First off, I went to a great blogger meet-up at Lauren of Lladybird's house on Saturday night, and had a blast! If you read other Nashville blogs at all, you should be familiar with Fiercest Lilliputian, Blooming Leopold, Simply Allis, Librarian Tells All, Old Red Boots, Kitty Cat Stevens, Mode Stylist, and Let's Go Ride a Bike, but if you're not, go give those ladies a look-see! (I know there's three girls I'm missing...if you're reading, forgive me! And let me know what your sites are called so I can read 'em!) It's nice to know you're not the only one obsessing over vintage hat retailers and somehow deputized chalkware pigs (similar?), so nice to meet you all!
Last Thursday, I went to a great estate sale out in Crieve Hall after I went in for an eye doctor's appointment, which meant my vision was fuzzy enough for me to a) be overwhelmed by the bounty of vintage toys goodness that was this huge den section of the house, b) completely miss Lauren from Apron Strings Vintage, who was in the process of buying a cuckoo clock, and c) somehow ALSO miss an entire box labelled "all, $5" on a shelf above some puzzles. The contents? SO. MANY. PAPER DOLLS. I counted at least 10 sets of dolls in various stages of well-loved...it was a good thing the box was still around on Saturday for the half off phase of the sale, where I picked it and some baby doll clothes up for very little pocket money, and very much shopping gratification!
These scans are my two favorites, but again....there's another 100 outfits where this came from... 1977 Barbie and 1975 Jean Jeans (yes, really).
When I was a kid, I was always put off by the fussiness of paper dolls. As much as I loved clothes, I always worried about the tiny, fragile pull tabs ripping off and leaving Scarlett O'Hara perpetually half dressed for the Wilkes barbecue. And she wasn't supposed to show her bosoms before 3:00! Problematic, to say the least. About five years ago, I bought a mint set of psychedelic Barbie and Ken from an estate sale for $10, which was are-you-out-of-your-mind money at the time. You hate paper dolls, I chided myself! But something about the bright, graphic-ness of the design and the weirdness of having the costumes divorced from their corporeal forms, but still sometimes having hands or clavicles or bare feet attached to them...I'm sorry, I kind of love them now.
Do you see how beautiful they look even by themselves in a cheery little row? Also, just like the little gal who painstakingly cut these out in 1977, I like to look at the clothes and think, "Oh, how I would SLAY people in that outfit. Give ME knee-high, lace-up, non-hooker looking heeled seventies' boots, and the places I wouldn't go!" I think the one with the green and tan in center above may be my favorite.
One great thing about Barbie...being a fashion model amongst other professions, you never know when she's going to need to slip into something a little more elegant for eveningwear at the Russian embassy's dinner banquet, or cocktails with Warren Beatty (sorry, Ken...have you seen his dimples?). So among the late seventies', will-o-wisp collegiate togs, we also have three honest-to-Goodness ball gowns (the third of which is my favorite...kind of like a Grecian Jasmine).
These outfits below seem to fit into the "whatever, other" category. I don't know what in the hello is going on with the third one, but there you have it nonetheless. Look, if Sonny and Cher ever press me into service for their variety hour, I hope I have something this wingding to slip into before curtain. As ever, I ask myself, What Would Bob Mackie Do?
I borrowed this cover from Ebay when I was checking out who this Jean Jeans was and what she was all about... slightly less high quality than her Barbie counterpart, the paper clothes in this set are actually made of plain paper, as opposed to the shiny, slightly heavier stock used for B's clothes. Never mind though, Jean Jeans more than makes up for the lusterless paper with anything-but-lackluster outfits. In her namesake fabric, too...denim!
Look at her all American bandeau denim bra-and-panties set! Don't tell Barbie I think Jean's face is slightly sweeter framed as it is by its highlighted curls. And what cherubic rouge!
Jean Jeans clothes come from that seventies' sartorial school of "too much is not enough". Something I can really get behind! Outfit one (left) combines gypsy necklaces, Victorian style top, wide purple leather belt, and patchwork skirt without so much as a bat of an eye. And really, since when do we not do full-length cape and white patent go-go boots? There is not a touch of snark in my mind when I see these two outfits...they bring back ever so fond memories of pillaging my mom's 1972-1976 high school outfits when I myself was in high school. Down from the family attic and just gleefully camping it up in my own wardrobe. You do you, Jean Jeans!
The patchwork outfits won't stop! I like the little bird on the one top. And the stitching detail on those weird pockets at far right!
As ever I've told you, my pear-shaped-ness keeps me from much bemoaning the fact that I wasn't around for that super-high waisted, hipless seventies' blue jeans fashion-- those skintight denim concoctions I see on female rockers of the time make me wince just thinking about trying to get into a pair and not being Heather Locklear's tailleur. Still, isn't it fun to see how much denim you could get away with incorporating into one outfit circa our nation's Bicentennial without it quite being "over the top"? Again, the freedom of it!
Did you or your siblings have paper dolls when you were a kid? Were you as paranoid as me about the little tabs? Ever accidentally chop into an evening gown as your primary school scissor skills failed you? Which one of these outfits is the absolutely best and the absolute worst? Do tell!
Have a great Monday and I'll see you tomorrow!
Printable Barbie 1977 paper dolls on Etsy,
the real deal on Ebay