Hi everyone! I’m very sorry for yet another delayed post, but now we’re finally getting into the thick of things! The last of Convention holds the two most awaited events of the whole weekend: the W Club Luncheon and the last Gala. Again I’ll be very brief, as there are so many other things I’d love to catch up with after these posts. I just hope I’ll be able to solve my technology related problems before the year turns.
As you may know, I can’t discuss the content of the emails we receive. So all I can say is that the W Club luncheon was Aladdin themed. More on that further on. But the official pictures and product descriptions have already appeared in other blogs and at social networks and the like, so I’ll stick with the dolls and dolls alone. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve felt like buying Rainbow Connection Poppy, Bite Out of Life Eugie and AA Tulabelle. But the W Club Luincheon Centerpiece came out like
Well, on to her.
By now, we all know she’s dressed in Balmain, as are Giselle, Eden, Ayumi and Erin. Erin’s enigmatic coat is Balmain and not Rick Owens as I first suspected. I stand corrected and will update the post as soon as the computer lets me.
Well, on my first post about this Convention, I took us all on a trip down Memory Lane to previous infamous appearances of this particular neckline. On that post I also said there would be more about nip slips later, right? Well, here we are. Browsing through IRL photos of this girl that popped on Instagram and Flickr during the W Club luncheon Jo and I saw many cases that again proved this neckline to be a particularly tricky style to work with. The problem lies in leaving the cleavage too open. On a flesh and blood woman, the fabric adheres to the skin, but on a doll, the plastic bust actually pushes the fabric away from the torso, and ultimately, the nips slip out. That being said, I’m glad to say I’ve received my Rayna and her jumpsuit is one of the few happy cases in which the slips aren’t so big.
As we also know, Rayna represents Jasmine, the heroine from the Aladdin animation, princess of the fictional city of Agrabah. Although the palace was clearly inspired by the Taj Mahal, which is located in Agra, India, Agrabah is supposedly somewhere near the Jordan River, which would put it in the boundaries of the fallen Ottoman Empire. In very vague general lines, I see subtle similarities between Rayna’s Balmain shoulder and sleeve points, and these examples of female Ottoman wear from the 16th Century. Of course we’re talking about the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, which means around 500 years ago. It would be unreasonable to try to find such an open neckline at that time and place. But in very general lines, when we look at the front openings and the shoulder and sleeve format, there they are nonetheless:
The sleeve format looks a bit similar despite the completely different sleeve lengths on both outfits. It’s the “points” hanging over the elbows. The slightly opened V neck also evokes Rayna’s (much more opened) V decotellage. The similarities are even more striking (although still subtle) in this second example. The color goes a long way into boosting the comparison:
Again, it’s a very subtle thing, but the pointed look of the sleeves and the slightly opened V neck are there. So it’s actually very nice to look at a 21st Century reproduction of a French high fashion outfit and see some connection with the character the reproduction was made to emulate. It’s a faint echo, but it is there.
Fun fact: Aladdin is theoretically a traditional Middle Eastern folk tale, but it wasn’t part of the “The Book Of One Thousand and One Nights” until the 18th Century, when it was added there by Antoine Galland, who translated the “Arabian Nights” texts from Arabic to French. Also, it’s very clear in Galland’s text that Aladdin is Chinese, or at least of mixed Muslim and Chinese ethnicity (which can be traced back to the Silk Road Travellers), and he only comes to the Maghreb called by the villain. Also, Jasmine in the tale is called Badroubaldour.
Fun Fact: to this day, no Arabic source can be traced to the origin of the story. Modern scholars Muhsin Mahdi and Husain Haddawy claim that the manuscripts from the Bibliothéque Nationale in Paris are forgeries. They have a point. Forgeries were common throughout Europe since the Middle Ages at least, and many documents which were considered “legit” have since then been proven false. Also, folk stories are amongst the easiest to trace through Oral History due to their prolonged prominence in the mentalité of their birth places. Considering how far back Mulan can be traced, it’s highly unlikely that Aladdin would have been erased from the collective Ottoman memory until it “sprouted back” into it by the hands of a foreigner in the 18th Century. But that’s enough history for one post, right?
Rayna herself is a beauty. IMHO she is one of the Top Five Dolls of 2017, and the top doll from Fashion Fairytale Convention. She’s just amazing. Her neutral make up with gold tones goes perfectly well with her skin and hair. Her eyes are expressive and she is fierce! There will be a review of her as soon as she comes back from her reroot, which will be done by the super talented @loverootsdolls.
I wanted to talk more about Rayna, but then there’ll be no reason to write a review, right? So, on to the next girl, Giselle Diefendorf as… Aladdin himself.
I’m kidding, of course. But imagine my shock when I found out some years back that Cruise had been the model for Disney’s Aladdin! Talk about ethnic representation. I do see some slight similarity between Gigi and Cruise though. I think it’s the nose. But she’s a beautiful doll.
Her screening and make up palette are the same as the Club Upgrade Majesty doll, but IMO it works better with darker hair and skin. It really gave her a “Middle Eastern” vibe. She makes me think of this image of Sharbat Gula, the Afghan girl on the cover of the June 1985 National Geographic:
Gigi’s outfit, as it’s widely known now, is Balmain. But done in colors I don’t care for.
I think pastel tones really takes the edge off Balmain and makes it meh. But her tassel earrings are TDF! Her shoes are awesome too, although we don’t have any official promo pics of them. They’re Jason Wu, if memory serves me. Yep. It is. I checked back on Stratos’ review. You guys should too! It’s great!
So, this is it for the W Club Luncheon review! I hope you’ll like it and let me know what you think of it!