Couture Doll Shops a six month rent free shop. Finally, from Angelic Dreamz, Cholo will received the beautiful Platinum Cami Basic doll.

Here's the totally novel approach Cholo took to each of the challenges.  He continued to crush the competition in his category right to the end.

Challenge One - Be a Sport  WINNER

He gave no description; it appears he just let the photos of the doll take  this win.


Challenge Two -  Angry Birds: Gamer 

"I was inspired by the premise that if Super Mario had a sister, Maria, and while they where running around the pipes, catching Toadstools, 1 ups, and making King Koopa's life extra miserable... Maria stumbled upon a golden pipe leading to the backstage of one of Paris Fashion Week's Haute Couture Show, and the rest was history.

Challenge Three - Mash Up   WINNER

For this challenge, I'm compelled to do a mash up between two of my favorite fashion houses, Chanel with its classic, elegant and utterly lady like sense of aesthetics, and the body hugging lines of Americanized French label Herve Leger. I used Chanel's tweed and Leger's signature stretch bandage to create a design that could hold on its own.


Challenge Four - Old Hollywood   WINNER

Since Old Hollywood glam is such a vast space to fathom, with regards to the stylings of Irene, Adrian and Edith, I kinda imagined a dream client coming into my abode and wanting the ultimate gown for her movie's premiere.

Challenge Five - Say Konichiwa To Fashion  WINNER

"I totally love this challenge since I generally love Orientalia and  anything Asian. I created a double updated kimono meant to be worn together over a sheer tattoo printed dress. The first Kimono is structured, almost like a suit, and the other, soft made of silk and held together with a leather, reptile design obi.

Challenge Six - Avante Garde for Ga Ga   WINNER

Of all the challenges this was probably the hardest one to conceive since we are supposed to create a look for THE Lady Gaga. In the vastness of the possible looks, I remembered that The Lady herself will be coming to my country to have a big concert next month, so I imagined myself designing for her opening number here and what more could express my country's national identity more than the Terno, a butterfly sleeved formal dress, and the Kalesa, a horse carriage that is decorated with  colorful flaglettes and other blings.

Cholo is a very talented accessory designer who has also worked as a couture finisher for local designers. He uses his skills on human couture then scales it down to one sixth for dolls; he also pays special attention to keeping everything in proper scale.  He doesn't seem to have a website or a blog, but some of his current jewelry work can be seen on a friend's blog set up to help showcase his work,  There is also a link to an interesting tattooed creation of his - caution doll nudity.

He has loved dolls from childhood, and embraces his work with a passion whether he is designing fashions, doing detailed tattoos on his dolls or creating his mini versions of his jewelry for them.  In fact, his repainting skills actually came from years of experience as a part time make up artist during his college days.  He may not be active in doll boards but his OOAK ability and creativeness well surpasses the liability of less dolls being available in his native Phillipines.

Cholo appears to have brought to this competition the whimsical way he has tackled challenging propositions all his life.  It started with childhood and continues today.  For example: Because there was a limited amount of toys during his childhood, his frustration led him to be more innovative and inventive in making his toys. Since he couldn’t afford Lego blocks, he made gasoline station dioramas out of cardboards and old boxes, and paper dolls in place of vinyl ones. We're lucky indeed that perhaps now through CDS we can help him develop a website for display and sales of his creations if that is his desire.  His passion for doll design seems fully awake, and now that he's finally realized he can afford the dolls he has longed for, specifically Fashion Royalty dolls, there seems to be a whole new world of design just waiting for him to embrace.  



 He'll receive this package:  Kevin's choice of one design will be featured in an upcoming Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine.  Kevin also wins from Couture Doll Shops a six month rentfree shop. Finally, he will receive from Tonner Doll Company, Galadriel.

