|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 FARNE SANG
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!