Hello everyone and welcome to The Costume Carousel! Here is where I not only will showcase my period costume dolls, but will also give you some basic historical data on the fashion styles and social mores of the day. Clothing is closely tied to society and how we thought and believed. There will be times where I will only give a brief sketch, while other times I may elaborate more. In a sense, what I would like to accomplish is a "Fashion History 101" which I hope proves not only informative, but entertaining at the same time. I will not be showcasing fashions in chronological order....I think it will be more fun to select based on how I feel at the time.
For those of you that don't know me, let me tell you a little about myself. I collect fashion dolls, and have been a serious collector since around 1994. The majority of my doll collection consist of Barbie, which to me is a perfect model. I got my first Barbie when I was 8 years old, and she was a blonde ponytail in the classic black & white swimsuit. This is the doll that is now known as the #5 Ponytail. I love Barbie, and she was - and is - a part of my life. As every serious collector knows, after a while one begins to focus on certain dolls, thus personalizing and streamlining a collection. In my case, becuase of my degree in History, I found myself gravitating towards dolls customized by doll artists (also known as OOAK - One Of A Kind) in period dress. I also have several historical costume and paper doll books I use as reference. In the last several years, I have added many beautiful dolls, each with a story behind it, tied to the artist. It's my wish to also spotlight the artist behind the doll. My historical dolls encompass periods as early as Ancient Egypt to present day modern designers. Consider The Costume Carousel a fashion Time Machine, and I hope you enjoy the ride!
In honor of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, I can't find a better doll to premiere than my Elizabeth I. This incredible doll was made by Mattel and released in 2004. She is depicted at the height of her reign, when she was known as Gloriana. By this time England was prosperous and a power to be reckon with by other countries. All this due to her intelligent and shrewd ruling. In spite of being an intellectual, Elizabeth was a vain woman, and wore the most sumptous and beautiful gowns, often acessorized by yards of pearls. Her many beautiful and fantastic gowns added dignity to her role as queen. She was known as the Virgin Queen, since she never married - she always considered herself to be married to England. The style of her white gown is from the late 1590's. By this time, neck ruffs were no longer fashionable, and the new style was the beautiful fallen lace collar from The Netherlands. I will return to the Elizabethan period in the near future....
Queen Elizabeth I