Being a beginner can have its advantages and disadvantages.  Sometimes if you don't know how to do something, you push past conventional ways of doing things and accomplish your design any way you can.  It works sometimes; sometimes not so much.  But if you're like Kevin, and brave enough to try, you'll get feedback from the judges, anyway, and can perhaps conquer doing your vision more easily the next time.  He made it work as you will see as you read how he tackled each challenge.

Challenge One - Be a Sport

I heard sporty and instantly wanted to do a Varsity Jacket. To make it a bit unique I reversed the letter, used diamonds for buttons, cut out a star on the back and overlayed it with lace, which also shows off the back of the tee, and then decorated the sleeves with pearls. ... I did not use any patterns.

Challenge Two -  Angry Birds: Gamer

As a gamer myself, I was super excited about this challenge. I have so many games to be inspired by but ultimately I went with one of my favorite series, Silent Hill. I used elements of the game such as the rusty environments and the creatures for my look. I wanted to do something Ive never done before again so I decided to try painting fabric and I hand painted the tights.


Challenge Three - Mash Up 

I chose Albert Elbaz (Lanvin) and Christopher Bailey (Burberry) for my inspirations. The model wears a riding cap adorned with a pom pom, "studded" gloves, a leather and plaid bag (the fabric was painted with magic markers! lol), a floral slip on dress belted with a neon orange belt, black and electric blue heels with beaded details, sheer socks and a studed peplum trench. I am aware of the issues with the fit and construction of the jacket but decided to not abandon it all together as a)It took me forever to make and b) I would love to get some good feedback and tips on constructing a 1/6 scale jacket.

Challenge Four - Old Hollywood 

I don't really make gowns so I wanted to do something a little different and by that for me was choosing a new model. This is the first outfit, ever, that I have made for a doll that is not Misaki. I decided to go with black as its a bit forgiving and the velvet is streatchy so that helped too.


Challenge Five - Say Konichiwa To Fashion  WINNER

When I think of a kimono I think of decadence, layers and a overabundance of prints and accessories. I wanted to stray from floral fabrics so I went with some African and safari prints. I also threw in a little Japanese folklore with an Oni mask and Tengu getas...Sculpting the little oni mask was a fun challenge.    

Challenge Six - Avante Garde for Ga Ga   WINNER

Not being totally familular with Avant Garde, I did some research and found myself drawn to examples that were colorful, over the top, played with mixing patterns and texutres, knitwear, interesting silhouettes and featured some volume. Since our client has been wearing lots of black and simple clothing lately, I decided to make her a party dress that was not only avant garde but young, fun, flirty and not so serious.

Kevin Roberts says he's from a very small the United States, I think, but he could live on the moon for all I know because my research didn't really uncover anything about him.  Here are things he did reveal in his initial interview.

Kevin has always been involved in art, particularly animation and character design.  Starting to sew was like a lot of other things Kevin has tried - it was just natural to try it out.  However, his skills as he began were very limited, and he did not use a sewing machine, and he wasn't sure how his outfits would turn out; but he knew they would be OOAK as they materialized and he went through the process.
Mikasi is his muse, but he collects many kinds of dolls so he was happy to change up muses for the challenges.  He was also trying to learn about fabrics and what works best for his 1:6 scale dolls.  This was also his first opportunity to push himself to actually sew a garment and line them.  Looks like he pushed through his problems just in time to win the two final challenges, and secure the overall Beginner category win!

He has no intention of selling his work because he likes his independence, so Kevin may or may not be up for developing a website to promote his dolls - so we'll have to wait and see.  Whatever Kevin does, I am sure he will succeed; just as he did tackling and then winning challenges on CDDC.



 Julia will receive In Focus: Digital Photography for the Doll Collector by PaHenry. Donated by Pat Henry.


