The most expected event of the year for Integrity Toys Collectors has come and gone last weekend. The Fashion Royalty Convention is no doubt one of the hottest events in the doll collecting world. Now that the event is finished, it’s easier to take two steps back and give it a thorough look. I will cover the event in multiple posts, beginning with the main Convention Collection, the first dolls attendees and W Club members get to see live and via email respectively.
As any historian, before I start I must make my sources clear. This post relies heavily on two sources, which also happen to be two of my favorite blogs: Stratos Bacalis’ wonderful coverage in his blog, The Fashion Doll Chronicles,, which I read during the Convention days while I did my own research, and on the “Truly Historically Accurate Disney Princesses” Parts One and Two done by the brilliant ladies at Frockflicks.com in response to that outrageous Buzzfeed thread which I won’t link here. So, let’s get to it, shall we?
The theme for this year’s Convention was “Fashion Fairytale”. Now, if there was any theme that would make my imagination run rampant, that’s the one. Being a child of the 90’s, I watched all the Disney “Princess” Movies from that decade and the early 2000’s, as well as the Remastered versions of the older ones, like Snow White, that came out around that time. I also have always been a voracious reader, and fantasy books and movies are my guilty pleasure and favorite escape from the world when I need to unwind. No, actually I don’t feel guilty about it.
Of course I didn’t expect Integrity to go literal on Fairytales as adapted by Disney, or go historical on us all. I expected contemporary Fairytale inspiration, as we have seen in the catwalks especially in the 2013-2016 cycle, which has begun to wind down in 2017-2018 catwalks, but is still strong on the streets. So, here’s a little bit of what I was hoping to see:
As we all know by now, my expectations don’t match what we have seen. But I’ll move on to analyse each doll on her own. I’ll follow the order of dolls from the emails we’ve received to make it easier on us all. The First doll we have see is Natalia Fatalé, who was called “Wicked Behaviour” this time around.
Natalia was meant to channel the lovely lady below:
Fun fact: “The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz”, written by L. Frank Baum and published in 1900, is a Fantasy novel, but not a Fairytale. Fairytales, despite the name, are not stories that contain fairies. They are close kin to fables, which means that they make use of magical artifices (fairies or other creatures) to tell a story that teaches a lesson. Fairytales also have a long trajectory through Oral History, that reaches back through centuries and the stories vary slightly from place to place, and time to time, but the key elements usually remain the same, and they are, all of them, about our world. Books like “The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz”, Tolkien’s “Lord Of The Rings” and “The Silmarillion”, or Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” are fantasy books, because they all deal with imaginary worlds different from our own.
Back to the doll herself: IT seems to be on a nostalgia wave this year, bringing back many previous successful screenings to new dolls, and updating dolls that have become fan favorites and “classic” IT dolls. This Nat is no exception, nor is Oz as a theme for IT. Like Stratos, I see a strong resemblance to Hot Property Natalia in her.
As for Oz as a theme, in the 2011 IFDC, Integrity Released 3 dolls inspired by the same book and movie. And like now, back then Natalia was the Wicked Witch of the West. There are some similarities between the two of them in the color palette for the eyes.
I like Natalia’s new sculpt more than the old one, so Wicked Behaviour is a prettier doll IMO, but as far as the outfit is concerned, Go West takes the cake easily. It’s more charged, heavier, it gives her an aura of otherworldliness and utter evil. I know that depending on the interpretation readers make of “The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz”, Glinda is the actual villain, but in order to deceive Dorothy, she counts on the ugliness and ominous presence the Wicked Witch casts to effectively win Dorothy’s trust. Go West’s outfit projects that image fiercely. I like the new Nat’s dress, but not for a Fairytale set up. Still, she’s a gorgeous doll no matter what she’s wearing.
Next up is Vanessa Perrin, channeling Glinda, The Wicked Witch’s arch enemy:
Vanessa channels Glinda, the stereotype “Good Witch” from “The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz”, who actually possesses a very dubious character in the book, and, IMO, in the movie too, but less than in the novel.
