Trend Feature: Cocktail Party Wear

For cocktail hour I like to keep it basic yet interesting. There are lots of other parties where you can play with color so tonight I'm doing black and white.

With dresses, I prefer a streamlined silhouette. If the dress is patterned then keep accessories clean and to a minimum. Strapless is always nice if you have good shoulders but remember to balance it out with a "lady" length hem. This Empire brocade dress is paired with a simple belt and heels. I chose the neutral make-up palette because of the busy dress but you can always punch it up with a MAC Russian Red lipstick instead. Don't apply from the tube though, use a brush and swipe on sheer layers until you get the color you're looking for. Keep hair back but soft.

Antoinette by Yu

If you choose to rock the little black dress, try using metallics as the compliment instead of introducing another color. I love this one by Integrity! It shows off the legs while keeping the top sexy but appropriate. It has design details to make it interesting but is basic enough that it can be dressed up with many different items. Here I've kept it clean, sexy and a little sporty with classic hoop earrings, a silver and leather belt, strappy silver shoes and a sparkly bag by Joe Tai. Flirty pink lips are the perfect compliment to a modern bob.

Dae Jang Geum by Jigamaree
Wig by Chewin

Sometimes it's nice to be comfortable in pants but don't take that to mean casual! A little lace goes a long way but can be tricky, so pair items like lace bustiers with a black tailored trouser. Keep the jewelry to a minimum again to avoid making the lace look cheap. Add a great pair of closed toe black heels but leave hair down. Smokey eyes and nude lips keep it classy.

Felicia by Halo
Clothing by Empire

For a more glam look, go white! A pantsuit in white can be stunning but instead of going with the usual plain white trousers try a beaded wide leg pant. Because the pants are beaded you'll want to balance it with a more casual top. Here I paired these amazing Red Silk Thread pants with a white jersey v-neck bodysuit and kept the jewelry clean and classic with a single oversized strand of pearls. To avoid being washed out, do a pretty eye make-up and splash color on the lips and blush. A half up-do is soft, pretty and flattering come picture time.

Tonner Glamorous Red 

Come back Monday for how to deal with dressier holiday parties.


A Good Man is Hard to Find

Last week I decided it was time to paint a man doll and thought it would be a good idea to search for new inspiration. So there I sat, pouring over photo after photo of hot guy. I know, I suffer for my art. It's all for you though. 

Out of the rubble came Kevin, my first non-themed male doll in a year. He was named such because he reminded me in some shots of a young Kevin Sorbo lol. The overwhelming response was to be expected, after all he's the perfect holiday boyfriend: quiet, attentive (when posed to be), looks good in pictures, doesn't take up much room, makes no mess and doesn't criticize you for the second piece of cheesecake. It got me thinking though, why don't I paint more men?

Growing up I always had 50 Barbies to one Malibu Ken. Ken lost his head one weekend on vacation and being industrious, I replaced it with a balled up piece of masking tape and was more than satisfied. Derek from Barbie and the Rockers was added much later and again, I was set. It really was all about the girls with their big hair and extensive wardrobe. So is my reluctance to paint men an extension of my childhood?

There was discussion on the doll boards a week or so ago about collecting men dolls and why it's not as popular as collecting female dolls. Some made the point that there aren't enough clothes to make it interesting. Some said they didn't like the athletic bodies and some just didn't collect men.

I want to propose another theory though. I think we're pickier about our men then we are the girls. Girls just have to have nice hair, a good sculpt, decent make up and we're happy. Speaking for myself though, a factory man doll needs to be exceedingly good looking and just that...a "man". So many male dolls, whether it's BJDs, Ken or Tonner dolls, skew younger. Sean is too young for me as was disappointingly, Simon. I had such high hopes for an equally bitchy brother to Sydney but again, just a boy. Sorry, but the new Andy Mills like he should be in school with the Harry Potter kids. Matt's okay but needs a jaw and nose slim down while Jeremy Voss has too slim a face. The best male sculpt in years, Hal Jordan, unfortunately has either been used only on the athletic body or as the ultra themed and super pale Cutting Your Losses. The other superhero dolls just look angry. I'd have both Mal and Captain Harkness but I'm not a huge fan of the athletic body unless there is a reason for its use. The Pirates men weren't bad but the sculpted facial hair was a little limiting. Russell hasn't reached his full potential yet but that's nothing that a flocked head or dreads wouldn't fix. Fashion BJDs are usually young looking, too pale and skinny and wouldn't be able to hold their own with my great girl dolls. See? Picky!! Sigh. It seems finding the perfect male doll is as hard as finding their human counterparts.

Which leads me back to my question of why I don't paint more. I think sometimes I take the lack of enthusiasm for male dolls as a lack of interest. After the release of Kevin this week I learned how mistaken that thinking is though and this coming year will do my best to be your girls' personal matchmaker.

Tomorrow, holiday cocktail party dresses!