This year it was decided to keep the photo element in the competition, so those competitors who wished to turned in digital entries took extra, special  pictures for this event .  There was no critique for these entries because we had no photo experts among our judges.  This vote was 
more subjective, and was motivated merely by the esthetics of each entry.  In the end, the winner, Julia Peshkova, had a nice collection of photos.Julia Peshkova was in our Intermediate category although she's only been sewing for about 3 years.  A love of fashion from childhood has driven her to the hobby of doll collecting because she likes to make doll clothes for her divas.  Since she began she has worked to improve her designs, and she only uses patterns she makes herself.  She also likes to make OOAK dolls - they have less parameters regarding clothing so she is free to make up any total look for her doll. If you're interested in Julia's dolls or photography work she has a Facebook page where you can friend her and be able to watch all new items as they are posted.


With this blog we conclude CDDC4.   We sincerely hope you've enjoyed it, and if you have, it would be great if you'd drop Larraine an email and let her know - just use this link.  Then perhaps she'll be inspired to do CDDC5 - if so, see ya then!  

Until then, you're  always welcome to get a fashion fix by following the events going on at CDS; they are all reported on their blog.  Make it work, fashionistas. 


Monday, May 7, 2012

Winners earn CDDC Stamp of Approval


 From left to right are;
 Beginner: Kevin Roberts, 
Intermediate:  Cholo Ayuyao, and 
Professional: Suyanee Wongchotwiriyakit


    Photography Winner:
        Mark Tinkey


and I'd also like to tell you about the last 2 CDDC sponsors, The Tonner Doll Company and Couture Doll Shop.

Robert Tonner has been our dedicated sponsor through the years, and we appreciate it.  I don't think we could ask for a better sponsor for our design challenge project than this talented designer who is reported to have learned to sew when he was only 4.  Although we almost lost him for our world of dolls and doll fashion when he preliminarily began his studies in pre-med, but thank goodness he had a change of heart, attended Parsons School of Design, and went on to become a design-director for Bill Blass.  Today doll collectors all over the world get to experience his expertise in the garments he produces to sell individually as well as designs on the dressed dolls he makes available.  He truly breaths life into each and every one of his creations, and that is well appreciated by his fans that are growing in numbers daily.

Because Tonner has such a big following, and to fill the requests of many collectors who wanted a more efficient place to buy his dolls, the website was completely remodeled this year.  If you haven't been over there, it is well worth the visit.  Not only is it a safe, secure place to browse and buy his latest; it also has a host of intriguing "places" you can explore.  Allow a little time when you go over there, as you might well get lost in dolldom as I sometimes do.  For sure you'll want to bookmark his official site (, and you'll also want to create a new account or update your current one to make sure you get all his special notices.

The homepage is inviting and appealing, and has concise, clear categories to explore along with specific listings of the dolls that are currently available.  You can get to each collection from this page and all the categories by clicking on Shop Collections in the menu. Don't forget, Robert Tonner  acquired The Effanbee Doll Company, so his beautiful reproductions of some of these  dolls including Patsy, Miss Revlon, and Betsy McCall will also be seen here as they become available.  This is the place to come not only for the latest releases, but to catch up with the latest events coming up including his Tonner Air convention.  Sign up to get the latest releases announced in your email,  join the Tonner community, and look up past catalogs.  It also includes a gateway to the social communities Tonner is involved with.  The following items are also available on this site.

 About Tonner  provide information about the creative director, Robert Tonner and also gives a little insight into his design process.  Several FAQs as well as a Collector's Guide are housed here as wells as shipping information and information on where to go to visit the brick and mortar entity. 

Community includes Tonner's latest video as well as a place to join their Facebook community.  But the most charming aspect of this page, for me, was the ability for us to upload pictures of our collection.      When you click to view what others are doing  you will see the latest entry as well as a section for the Staff picks where you can see if their taste is the same as yours.

Archive  This is an ever evolving work that has and will continue to be a labor or love dedicated to bringing you the majority of Tonner's history.  It's a page you'll want to check back on if you are interested in learning about all the history available on dolls that may be in your collection.  It's also a place to explore information about the latest convention news as well as informaton about new releases.