I’m a fan of Vanessa, and a very unusual kind of fan, because although I prefer the 1.0 sculpt, I like 2.0 and 3.0 as well. Each sculpt has something special to admire. That being said, it’s sad to say I was disappointed with this girl. Like Natalia, who resembles her previous “Hot Property” incarnation, Vanessa’s screening here came from “In Bloom” Vanessa which happens to be my least favorite version of her.
What worked well for Nat didn’t favor Vanessa in the least. Like Stratos, I feel that she looks washed out and bland, which is rare to happen on a Vanessa. Again, like Stratos mentioned, her dress is Carolina Herrera Resort 2017, and it looks a lot like Miss Amour Poppy Parker’s dress.
Like the Wicked Witch, Glinda was also represented in the 2011 IFDC, through “Go North” Isha.
In this instance, I like both Isha and her outfit more than Vanessa. Isha’s make up doesn’t give her a washed out look in spite of her pale skintone, and her dress, unusual as it is, gives the whimsical feels that Glinda has. Though I like the cut of Vanessa’s dress, I think it looks bulky, and her belt didn’t help at all.
Now we take a step away from Oz, though we’ll come back to it later. Next up is Veronique, channeling a well-known villain…
“Sea-Devil” Veronique represents Ursula, the Sea-Witch from Disney’s adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen’s own Victorian Age adaptation of “The Little Mermaid”. Fun Fact: The Sea-Witch didn’t have a name before Disney decided to adapt Andersen’s Tale to the screen. Fun Fact 2: The Little Mermaid not only didn’t have a name either, but also dies in the end. Fun Fact 3: There’s a controversy about Andersen’s own tragic ending for “The Little Mermaid”. Studies so far point out that he changed the ending drastically to infuse the Fairytale with moral values more in line with what was expected from women in the Victorian Age. Some scholars believe that in the original ending, the Mermaid killed the Prince to get her life back. It was more than the 19th Century could handle, considering how unkind that century was to women.
But back to the doll: I like her dress, which very vaguely resemples a Regency Evening Gown (as it would’ve been interpreted in the 30’s), and I also very much like her corset. The cape didn’t do much for me. But what I really find disturbing is that the doll was painted to actually resemble Disney’s Ursula.
Here’s Vero’s close-up for comparison.
I would have steered clear of a make up that resembled one of the ugliest villains in a long history of ugly villains coming from Disney animations. Same goes for hairdo. Vero is my least favorite of all the Convention Collection. Let’s move on, right?
We’ve known the next doll for a while, but since she was only a sketch we didn’t know she would turn out to be so beautiful.
Tatyana was the doll whose sketch was shown to all W Club members way back in the beginning of the year, since she was available to attendees and non-attendees alike. She channels Cruella De Vil, the villain from the Children’s Book “101 Dalmatians”, written by Dodie Smith in the 1950’s and adapted by Disney first as an animation in the 60’s and as a live action in 1996. The version she channels best is, of course, Glenn Close’s Cruella from 1996.
She also channels a Vogue Russia photoshoot that has been reproduced by many doll collectors since her sketch first came out. Tatyana’s screening and face paint are impeccable. She is indeed a gorgeous doll, and one of the best of the Convention Collection. I deeply dislike the character she represents and what this character stands for, but as far as the doll is concerned, yes, she is beautiful.
I like the cut of Tatyana’s pencil skirt, her red pompom sandals and her shirt’s cut. But I don’t like the dalmatian print on it, nor the dress nor the fur coat. Also, it’s not the first time IT does this kind of dress bust. We’ve seen it before in red at the Gloss Convention, with only a slightly different front, and the same nip slip results. More on nip slips later.
Tatyana will be shipped to non-attendees who preordered her sometime this week. Next doll is Ayumi Nakamura, from the Nu Face Line.
Ayumi, the first Nu Face, is channeling Mulan in one particular outfit from the Disney Animation:
Fun Fact: Hua Mulan (Chinese: 花木蘭) is a legendary woman from the Southern and Northern Dynasties Period of Chinese History. The first record of the legend is from a ballad in which it is said she took her father’s place in the army when he was drafted because he was too old to fight. She may or may not have existed. The current consensus is that she didn’t, because her name is not present in the Wei Dynasty compandium “Exemplary Women”. However, due to the popularity of the legend, it is known that different Dynasties gave her different names and places of origin in an attempt to claim her as part of their own past.
