Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jane Powell to attend the 2008 Convention

Pat O'Rourke reached out with a fan letter to Dickie Moore and Jane Powell a few weeks ago, and then went on a Caribbean cruise. Well, Pat just got home today and found TWO messages from Dickie Moore, saying he and Jane would be delighted to attend. Stay tuned for more information. We're thrilled and excited! And yes, we've alerted Gene Maiden, who will make sure that Moore and Powell have an excellent time at our convention in August.

The images here are taken from the Paper Doll Review Web site, where Jenny Taliadoros has reproductions of the book on sale (Judy Johnson has them too, at

Still haven't registered? What are you waiting for!

A Charles Ventura Sampler

The late Charles Ventura was prolific. He started early, contributing designs for Tillie, Boots and later Katy Keene comics. The Tillie here is from 1946. Roxanne was published in 1987 in the Trina Robbins comic book California Girls. Trina also profiled Ventura in that issue. Last is "Paper Dolls in the Style of Mucha" published by Hobby House in 1990.

This is just a small sample of this highly collectible artist's work.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Toy Town Postcards

These British postcards feature articulated dolls that are put together with string, not brads. They're both signed by one Geo. Piper, and are part of the Toy Town series. The young men on the left is no doubt Peter Pan; another in this series shows Capt. Hook.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Candy by Whitman, 1964

This set is a wonderful snapshot of early 60s fashions and fads, including the Hawaiian craze of that period. The dolls and outfits are small but well drawn, not common for this time period. Tuxedos for the men are straight out of James Bond.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Isaac Mizrahi

Fashion designers have a special affinity for paper dolls. In 1997 Simon & Schuster published "The Adventures of Sandee the Supermodel," a highly collectible three-volume comic book set, written by Isaac Mizrahi and illustrated by William Frawley. In addition to the "Yvesaac" paper doll, there's "Sandee" and "Dorothy Dunhill" paper dolls. The book measures 10 x 15 inches, so I stitched together two separate scans for each of the images of Yvesaac and his clothes.

The cover image was taken from the Amazon web site, where "Sandee" is still available.

From the Amazon summary:

“In Volume 1, Sandee Takes New York, Isaac, in the guise of Yvesaac -- bandanna, attitude, and all -- reveals how he discovered the bewitching Sandee. In Volume 2, Psandee's Psychic Adventure, Sandee heeds a psychic's warning about a man "full of hollow gold" and basks in supermodel immortality. Volume 3, You've Read the Book, Now See the Movie, is a wicked roman à clef of Mizrahi's own struggles in getting his documentary Unzipped made. Internecine fashion wars abound, but the documentary on Sandee, called False Eyelashes, wins the Academy Award and everyone lives happily ever after.”

Mizrahi was recently appointed creative director for the Liz Claiborne label.

More fashion designer paper dolls: The two sisters behind the Rodarte label, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, also famously created paper doll sets for their first line of clothing, delivered to fashion editors. From a 2005 NY Times article: “The Mulleavy sisters' first, entirely improvised marketing effort (they are self-taught in all aspects of the business) was the creation of 30 handmade paper dolls, each delivered with a paper armoire containing seven paper Rodarte dresses.” Those paper dolls can be had for $1,000. How do I know? I emailed the Rodarte folks! If anyone has that particular set, I'd love to know!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mrs. Hogan's One-Dress Wardrobe

This feature promoting Vogue patterns ran in Ladies Home Journal in April 1948. Illustrations would eventually give way to fashion photography of a high order. A hint of things to come: the photograph of Mrs. Hogan in the upper left corner is by Francesco Scavullo. He became one of the top fashion and celebrity photographers in later decades. For 30 years, beginning in 1965, he also photographed every cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine. When you think of the Cosmo girl, you’re likely thinking of a Scavullo-created image.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson has had a long-running career in fashion, and her whimsical sense of style is unique. Here's a paper doll ad that appeared in Seventeen Magazine in 1972. I believe this is Betsey's own artwork. Her current line of handbags (Betseyville) features one with a paper doll motif.

I've added some images of the Betseyville bag, captured from

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dottie and Lottie by M.G. Hayes

Margaret Hayes, sister of Grace Drayton of Dolly Dingle fame, was an illustrator in her own right. I don't know if this is Dottie or Lottie. If you have the other companion postcard, let me know!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Vintage Valentines

Here are some scans from my collection. The solo woman is from the Raphael Tuck Decorative Head series (as printed on the back). The bear postcard, also published by Tuck, is by the famous Outcault, of Buster Brown and Yellow Kid fame. The "To My Husband" and "Best Beau" cards are by Rust Craft of Boston.

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Paper Doll Book Covers

It's always fun to stumble on a paper doll motif on a book cover--one can imagine an art director mulling over choices and coming up with a paper doll to convey a character's changeability, or perhaps the burden of multi-tasking. If you collect this kind of p.d. art, make sure it's the right edition; publishers tend to use different covers for different editions in the U.S. and overseas.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Paper Goodies by Judy Johnson

Judy Johnson has done a great job of reproducing and cleaning up some old and hard to find cut-outs. These are some of the items I've purchased from her Web site,

I especially like her miniature version of Claire McCardell. I have a cut version of the original, so it was a treat to find this; she also has a full-size reproduction for sale. All of these low-res images were taken directly from the paper goodies Web site. Judy artfully added color to the Mrs. Winters and John L. Lewis cut-outs, which appeared in black and white in the pages of Childrens Activities and Judge magazines respectively.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mopsy Modes March 26, 1950

Gladys Parker was a fashion designer, too, and it would be interesting to know if anyone has ever come across one of her frocks on a store rack in the past, or in a vintage store today.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Printed in West Berlin

Here's a page I found in the Indianapolis convention sales room two years ago. The "Printed in West Berlin" mark dates this after 1945, and I would guess before 1960 because of the clothing style and artwork.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Children's Workshop by Whitehall Publishing

Shuffle on Catsy is part of "Children's Workshop," a small colorful packet published (early 1950s?) by Whitehall Publishing. It contained six booklets, including four paper dolls. The figure is only partially die-cut, constructed like a pop-up book for a 3-D effect.

My husband and I are cat lovers (we have two) and we love the silly charm of Shuffle on Catsy. I first saw this online, posted by a collector with many other animal cut-outs, and my husband tracked it down on eBay about three years ago.

Here's a football outfit, perfect for Super Bowl Sunday.

The M.C.&K. Family

I find this among the most strange and amusing paper doll sets: a family of seven, with grandparents that look like George and Martha Washington! Perhaps left over from another historical set, and repurposed here? Also, this 1895 set is marked M.C.&K., with an address of 108 Times Building, New York on the back. Is it possible the august NY Times had a paper doll giveaway? The newspaper connection made this one a must-have for my collection.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Catalog Cut-Outs

A little girl back in the 1920s created her own paper dolls out of catalog pictures. These paper dolls illustrate ingenuity in the face of limited resources, and the creativity sparked in quiet moments at home with a catalog and a pair of scissors. If you look closely at the last picture, you can see the names in pencil that the owner gave to two of the dolls.

Looking to share a room?

Paula Hill of Harriman, NY, would like to share a room at the convention. In her own words: "I do not bite or snore and do not smoke!" Interested? Contact me and I'll put you in touch with Paula.

Here are some old newspaper cut-outs. UPDATE: Peggy Ell told me a while back that these are from the Boston Sunday Globe.