News and Blog  is a definite must read!  It offers informative posts about dolls, a link to Miss Nancy's fun and informative column, and a separate place for DC Comic fans.  Get involved with this page by making a guest post  - either domestic or international - or add your doll to a Doll Duel category and invite your friends to come over and help push your doll up the leader board!  And there is a place for Doll Photography articles that  has a place to ask questions - a place I hope to explore more soon.  Warning:  Visiting this page could definitely become addictive, but it's very easy to navigate and also has it's own specific search so you should be able to find info you are seeking fairly easy.

Doll Hospital   If your doll is in need of repair or just a little restorative work, you've come to the right place.  One of the industry's best doll hospitals is maintained by The Tonner Company.  Services include cleaning, re-stringing, re-wigging, joint and limb replacement, eye setting, composition repair, painting, hair styling and you can also acquire wigs and clothing to complete that cherished doll.  Their doll Doc, Noreen Morris, has over 20 years of experience and consistently performs the type of work consistent with Tonner's quality control.  There are Tips and Doll Care 101 which are must reads for the serious doll collector.  It's nice to know there is a place to go in case your dolly has a problem.

Contact  This area gives consise information about visiting or contacting their store along with a form to fill out if you have questions.
That concludes my little tour of the Tonner Company website, but I don't want to leave you without telling you a bit about the 2012 convention.  The theme for the 2012 Tonner Doll Convention is Flights of Fancy, and is being held Thursday, May 17, 2012 - Sunday, May 20, in Lombard, Illinois. With events themed around Marilyn Monroe and Wonder Woman, informative workshops, and a killer sales room - not to mention all the other fun Tonner and his team are planning - it has to rank high up there on your list of conventions you must visit this year.  Just click on the link on the homepage to get all the infomation and to register. 

In parting, I'd also like to tell you about the doll provided by the Tonner Doll Company.  Freedom for Fashion Sori Aiko will be among the prizes for the First Place Professional Division winner. Sori Aiko is a vision of beauty in a striped satin wrap top with matching belt and wrap, paired with slim fit satin pants. Strappy faux leather shoes with molded "bamboo" soles and pantyhose also included.  She is the new Japanese Female Head Sculpt with a 16" Antoinette Body that has brown Eyes, black Hair, and Cameo Skintone.  Limited Edition of 500.  Perserverance and hard work will take this win - we're extremely luck to have a sponsor like Robert Tonner.

 And the last sponsor I'll tell you about is our sister site, Couture Doll Shops.   This is our unique doll mall, developed specifically to mentor and to promote the talented shop owners who grace our neighborhood.   We have been in business for two years, and we have a lot of fun with our events. 

Our events are used to do advertisements webwide as well as on our blog.  We have been very honored to have our mall shops advertised in most issues of the popular doll magazines like Doll Reader, DOLLS, and Fashion Doll Quarterly consistently since we began.

We recently  celebrated our 2nd birthday with a Mad Hatter's Birthday Party. To be included in this event, our shop owners needed to design a character or animal from Alice in Wonderland - but not just any version of this character would do - they had to be reimagined all shiney and new.  

We never imagined what we would see as we opened picture after picture featuring these new reimagined characters.  But I think the included picture of Sylvia Christianson's Mad Hattress will give you an idea of how cleverly this talented group attacked their latest challenge.

If you are looking for a low cost way to promotore your site, you've come to the right place.  Or if you want to get started, we will walk you step by step through everything from developing your website (even if you have zero experience) to proper picture taking - it's all included in our nominal fee to be a part of one of the most fun experiences in your lifetime!!

A dull moment doesn't exist for our shop owners, and we are all looking forward to welcoming CDDC's Professional winner into our fold.  We are sure, however, that there are designers from all divisions of this wonderful competition who could also become members of CDS and have fun - they have already demonstrated they love to be challenged! Or perhaps there are some followers who might also qualify.  Right now we are working on Tres Chic Gothic - join us if you dare!!  Just click on the email button to the left to ask for details.  