About the doll herself: Ayumi’s screening is beautiful, but I don’t feel I need her in my collection. The clothes are nice, but not that nice. Again, I agree with Stratos. The special touch is in the hair ornament. It’s what makes her stand out.
I’ll leave you with Ayumi’s beautiful Close Up and move on to the next Nu Face in the collection, who was an instant success among collectors.
Eden channels Pocahontas, A.K.A Princess Matoaka, A.K.A Rebecca Rolfe. While it’s uncertain if Hua Mulan actually existed, it’s a known fact that Pocahontas is much more than a Disney Film. Matoaka’s life is one of the sources to the study of British Colonialism in the 17th Century. Daughter of a powerful Chieftain, which was understood by the British as the same of being a Princess, once she was taken captive by the British she was taught their language and religion. Matoaka eventually adopted the christian name Rebecka and married the Englishman John Rolfe, with whom she had a son, Thomas Rolfe. The current consensus is that when she took the name Rebecka, she also revealed her sacred name to be Pocahontas, and abandoned it too. She has been presented to the British court as an example of “civilized savage”, a current colonialist concept at the time. I won’t bore you any longer with history. Here’s her only known portrait, circa 1616.
Eden is always a beautiful doll, but as Pocahontas she didn’t conquer my heart. That happened for the weirdest of reasons. Despite knowing how much Disney has fucked up with Matoaka’s history – and for me, history is not to be fucked with – I actually like the Pocahontas animation. It happens to be one of my favorites because it’s one of the very few female narratives coming from Disney where the story doesn’t boil down to the pretty pretty princess fooling around waiting for The Man to trip over her, fall in love, and do all the cool stuff in her place because she can barely put one foot ahead of the next – when she can move at all (Looking at you Sleeping Beauty). Current kids and teens are lucky to have Elsa and Anna doin’ it for themselves in Frozen. My childhood was the moment of glory for Narcoleptics Sleeping Beauty and Remastered Snow White, Child Slave and “Bullied Into Submission” Cinderella and “Stockholm Syndrome” Belle. But not Pocahontas! Oh no! She hiked, she climbed, she did rafting, jumped on waterfalls, diverged from her father, took her life in her own hands, and if in the end she suffered, she had no regrets! And she looks just like Total Betty Ayumi from the Reckless Collection. So much so that we decided to buy one and make an OOAK Pocahontas weeks before the Convention!
I’ll get us a bit sidetracked here for a moment. Jo protested while I was writing, and said that in her opinion, Disney’s version is not so much “Stockholm Syndrome” as the original fairytale. I agree in part. Her point of view is that Belle in the animation modifies the Beast as much as he modifies her. My point of view is that the Beast tries to be less beastly because Belle is adapting to the gilded cage he put her into. So now you have both our points of view on Belle in the middle of my Pocahontas review. Historians, dudes… Back to Eden as Pocahontas.
I think, concerning the outfit, that this was one of the highlights of the Convention. If Pocahontas was a nowadays Fashionista, she would rock this outfit. The blue tones in the jewelry and shoes evoke her iconic jewelry from the animation, the white outfit has enough edge to accomodate her strong personality and to make her skin glow like a sunset. The hat brings just that bit of western influence to show that Native Americans today are not the same as they were before. It shows mingling cultures and makes a bridge between worlds, just like real Matoaka or animated Pocahontas did. It hasn’t always been a happy bridge to cross from a historical point of view, but fashion lives off such apropriations, and a current fashionista might find a clever way to use the apropriations to turn history around in the present and teach us to be better towards different ethnicities than our ancestors were.
