Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fashion Pack Reviews - Basic

From the beginning Mattel has released fashion packs for the dolls. Each one is always themed to a specific character, and sometimes the actual lines are themed (like School Clubs). In 2013 they're releasing two lines -- one they're calling "basic", the other "deluxe". The basic line is much like what previous packs have offered -- one outfit with a pair of shoes and a few accessories. The deluxe line is something new from Mattel. These packs feature two complete outfits and several more extras. The clothes in general seem a little more elaborate in the deluxe packs. Today I'll be looking at the basic line. There are four packs, one each for Lagoona, Spectra, Abbey, and Draculaura. I passed on Draculaura's pack but the other three will be covered today. One last thing: although it's not made explicit on the packaging for these, if you've picked up Scaris Clawdeen you know these fashions were designed by her. So these outfits have a mild Scaris tie-in.

Let's start with Abbey. I've chosen her Skull Shores doll to model the outfit because she's awesome. This is Abbey's third fashion pack and, to me at least, her best. She wears a form-fitting cocktail dress. The bodice is electric blue and features a fantastic print of ice crystals jutting from the sides towards the center of the bodice. You Superman fans may get a strong Fortress of Solitude vibe from them (awesome). Above the bust is black netting that connects to sleeves that land just below the elbow. The top and sleeves are hemmed with blue thread. More black netting hangs below the dress and is also hemmed in blue. I love the fit of the dress and the colors. The print is unique and ties into Abbey's theme.

Her shoes are a purple version of the heels we've seen several other times already. Off the top of my head I have these same shoes in black, white, and, I believe, black with gold embellishments. On the plus side this pair is made of a more pliable plastic than the previous versions, which had a habit of grabbing the doll's toes when you'd try to put them on. That said, I don't think the purple is a very good color match for the dress. I think either the black or white shoes would've been much better. I'll probably be switching these out for one of those pairs. Her purse is a blue version of basic Spectra's purple purse. I've never been a big fan of that purse and I don't much like it in blue either. But the color matches the dress, so there's that. Her last accessory is a pink ice choker. You've seen this before, nothing to write home about but it gets the job done.

In terms of being, you know, actually fashionable, the dress is light years ahead of Abbey's previous fashion pack clothes. The accessories are a bit lackluster, in my opinion. I think white shoes, a black choker, and a different purse entirely would've pulled the look together. As it is, the dress is great but the extras either clash due to bad color choices, or are just not fitting for this character (the purse).

Next we have Dot Dead Gorgeous Spectra modelling her fashion pack. As always, pics are iffy for Spectra due to her pure white skin. Anyway, Spectra's dress is a one-sleeved, black and purple number. The bodice is black and features an abstract, pixelated Eiffel Tower and facade print in purple. The top and bottom of the dress are hemmed with purple thread. The one sleeve is long purple netting that flares around the hand. The texture is nice and I especially love the unique print. The sleeve adds some drama to the look.

Spectra wears a silver belt of linked triangles with one long chain hanging down the front. One last triangle hangs at the bottom. Her sunglasses are a repeat of the pair from her first fashion pack but these are solid silver. I loved these in the first fashion pack, and I love them here. I wish the chains were painted black but the solid silver is fine. Her shoes are a pure silver repaint of Gloom Beach Clawdeen's sandals -- talk about dipping into the past! The chain strap would've made perfect sense in black on these, and it would've looked great. Oh well.

Even though the lack of detail in the accessories is a bit disappointing this look definitely works. The asymmetrical dress combined with the funky belt give this look an edge. It's only enhanced by the sunglasses -- even in one color they're very wicked. The overall effect is very Spectra: Badass Fashionista. Don't trifle with this girl, she will cut you.

From one extreme to the other we go with Lagoona's fashion pack. Less badass fashionista, more feminine ocean nymph. I chose Dance Class Lagoona to model this outfit since her soft faceup and silky hair are a perfect match for this flittery summer dress. The bodice is black and features a print of abstract blue... kelp? Fish? Whatever they are, they look cool. The bodice features a hem of blue "crocheted" thread. The straps are crocheted as well and twist at Lagoona's neck before wrapping behind her shoulders. I love these straps! It's a small detail but adds immeasurably to the look. The bodice attaches to the skirt with more crocheted hemming. The skirt is black with a print of pink kelp and blue seahorses. It's hemmed with blue thread. I love this skirt, too! The print is really pretty and the smooth knit material feels nice. I also love the way the skirt lays. It's not gathered or pleated but flares out. The soft material folds in on itself, a great effect.

Lagoona carries a chunky tote -- a blue repeat of the pink one her basic 2.0 doll carries. I loved the tote in pink and I love it even more in blue. She wears matching blue jellies that wrap her lower legs, ending with a molded bow in the back. Her only other accessory is a simple white pearl bracelet.