It has been our privilege to follow all the CDDC competitions and to be one of your sponsors,  We applaud each and every contestant who stayed the course and finished all the challenges.  Your Blogmeister will be back with one more post this week - to celebrate the winners - so stay tuned!

Monday, April 23, 2012

CDDC contestants who can spell W I N !!





Photography Winner: Julia Peshkova


Friday, April 20, 2012

Going ga ga over the Lady

Your final challenge will be what this competition is all about...Avant Garde(AG) and who better to inspire you to the heights of Avant Garde, but the embodiment of AG herself...Lady Gaga. This superstar is Avant Garde to the max with a little splash of fantasy to keep everyone on their toes and speaking of toes don't forget those Gaga shoes. Wherever she goes Lady G goes there in Avant Garde style. Heck I'd like to bet that she wears AG to take out her garbage!!! With that in mind your final challenge is to design an outfit that would suit Lady G to a T.

Forget that boring, simple little black dress you were planning on wearing this weekend, it's all about meat dresses, dahling. I mean, who wouldn't want to wear a dress you picked up at the butcher shop including the now-infamous meat dress meant to express the feminist declaration: "I am not a piece of meat."  For the more faint of heart there might be an outfit made entirely of Kermit the Frog dolls or even fan's faces.  Do you think Gaga dares? Hum...GaGa and dare...seems to much of this universe she invented that word.

From the woman who gave us this rather confusing quote, "People ask me why I wear veils. I reply, I'm mourning. Mourning what? Well I figure something shitty must be going on somewhere," may just come the next popular fashion line.  But she is saying that is when she has the time to dedicate to it she will do it; for now she will think about it.  Her exact quotes are “I might do something but I just really respect so many designers.  Part of me thinks it would be such an injustice for someone like me to do it on the side because so many of them dedicate their lives to it. I might do it one day but I would have to take a break from music so I could concentrate on it.”

 Let's get real, say the fashion blogs, she might say she's intimidated, but we all know that she's going to end up doing it. Don't they all? It's all about the Benjamins at the end of the day.   In fact, by mid to 3rd quarter 2011, this seemed all but inevitable, as there were rumors that Gaga was already working on a fashion line with her 19-year old sister, who just finished up her first year at Parsons!  At the time a source told Grazia Magazine, "Gaga came up with the idea of remodeling the styles of classic icons from the past.  Examples of icons she's thinking of using include Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Katharine Hepburn. 

Natali (her sister) loved the idea and she's coming up with a slew of design options, of course, everything will have their own iconic twist on it."

 Unfortunately (fortunately for some) if these rumors are true she won't dare to be doing any meat dresses, Muppets outfits, or even fan tributes, because the collection will have to be somewhat "normal" for women to actually be interested in buying them, and also innovative divas will have to be able to wear them in some sort of everyday setting.   Uh oh, guess we were wrong not expecting anything normal if she designs it.  But an educated guess would be that her fashion would not be among those found on; rather she will steer clear of the outlandish, but also won't tolerate the super safe.  Therefore, the logical category her line would end  up in, like many designers who work only for profit, would be right in the mid styling lines.   Whatever category her fashions may end up in, as long as she stays popular and keeps showing up for appearances in her true avant garde manner, I am sure there will be people lining up to have a Lady Ga Ga original - that is how wild the world is about her right now.

Of course she didn't start out as this fan favorite, avant garde dressing diva.  Lady Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in Yonkers, NY on March 28, 1986.  Her education alone is very impressive.  Having been accepted to the Juilliard School at age 11, she chose to attend a private Catholic school.  Her study of music and performing continued, though, and she actually wrote her first piano ballad at the age of 13. She attended New York University's Tisch School for the Arts. Interesting to note is she was granted early admission to the Tisch school of the Arts at only 17, and was one of only 20 students in the world to receive the honor of early acceptance.  However, she withdrew from this school where she studied music and worked on her songwriting skills "to find her creative inspiration."  It was probably around this time that she self named herself Lady Gaga.

