Sew Crafy

Monday, October 18, 2010

Details Done Right Are Such A Delight!

Yana Emellyanova grabbed the brass ring for herself once again by winning Challenge 4!  In a move that clearly put her in first place, Yana is now the one to watch if you’re after the win.  

I also saw others I honestly desired - yes, the designers have definitely stepped up their game!

This must have been a job for the judges – scoring these pieces.  But let me tell you what got the win. 

 Yana’s outfit gave black and blue new meaning.  It featured a flax summer coat with an asymmetrical collar.  She decorated the coat using hand embroidery in a pattern that echoed the print of the natural silk chiffon blouse.  Rounding out this outfit were wool pants that were a perfect compliment for the other two items.  And rounding it out further was restraint in the detailing –  for this we say,  Kudos, Yana! 

I think our guest judge has given great points of reference along with a clear description for Challenge 5, so I am going to take this opportunity to discuss an important consideration for our competitors.

When you take on an online competition like CDDC, one undeniable asset you need is to be able to think and function like a “real” fashion photographer.  Competitor and fashion photographers have a common goal;  to showcase an ensemble to its best advantage.
But in doll challenges there is one factor that is unique yet very important - the doll actually used as the model is entirely up to us!  Long before a challenge garment hits the "runway," styling opportunities become apparent.  An artist begins to mentally focus on which doll will wear the garment best about the same time pencil begins to work magic on paper!   Who will best fit this garment with both their particular body style as well as their attitude?  How should the hair be presented, and will a wigged or rooted hair doll be best for this purpose?  Will makeup be necessary in the form of a total repaint or just a little tweaking, or can the doll's "natural" beauty carry off this look just as she is?  All of these questions give the fashion doll designer/stylist/photographer many things to ponder.

Of course, there are many other considerations,  but I just thought it might be important to articulate that when dealing with dolls and fashion, you don't want overlook an opportunity to use  the "likeability" factor to your advantage.  Others will, so don't be squeamish about it!! 
And on and on go the considerable checklists a CDDC competitor has to develop and conquer if they hope to step beyond the realm of being ordinary in this quite unordinary competition!

And is it worth it?  I think, from the comments filtering in from the Yahoo group, one would hear a resounding “YES” from the CDDC competitors even at this late date in the competition.  You would also hear something that might be quite surprising.  While I don't think there is any doubt that winning is still sweet in any competition, it doesn't seem to have captured the entire focus of these competitors.  Many seem to have discovered there is much to be learned from this type competition, and that competing in CDDC is a win-win situation.

Speaking of wins - what of those incrdeditble prizes?? It seems I have inadvertently overlooked telling you about the wonderful DOLLS one might win!!!  Here's a recap of the doll and their company, and which winner gets what - all provided by three delicious doll makers!! 


Focusing on photography will pay off for the People's Choice winner of R&D Fashion Doll's Haute Traveler Susie. R&D is the brainchild of Rudi Teruel.  It opened in May of 1999, and specializes in all types of fashion dolls, but is best known for the creation of their Susie dolls.  Since she debuted in 2003 R&D has remained her exclusive dealer, and she has been primped and posed in many delectable ensembles.  But the Haute Traveler will afford our winner the ultimate Susie experience because she not only  comes with her traveling gear, but she also comes complete with several new outfits!  Won't it be fun playing dress up with this one!?!


And then there is the Integrity offering - First, second, third, People's Choice and Photography prizes will be given by Integrity Toys.  In order they will include: Lillith "The Great Pretender," Adele "Soul Deep," Veronique "Onyx," Erin "Picture This" Convention exclusive, and Veronique "Stylish Escape" W Club Exclusive.  Percy Neusum's extensive experience in the field of doll making shines through Integrity Toys.  Excellent customer service, superior engineering, and high end aesthetics have been the norm since these fashion dolls came on the market in 1995.   Lights, action, camera - these haughty vixens are ready for their close-ups!!


