Monday, 27 March 2017

Anouk in Japan now released

So finally the Anouk in Japan Line released. Obviously a large proportion of them went off to Japan, But I kept a number of dolls for the facebook group members and a to sell here and eBay.
The response has been fantastic and I now wish perhaps I had done more than just 100 dolls in this series. The new face paint and outfits have been very well received.

The following pictures are of the available dolls (close ups) and the outfits. Unfortunately some of the models are almost sold out, particularly the long haired versions, but I will do my best to fulfil all orders. There are several versions of Kimono available, if interested in those, I will send pictures of available options left.
The dolls are $190 each, but the Kimono dolls which use specialist fabrics and have several accessories are $220. Many are OOAK. Thanks all for your patience.

#0014 Flight attendant (Summer)
#0015 Flight attendant (Winter)
#0019 - #0029 Various Kimono styles. Includes undergarment shown
Kimono accessories. Closed toe pumps, Wedgies, socks, gloves, and purse which matches the Obi.
#0017 Pink and #0018 Blue Evening gown
#0030 Mod Print Trouser suit
#0016 Spring Dress
The dolls:

#002 Champagne Blonde. Also available with up-do hairstyle

#004 Sun Tan

#003 Sun Tan

#001 Champagne Blonde

#001 Brunette

#002 Brunette

#002 Titian

#001 Ash Blonde

#002 Ash Blonde
All outfits are still available but sadly some models of the dolls are sold out. At the moment there are only about 20 dolls of the 100 left.
There will be a press release all about Anouk in Japan in the April edition of Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine.

For all sales enquiries please contact Nav at

Meet the talented team behind Anouk's fashions

The original design sketch with prototype dolls and outfits by Dal Lowenbein, before production started.

Hello Anouk friends! Apologies that it has been some time since I last blogged. The release of series 2 of Anouk has been a great success and sales have been brisk and kept me extremely busy processing orders.
Today I wanted to talk about and profile the talented dress designers who make Anouk’s gorgeous clothes. Without them Anouk would not have come to be the stylish young miss that she is today. The talent, flair and commitment has been wonderful and this blog entry is my way of thanking them for all of their hard work.

Dal's beautiful prototype Trotteur suits before we finally settled on the classic plain Black for production.
Dal is well known throughout the doll collecting world. Her doll couture is always in demand and, a sell out at all the conventions. To say that it was a real coup to get Dal on board for the launch outfits would be an understatement. We had worked together on several OOAK doll assignments preceding Anouk , so I was familiar with the style and quality of her work. Dal was invaluable with pattern making for Anouk’s launch range of outfits. It was a daunting task but Dal was more than equal to to it. And the resulting outfits were a testament to her excellent tailoring skills and expertise in fabric sourcing and selection! Over to Dal:

“As a child I watched my mother copy gown from magazines for customers. She loved sewing and found others liked her work. I used fancy scraps for my Bubblecut Barbie. Little did I know at age 7 that she would become a real designer and I would continue collecting dolls into my adult years. When I first saw Bild Lilli I had to have one. To my chagrin I realised her fashions were almost too hard to find let alone afford so I began to copy her fashions by hunting vintage fabric in NYC and CT where I reside now. My fashions took off, selling out at the Barbie Convention in Boston years ago. Somehow I began to remember how my mother would make darts, hem dresses, drape. I'd never officially been trained but it seemed to come as if I'd known all along. i am an organic designer. Even though I have some patterns, I prefer to drape and cut for each doll body type, creating patterns as I go.”

These fabulous graphic dresses were made for Anouk by Rosina for her introduction in FDQ magazine in 2016.
I first met Rosina when she had purchased an Anouk doll. However I was familiar with her work, having seen her exquisite creations for my friend Julian Kalinowski’s beautiful Lalka and Severine dolls. When Julian became aware I was looking for more dressmaker/ designers, he couldn’t have recommended Rosina highly enough. I approached her and luckily she was more than game to take Anouk on. Rosina has an excellent feel and understanding for vintage fashion and is intuitive about the cuts and fabrics suited to a particular outfit. She “gets” Anouk, and I count my blessings to have her on board. Rosina is fast,  a consummate professional and very reliable.

