The Ruby Red Barbie Fashionista

After discovering highly articulated dolls, I never thought I’d ever again be interested in any other kind. However, whenever I saw the “Ruby Red” Fashionista – usually online – I thought she looked lovely and that I should adopt her – eventually. Maybe I could put her on a Made to Move body? – I thought. Alas, the “purple top” MtM doll with the corresponding skin tone is both rare and now extra pricey. So I stalled.

This particular doll in the photos was the last one that I’ve been seeing in ‘offline’ shops in my area. Articulation or no articulation, I knew I’d be sad to one day find out that they are no longer available. I put my joint-count prejudice aside and let me take her home and love her for what she is.

According to the packaging, she is a part of the 2015 series of Fashionista dolls. She is definitely my favourite among the listed ones, although I also quite like number 23 and 25 (click here for a bigger image).

I was surprised how fun it was to open the doll (aside from the excess plastic tabs :)). I had not opened a Barbie doll in yeeeaars πŸ™‚ A lot has changed, but there is a familiar feel to the experience.

Out of the box, her bangs were gelled stiff (above) and her hair overall messy, so I gave her a wash at once (below).

Here is the back, before and after. Never mind the tab through the skull. They are used to it πŸ™‚

I feel like she would benefit from a quick trim too, but I haven’t had the courage so far.

Upon seeing her face to face, I do think her face is lovely:

It’s a kind of a simple, classy look. It is certainly in good harmony with her outfit. Her right eye might be a tad higher than the other one, but it’s nothing distracting. I knew I’d take her over a blind online purchase any day.

I also really like the way she looks with her hair tied – except it’s kind of hard to make a bun that will actually hold:

Speaking of her outfit, I pretty much love everything about it! Give it to me in human size and I’ll totally wear it πŸ™‚

Actually-wearable-if-life-sized fashions are a relatively new development in the Barbie world. From my childhood, I remember everything being pink and either puffy, or glittery or iridescent. I really can’t decide which style I like better in dolls. Each has a very different appeal.

I think this dress looks cute and classy, and the colours are well matched. I like the pattern, too. My only complaint is that the skirt part and the collar aren’t hemmed. They also took the easy route and the sleeves aren’t separate pieces – but they look fine anyway. Sometimes I take the same shortcut when sewing, so I’d better not criticise too harshly πŸ™‚ The dress is one piece, but I would expect it to be.

Oh, and there is a slight mistake with the collar which makes it curl up, but I can live with it.

Lea – which I believe is this character’s name – wears a bunch of white bracelets…

And simple black mary-jane flats:

…which let her stand on her own on smooth surfaces.

I love these shoes as well πŸ™‚ They aren’t necessarily flawlessly sculpted, but I do love this style – for toddler dolls, for adult dolls, for myself! I think they are cute and girly. I see them as a playful reference to school uniforms, but my love for this style started with Disney’s animated Alice in Wonderland.

(I didn’t like the film as a kid, it was too trippy. But I did like the shoes)

Alice In Wonderland Disney Joy Pinterest Alice

I’m very happy to own a pair of similar ones for Lea and my future Barbie-sized dolls.

To accommodate these flats, Lea’s feet are flat as well – as in, no high heels for her. Other than that, I believe she is a classic body type – although it didn’t say on the box.

Her legs move front and back, and slightly to the side. So do her arms – except the range is greater in each direction. Her head moves pretty much any way you want it to, except, like most dolls I own, you can’t lower her chin quite as much as I’d like to.

 

There are a few aspects about the Ruby Red Fashionista that do whisper “budget doll”. Her limited articulation is perhaps the most painful one when it comes to doll photography – the number of possible poses really is small. At the same time, I am fully aware that advanced range of motion has been the exception rather than the rule with Barbie, and you simply have to decide if Barbie is your thing nonetheless. If you don’t expect this Fashionista to be something that she wasn’t meant to be (which at first was a challenge for me) she has enough to offer: a good design and a lot of charm.

If I ever do find her a Made to Move body it would be great. If not, she’s been a great source of fun even as mere eye candy πŸ™‚

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Mountain trip with Cerise Hood

Is it really almost spring? With the past two weeks having been freakishly cold (around -10Β°C/14ΒΊF) I barely noticed. It was also about two weeks ago that I made a short trip to the mountains that was indeed very wintery in character. I better get to reporting without any more delay πŸ™‚

Of course, this will involve a doll…

OK, so I am pretty passionate about dolls, but the trip wasn’t about doll photography exclusively. You see, I love winter, skiing and snow, but there is rarely an opportunity to enjoy any of the above in the city (even though we do have an artificial ski slope in the area, and even despite the cold, it’s not the same without natural snow). I was delighted when my family offered to take me along for a short skiing trip. Even though it only lasted two days, I still greatly enjoyed the rare chance to feast my eyes on snowy landscape.

The above photos were taken on the first day. This location was especially picturesque, and the weather was wonderful. Unfortunately, I did not bring Cerise on that day, and the next day we went to a different spot, and the weather was quite different. It wasn’t quite as magical, but I did my best to get the best out of it. To be fair, backdrop options are still plentiful for a doll so small in a world so big.

I made her coat just before leaving using the free coat pattern from BFashions, except I gave mine a hood and white trim. The idea for it was born thanks to the felt that it was to be made from – as soon as I saw it at the craft store, I imagined a doll sized, sheep-skin-inspired winter coat. And Cerise seemed to me like the right character to brave the cold and climb the mountains.

I attached the faux fur to the edge of the hood using fabric glue, but now I regret it. It made it stiff.Β  I chose to make a slit in the back to let her hair out. It’s an odd feature, but it works on this scale.

The day that the photos were taken, the doll was in my backpack all afternoon while I was skiing. I was worried about falling and breaking her (and the camera), so covered her in bubble wrap. Luckily, in the end, there weren’t any such dangerous moment at all πŸ™‚

These two are my favourite photos of the day:

I keep saying it, and I will say it again – I am not happy with the colour balance that comes out of my current Panasonic camera. I do try to adjust it in the camera and in GIMP, but it only makes things look even weirder. It’s especially stark in this post, compared to my old Fuji camera, as seen in the landscapes (although in this case the weather played a role as well). I don’t normally use the old one any more because it has far fewer options and its buttons have been used to death and barely respond, but I do miss the colours. I had another Fuji in-between the two, the infamous XF1. After two of it – the original purchase and the replacement – died to the same defectΒ (“lens control error”) year after year I decided to sulkily part ways with Fuji. I loved it otherwise.

If it wasn’t for the unexpected adventure, I wouldn’t have had a chance to take any photos out in the real snow, and it would be a real shame. Even so, I still have a brand new winter outfit for Animators’ dolls that I made that likely won’t see any use this year. I do love a proper, snowy winter, so I hope the next year will be more up to my standards, even in the city.

OK, now I better start thinking about something nice for Easter, spring and general sunshine.