First, Second, and Third Place winners will be getting prizes from Robert Tonner, Tonner Doll Company.  In order, their prizes will be Evocative Antoinette, a Tonner Direct Exclusive;  Glowing Muse Basic Honey Antoinette with 3 wigs plus Juxtaposed Outfit; and Antoinette Intoxicating Outfit plus Antoinette Flirty Shoe Pack.  Since 1991 Robert Tonner has been lending his designing, sculpting, and fashion savvy to the Tonner Doll Company.  The lines from the Tonner Doll Company are many and embrace lots of styles.  His staff welcomes you warmly by email or phone, and you can always feel assured the dolls and costumes  you order from his company will reflect Tonner's  desire for perfection.  And what fun our own aspiring doll designers will have with these prizes!!

AND WE HAVE A SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT!!  A new prize has just been added - so everyone really needs to continue stepping up to the plate.  As your Blogmeister and Manager of Couture Doll Shops, sister site of CDDC, I am happy to announce we will be furnishing a shop for the winner of these challenges; this prize includes rent for six months and I will facilitate the winner's shop set up/website if they don't already have a website.  We want the winner to be rewarded with something that will help them gain more recognition when CDDC ends!   

And now on to the road to the end of this competition, our next to last challenge!  And this challenge is:  Our guest judge this week is well known for her creative work in designing, but has also made Steampunk one of her signature styles. Now if you don't know what Steampunk is then you've got to do your homework to please this judge. This week's challenge is all about the sub culture known as "Steampunk". This unique fashion genre runs the gamut from purely Victorian to post-apocalyptic.  Steampunk may take many forms of alternative clothing, often romantic with a twist of futuristic technology. It has been described as Jules Verne meets the Wild Wild West. Just like real life, Steampunk can encompass many aspects of fashion...the explorer/traveler, the air ship pilot, the warrior, the aristocrat, or the mad scientist. To keep with the up and coming fashion trends, such as the new military look for 2010, the twist of this challenge is to create a Steampunk inspired fashion with a military theme.

Yes, this judge has given you invaluable information – have you been attentive?  In her own words, “Steampunk is very near and dear to my heart. I fell in love with this form of fashion for my dolls three years ago when no one else was doing the genre. I am a wealth of information and my photo files are loaded with fashions and ideas.”  In fact, she even put together a web page for you that serves as a plethora of ideas!!
 She's talented and nice, but do NOT be deceived!  She will be using her very keen eye to see if you fulfilled her expectations of this challenge!

Will you be the one who can do this?  Will you go even further and surprise her??  If you do, you have your work cut out for you for here on this blog is her own interpretation of Steampunk.  As you can see, she’s captured several styles well – yes, even a bride that Doll Reader gave free in pattern form through their magazine!

 For an artist who started less than 10 years ago, she has proven herself over and over in design challenges and has won many awards.

   Most notable have come from both the IFDC and the Tonner Doll Conventions, and she cherishes her crystal awards from the now-defunct BBMA.  She's also been published in doll publications we have loved or love currently - FDQ, Doll Reader, Barbie Bazaar and Haute Doll.  

 This single mother of three grown boys has been a Barbie collector since childhood.  When she isn’t playing with her granddaughter or doing her regular job as an Interior Designer, you will see her stealing away to her studio.  She always takes plenty of time for research, then like a mad scientist she begins the journey – a journey to some quite incredible work! 

But not all is fun and games.  Some designs she makes for her doll shop on Couture Doll Shops, Chic Indulgence; some she makes for conventions -- both competition and charity dolls; and the balance goes to making the prototypes for clothing used by Charisma for dolls designed by Marie Osmond and others. Check out her website for more information.  We are indeed lucky to have Durelle Brown as a guest judge, and I hope you will listen to her critiques carefully.  Listen and learn what you might, because it is a rare opportunity to learn from such a busy, talented lady!

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