Life wasn't easy for this now international pop star.  She worked a variety of jobs to make ends meet.  In 2005 she was briefly signed by Def Jam Records, but was dropped a few months later.  This gave her time to perform on her own in clubs, and to collaborate with several rock bands, and to begin her experimentation with fashion.   She wrote songs for other artists including Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, and the Pussycat dolls until being discovered by R and B singer Akon. Her debut album, The Fame, was a huge success, and the single "Poker Face" topped charts in almost every category, in almost every country.  The rest is history. Now you can find her stirring up publicity and fashion interest in all things odd internationally, with the help of her own creative team, Haus of Gaga. 

So how would you dress this icon who some say is setting trends we don't even know exist yet because she is so ahead of the fashion curve?  Giant buttons, raw meat, broken up pieces of disco balls, gimp masks, and see-through granny panties come to mind.  With Lady Gaga, you think you've seen it all, and then she lowers the bar even further.  Whatever she shows up in, you simply cannot look away; surely this twenty-something diva is the only one who can pull off her fabulously, infamous style.  Just take a trip over to her blog, Amen Fashion,  and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.  If this doesn't inspire you and get your mind in motion for designing your next fashion, just Google Lady Ga Ga fashion and you'll be right on track.  Make it work, designers.

Judging this totally unpredictable challenge along with our regurlar judges, will be guest judges Matt Sutton and Matt Trujillo; two designers who actually have more predictable styles

Matt Sutton began his design work back in 1996 designing pop culture dolls such as Lucy, Audrey, The Flintstones, Wonder Woman, etc.  In fact, he became well-known for his interpretation of Tippi Hedren as seen in The Birds, and had the honor or meeting her and giving her one of his dolls.  Bob Mackie was another icon he's been priviliged to meet.  Matt presented Mackie with  the doll he'd made of Carol Burnett as "Eunice" in "the Family" sketches from her wonderful show.    Mackie actually gave the doll to Carol!   "As thanks, they both autographed a copy of Mackie's book and sent it to me-- with a photo of Carol holding "little Eunice," Matt said.  How fun for this designer.

"But my greatest muse was Audrey Hepburn, so it was only natural that I would one day re-create her show-stopping look in "Sabrina," says Matt, "for me, a true labour of love ...."  After that he discovered the Silkstones and began to move over to doing retro chic designs.  As dolls have evolved, so has Matt's preference, and today his fave is Poppy Parker.

Through the years, he has received many awards for his dolls and dioramas, including several BBMA Crystal awards.  "Each doll and competition piece were a joy to work on, says Matt, and I'm so very happy that they were received so well!"  More recently, his "competition" time has been focused on the dolls that he is asked to do for the Charity Auction of the National Barbie Doll Collector's Convention (NBDCC).  Since 2003, he has had the great honor of being part of each year's Charity Auction.  Altogether, his Charity Auction dolls have raised over $42,000!  If you'd like to keep up with Matt Sutton's latest design, you can always join his FTK Group.    You can also see a bevy of his beauties on his official website. 

 Matt Trujillo started collecting Ken and Barbie dolls in 1983. His first Ken was Sport and Shave Ken and he remains his very favorite. He reminds him of his earlier childhood favorite, Big Jim, with his flexing arms and sports theme. Yes, Ken is this Matt's fave and he enjoys customizing Ken dolls, including repainting, rerooting and most recently flocking, which reminds him of another childhood favorite, his Action Team G.I. Joes.

Matt was so inspired by Alex Pedreira's work that he attempted side glances on Ken dolls of his own.  He also designed his own look alike, pictured here, which is featured, along with some of his other great work,  on one of his fave sites, Keeping Ken. 
Matt and his group of friends on that site are bringing Ken up to date and making him more like we expect the style to be for Ken today.  Keep up with this Matt through his FTK Group.  

And that ends this blog post.  If you like the information listed here, leave  a comment so I'll know.  Have a good weekend, my dahlings.