The doll herself is gorgeous, as the Twins always are, so I got her. But even during Convention I’ve been talking a lot with a dear friend who I know loved her much more than even I did. So, since both my heart and Jo’s are set on making Ayumi our OOAK Pocahontas, because we feel she represents the woman we admire and the animation we love more than Eden, we’ll keep the outfit and the doll is going to this dear friend who I know will love her and cherish her.
Next up is the first Salesroom Exclusive, Erin Salston.
Erin channels… Ahem… Amelia Earhart? According to Stratos, she’s channeling the Rumpelstiltskin tale, and I agree with him. But her Rick Owens jacket made this image pop in my mind before anything else:
I’ll begin with the outfit: I LOVE shearling jackets. So does Jo. In fact, we love shearling jackets so much that we’ve made an oversized extra cozy one for our last Fall Collection:
So, being a lover of shearling jackets, of course I loved Erin’s. I also love the embroidered top and velvet pants. Her outfit is the closest one to my Convention hopes and dreams. It looks like Valentino, or Dior under Maria Grazia Chiuri, with a Rick Owens jacket on top!
I didn’t like her platinum hair much, but I do like her make up. She reminds me a bit of “Power Couple” Erin and a bit of “Painted Black” Erin too. Or maybe it’s just my subconscious wanting a raven-haired Erin to go along with my blondes and red-haired ones.
And now we go back to OZ with the first of the three Convention Collection Poppy Parker Dolls…
“Rainbow Connection” is my favorite of the 3 Poppies released in the Convention Collection. She is absolutely adorable! I’m not a big Poppy Collector, but I truly considered bringing her home, until my plans were destroyed by the W Club Luncheon. More on that on another post.
Her outfit is cute, especially the blouse. She comes with De Rigueur Red Shoes and her hair is just glorious! I’m so in love with curls, so she’s perfect in my opinion!
Now, as it was with Natalia and Vanessa, there was also a Dorothy in the 2011 IFDC. It was the iconic “Go Home” Rayna, which has become a Holy Grail for many Collectors and is very hard to find these days. But different from what I did with Natalia and Vanessa, I won’t compare both dolls. Why? Well, because they are from two different lines. Rayna is a Nu Face, which is a collection that has youth and edginess as trademarks. Poppy on the other hand, is a girl from the 50’s/60’s. Her timeline has never moved further than the very late 60’s/very early 70’s timeframe. I feel that both Rayna’s outfit back then and Poppy’s right now represent Dorothy perfectly within the limitations of each line. Same goes for each doll. Both of them evoke Dorothy within two different propositions so well, that in my eyes at least, both are perfect.
Now, on to the second Poppy.
The best I can do here is make Stratos’ words mine… The dress didn’t translate well on the doll. I don’t even know what she’s supposed to represent. Just no…
We’re almost there guys! One more Poppy and a giftset to go!
The final Poppy from the Convention Collection is I think the biggest symbol of Fairytales, as well as the only Disney Character actually featured in all the opening credits of movies made by said company in a long time. Poppy looks lovely as Tinkerbell. The hairdo looks very literal, but it’s period accurate for this lady. I love her eye make up in shades of green and her lovely green pompom shoes! Her bag looks lovely too, but unfortunately it’s only featured in the photo above as a side view.
I love her cute brocade dress and her make up is truly lovely. I’d love to get her one day, along with “Rainbow Connection” Poppy. And on to the final giftset!
Misaki and Amelie are FR Nippon, Japan Exclusives, and rarely featured this side of the globe. They have been present as ITBE’s at Cinematic Convention, along with High Frequency Kumi. But they’ve never been part of the Fashion Royalty Convention Collection before!
Amelie looks cute in adorable odangos which are a ringer for Mickey Mouse’s ears. Although Mickey and Minnie are not Fairytale characters, they certainly belong to the collective mentality of generations of Americans as iconic imaginary characters, so I understand why they entered the Collection. Her outfit is adorable, and her bag is lovely too!
The M in the jacket and the dotted dress scream Minnie Mouse. I love her shoes and socks. Misaki looks very cute, but personally I like Amelie better!
And that’s it for the Convention Collection! We still have The Industry Style Lab and all the events ahead of us, so stay tuned for more soon! I hope you’ll like this review!