Posts Tagged ‘paper dolls’

Author and artist Kristen Caven says she wanted to start a fashion trend but, she’s not a designer. So instead, she wrote a story that combines her interests in fashion (specifically the dirndl), German culture, and current societal issues. Her latest play, called The Dirndl Diaspora, is actually a reading with animated (and super cool) paper dolls!

Dirndl images by Leah Vass.

Caven initially had the idea to hold a dirndl fashion show at Oaktoberfest, an annual celebration of all things German in her Oakland Diamond District neighborhood. But with the pandemic in charge this year that was not meant to be, at least not in person, however, she did receive a grant from the Diamond Improvement Association to write a play and a six week writing frenzy began.

The Dirndl Diaspora tells the story of a rising Oakland fashion designer, Savannah James, whose signature look is mashups of dirndls – the dirndl silhouette created with fabrics from other cultures, such as Scottish wool tartans. The audience gets a peek into Savannah’s colorful studio and to listen in on conversations she has with her diverse clientele. They talk about history, current events, travel, life!

Caven says, “It’s my dream for this play, or a version of it, to be staged each year at Oaktoberfest (Oakland’s version of Oktoberfest) and create a focus for more cultural creativity and camaraderie among women through fashion shows and storytelling. The stitching together of multicultural fabrics is a metaphor for stitching together many cultures, as we do here in Oakland. We need to get better at it.”

We do indeed need to get better at blending and appreciating all the fabulous cultures that make up America. I see The Dirndl Diaspora as an excellent educational tool; a fun and engaging way to teach kids about history and different cultures. But it’s not just for kids, this unique show has something for all of us.

The Dirndl Diaspora is available to watch now through November 14, 2020. Click here for more information.

Congratulations to Kristen Caven and all the people who helped get The Dirndl Diaspora out into the world.

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Paper Dolls by Lisa Perrin.

Mom got one and I couldn’t resist … I had to have my own paper doll as well. So, artist and paper doll creator Lisa Perrin made the Moya paper doll.

Keeping with the custom-made theme, I had Lisa illustrate my custom-made shirtwaist dress and 1920-inspired coat. Accessories include my go-to black beret and favorite 1940s handbag, which has a twisted Lucite handle. 

I asked Lisa to add my beloved Mr. Pru, whom, sadly, passed away last August at the sweet old age of 18.  She really captured his spirit and even his specific haughty pose, which always made me smile and now continues to do so.

The original is in a frame, but I made copies and yes I fully intend to cut and play. What fun!

Want your own paper doll or perhaps thinking of a gift? Contact Lisa Perrin on Etsy.

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The Cindy Marshall paper doll by Lisa Perrin. All rights reserved.

When my mother was growing up she had a thing for paper dolls, but not the store-bought kind. No, she was more creative than that. She made her own.

My fashion designer grandmother taught Mom how to illustrate fashions, including the proper accessories – shoes, gloves, hats, and handbags. Mom would cut models from magazines and redress them in her own fashions. “I was really into hoop skirts,” she says.

Mom’s paper doll addiction continues today with the Dover Paper Doll Series. Her collection numbers close to fifty and includes Chanel, Erte, and Classic Hollywood Stars.

So, you bet I was over the moon when I  found custom paper doll artist Lisa Perrin. This year’s birthday gift for Mom will be a Cindy Marshall paper doll. 

I contacted Lisa by e-mail and we immediately got to work. Over approximately six weeks I sent Lisa pictures of my mother and some significant outfits in her life from the 1960s (which I have discussed on Mom’s Closet). Lisa sketched the doll and four outfits, sending me images at every stage asking for feedback.  It was really a treat to see the project develop and Lisa, talented and patient, was a pleasure to work with.

I love the way Lisa drew my mom’s pose, which is right on the mark. Lisa knew to put Mom in the essential 1960s girdle with garters and she got her signature page-boy hairstyle picture perfect.

Lisa is an accomplished artist having studied drawing and painting at State University of New York. Currently she’s working on a MFA in Illustration Practice at Maryland Institute College of Art. I’m a big fan of illustration and Lisa’s style really speaks to me. Fanciful and kind of spooky, Lisa’s work has an Edwardian/Art Nouveau quality to it. But of course when it comes to custom paper dolls, Lisa strives for authenticity to the person.

Lisa’s custom paper dolls are printed on 8 1/2 x 11 medium weight card stock and come in a protective cellophane sleeve in a non-bendable mailer. 

The Cindy Marshall paper doll arrived last month and the hardest part is waiting. Shhh, Mom’s birthday isn’t until December 27th.

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William and Kate Paper Dolls published by Dover.

My mother and I started collecting Dover paper doll books ages ago. Between the two of us we have a couple dozen including Chanel, Schiaparelli, and Greta Garbo. Now there is one more to add to the collection: William and Kate Paper Dolls.  

Dover has released the William and Kate edition just in time to commemorate the wedding-of-the-century on April 29, 2011. The couple each have seven outfits illustrated by Tom Tierney. (Plus we get the future king and queen of England in their skivvies … ha!)

Dover is one of my favorite publishing houses for providing historical documentation of fashion and the fashionable. But I also appreciate their commitment to going green by using recycled paper and printing their publications in the USA.

If you’re a royal watcher, a fan of Kate’s fashion sense, and/or have a crush on William, The William and Kate Paper Dolls is a must-have.

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