“Sewing is a family trait, mum made doll outfits and I followed suit from about 6 years old, I see grown up clothes too. I really enjoy: sewing, dressing my dolls, doll fairs, clothes, doll magazines, cross stitch, bead weaving. Influences on my work are old movies. In my spare time I love music - old soul, R&B, disco. Designers I admire are all the vintage ones, such as Oleg Casini (Jackie Kennedy’s designer) Katherine walker (Princess Diana) Dior, YSL, all of them! My favourite era has to be the late fifties, 60's and some of the 70s (Laura Ashley) some Of the 80s. And the 20s were fabulous!”

The gorgeous Summer and Winter vintage flight attendant uniforms by Rosina.

Debbie has been the latest addition to the house of Anouk couture. Like Rosina, our first contact was when she bought an Anouk doll. Fortunately she loved her so much, she wrote and more or less offered her services designing and sewing for Anouk. To say she has been instrumental in the success of series 2 of Anouk would be an understatement. Her exquisite Kimono that she crafted using the best quality laces, brocades and trims are to be seen to be believed. All the fabrics were sourced from Japan, many of them vintage. They have been a real highlight in the Anouk in Japan series and my clients have loved them. I am always impressed by how thorough and diligent Debbie is. She is a real perfectionist, and it shows in her work.

Debbie's exquisite Kimono for the Anouk in Japan series
 “I started sewing when I was in grade 3 at primary school as it was part of the curriculum - we started with embroidery samplers! I went to government state run schools.
I really like sewing vintage reproductions for barbie using natural fabrics like cottons, silks, and I love colour. I'm very visual. Bubble cuts are my passion but I like to have a range of dolls as representative of all kinds, but I have so many designs I'd like to recreate or try I never get round to it. I love the designs of the 50s and 60s - Chanel, Balenciaga, Cardin, Courreges, and Dior
I like really classic items with a twist - I really like reproducing barbie vintage fashions but I never like using the same fabric or colour necessarily. Similar but not a direct copy.
I once saw a collection of many of Valentino’s most iconic designs at the museum of art in Brisbane - it was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen and the experience will stay with me forever.”

Beautiful blue and pink variants of the lace and raw silk evening gowns by Debbie.

So there you have it. Three very different ladies from different backgrounds. Dal from the America, Debbie from Australia, and Rosina, right here in the UK. But all of them wonderfully talented dressmakers, designers and doll enthusiasts. And all of them part of the Anouk success story. Rather, I should say Anouk IS a success because of their talent, dedication and artistic flair. A heartfelt thank you ladies. From Anouk and I!

Friday, 27 January 2017

Anouk nominated for an award!

I am extremely proud that Anouk has been nominated for an award by Fashion doll awards. She has been nominated in the best collectible Vinyl/ Plastic fashion doll category. Thank you so much to anybody who nominated her. Please vote if you are able. Winner announced on Feb 19th.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Anouk in Japan - Print adverts

Gearing up for the release of the very special and limited edition " Anouk in Japan" dolls.  In preparation I designed and made these adverts. They are intended to call to mind those old vintage ads for the Japanese releases of Tammy, Francie and Barbie etc.
I made two versions. The first has an emphasis on the westernised fashions:

 The second gives prominence to the exquisite Kimonos that have been made for this line of dolls:

The background is the Olympic complex in Tokyo in 1964. A fitting backdrop for these ads I thought.

A special thank you and mention here, go to Kazuko Hosokawa who translated the text for me, and Fokke Hoekman who helped me to place Japanese text on the images.

Here are black and white versions:

The dolls will release at the end of January / early February 2017. I just received the booklets today which look fabulous! Stay tuned here or at the Facebook group and Flickr for more updates.

For all enquiries contact Nav at

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Anouk, Fabrizio Viti and the Valentino gown!

Fabrizio Viti's lovely Anouk in her new home.

It was a great honour and pleasure when Fabrizio Viti, a partner and chief designer at Louis Vuitton, bought an Anouk. Given his artistic credentials, Fabrizio couldn't resist putting his own stamp on his Anouk and updating her. As if that were not enough, his Anouk got to wear an exclusive and genuine Valentino designed gown. A short interview with Fabrizio:

Tell us a little about who you are and how you started an interest in dolls.
I can’t really tell when i started to love or collect dolls because they’ve been part of my life since I can remember.
I fell in love with the glorious Dramatic Living Barbie in 1971 and since then I did not spent a day without a doll in my hands ( maybe a few days).
The dolls has been a very important inspiration in my work as well: I design the shoes for Louis Vuitton now after being at Gucci and Prada and I launched my own shoe brand in 2016.

What dolls do you collect?
I collect ( well play) with many kind of fashion dolls, like the obscure ones from the’60 , the Italian Furga and Italocremona , the Korean BJD dolls and now I love the new wonderful Russian dolls from artists like the Popovy Sisters, Tender Creations, Enchanted Dolls.
That said,my heart will always belongs to Barbie because she is the most perfect and glamorous doll of all times.

How did you hear about Anouk?
From the “ Les poupee d’autre fois” magazine website.

What attracted you to Anouk in particular?
To be honest before the doll I was charmed by the art around the doll….I find the booklet and her graphic version so carefully made and considered , so unique and beautiful.
Then I loved Anouk herself for her vintage appeal but most of all for…the look in her eyes!

Friends or rivals? Anouk with Queen B, Barbie.
What do you like about her best?
I love to touch her and to feel the weight and the quality of the material and to comb her hair because they are strong and yet soft. I also love the fact that when she’s around you HAVE to look at her and she looks at you….

Fabrizio's updating of Anouk with a new make up and simple elegant hairstyle.
Your inspiration for her makeover?
It was my own references like the beautiful Catherine Deneuve that to these days is still my biggest inspiration for my shoes ( and she wears them all the time).

Anouk in the stunning Valentino designed gown.
Tell us about the Valentino gown.
The Valentino gown was made by Valentino ( it’s a real one! ) for Barbie Style on Instagram and then a friend of mine give it to me….called it fashion mafia.
I was looking for something for Anouk that was not a vintage Barbie outfit just to make her classic but more now, and the Valentino dress fits her perfectly.

What's next for you?
I am working on the second season of my own shoe line, on the next Louis Vuitton fashion show as well as on the LV shoes mainline….and it’s enough for the next 5 months or so, I guess!

Many Thanks to Fabrizio, and our best wishes for 2017!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Anouk in Japan

Design artwork for the Anouk in Japan fashions
So the next line of Anouk dolls are well under production. These are going to be a very limited edition issue. 100 special dolls and outfits. The concept is "Anouk in Japan". You may be with familiar with Japan market exclusives of Francie, Tammy, Skipper, and Barbie. These dolls and fashions were aimed at the Japanese market, and as such had modified face paint and fashions.
More of the Japan fashions
So it will be with Anouk. A new face paint and 7 lovely new fashions. A highlight will be the gorgeous and rich Kimono dolls. There will be 25 of them and the fabrics are incredible. Here are a few teasers of the under production booklet and dolls. Stay tuned Anouk friends!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Anouk's "Vintage" TV spot

The dolls used in the Video
I wanted Anouk to have a vintage style video. Like the B & W TV spots dolls like Francie, Barbie and, Tammy used to have.

With the help of my tech savvy niece Riya Spreadbury, we styled and photographed several first issue Anouk dolls and her launch wardrobe.

We then shot tonnes of footage. We knew we needed lots so we could edit later.
Next, the soundtrack. I knew I needed something iconic and evocative of Anouk's personality. A chic young French girl in 60s Paris. After considering many options I settled on the theme from the 1966 film Un Homme et une Femme. Not only did it star Anouk Aimée, it is probably one of the most evocative and famous pieces of music to come out of France in the 1960s.

The result below is extremely flawed. The dolls could have been better groomed. The background is untidy. The lighting is dark, and the editing needs work. But this was a first attempt to get to grips with what was possible with the editing software and effects. I still think it is cute, and worth showing, though next time it will be far better. I hope you enjoy it!

If you are in the US, click the Flickr links above to watch. The YouTube link below only works in Europe.