I love this look. It's simple, sweet, feminine. Lagoona looks gorgeous in it. I love the way the crocheted straps wrap at her neck, how the skirt lays, how the prints of the bodice and skirt contrast with each other. The tote adds some funk, while the shoes play up the breezy, carefree vibe of the dress. The pearl bracelet is just the accessory this look needed. It adds visual interest without being overpowering. This is by far Lagoona's best fashion pack to date. I was taking pictures of Lagoona in this dress until my camera died, that's how much I love this look.

I haven't gotten ahold of any of the deluxe fashion packs yet but when I do I plan to review them in a similar style to today's reviews. And I plan on getting all four of those! Until next time!


  1. I love these fashion packs, especially all three dresses (that Abbey dress is my fave!) I totally need to have these but the only fashion pack ever released in my neighbourhood was the Day At The Maul pack.

  2. Abbey's dress looks great with her Scaris purse & shoes, but Lagoona's fashion pack is probably my favourite from this set. Her dress is so cute with the sea horses on it, and paired with the shoes, I think her FP negates the need for her dance class doll. Even if DC Lagoona has nice hair.
    BTW, I saw your post on MHD about making generic fashion packs that different character dolls can wear (like PD Operetta's corset).

    I have an idea; A Fashion Boutique Playset (kind of like the Coffin Bean), which wouldn't be themed to any particular character, but it would have a range of clothes, shoes & accesories that any of the ghouls could wear.
    Like gold, silver or bronze jewellery, and shoes like CAM bee girl or Scaris Ula D, and outfits without motifs that are unique to a single character.

    What do you think? :)

    1. I almost wonder if Mattel made the DC doll with the FP in mind. The doll is pretty much a *perfect match* for the outfit. Like maybe they thought, "Okay, we need to sell these fashion packs. Make the Dance Class dolls' outfits cheap and boring so people will buy more clothes for them. Make sure the doll's face matches the outfit -- our studies show people like dolls that match. Tell Satan thanks for the idea." Hmm, probably not, but you get my drift. ;)
      I love your idea for a fashion boutique! It's a perfect way to sell "generic" clothes but still within a unified theme (the boutique). Mattel needs to drop Satan and start talking to you! ;D

    2. are unique to a single character.
      Grarrgh! Stupid typo!
      Glad you like my idea! :)
      Mattel needs to drop Satan and start talking to you!

      I have plenty of other ideas in my head, too! ;D

    3. No worries, I got what you meant :) I'm surprised Mattel hasn't done something like the boutique idea. It really makes a lot of sense and would please fans, since we all seem to want MH clothes any of the dolls can wear. The closest we've gotten to something along those lines are the CAM outfits, and even those are often themed to the specific character.

    4. Here are some examples of what I mean;


      Well, you get my drift.
      Here's how I imagine it;
      A collaspible 3-wall room (like the first pic & 13W party playset), decorated with wallpaper, mock shelves & mirrors, a built-in dressing room w/ curtain, an ottoman or chairs, a couple of mannequins, some real shelves, a counter/display case, a real mirror, and some clothing racks w/ coat hangers.
      You could hang the clothes up, put the shoes on the shelves & put the jewellery in the display case (like a real jewellery shop does).
      All in a monster themed style, of course. :)
      The clothes would either be plain or have generic MH patterns, like skullettes, spider webs, chains, hearts, stars, moons, stripes or spots. etc.
      How's that?

    5. I would so totally buy that! Forgive me for saying this, but it reminds me a little of the original Barbie fashion boutique from the 60's. But your is much more elaborate and cool. And I think it would go over like gangbusters within the fan community.

    6. No worries, I actually really like the 60's Barbies. Love those sultry, side glancing eyes!

      Got a picture of that 'boutique'?

    7. I have another idea now. Told you my mind was brimming with ideas. lol

      Anyways, for another food themed playset, I was thinking, 'How about high tea?'
      My sister recently had a high-tea themed party for her 25th BDay (I wasn't invited. Boo hiss!). :(
      But anyway, here's how I imagine it;
      A main table, a couple of seats & a chaise lounger, all with gothic Vitorian style. Then for the food, there'd be a 3-tiered display platter, with monster-fied sandwiches, cakes and teacups etc. (and more plates & cutlery, of course).
      How's that? :)

      Also, you should totally but that DotW France Barbie. She's simple, but very chic.

    8. Well, that set sounds rather fab! But I'd want a doll released with it lol. But who? Actually, Bloodgood would be a good thematic match, maybe? I know she's rooted in American lore, but her Victorian look would work for it. Of course, I'd want her to have a brand new outfit and faceup for the release. It could be themed as her throwing a tea party for the ghouls. A tea party sounds a tad sophisticated for one of the ghouls, but seems like something Bloodgood would totally do. What do you think? I think I just have Bloodgood on the brain right now since I just got her lol. As for France Barbie, she's not officially on the "list" yet, but I'm definitely eyeing her...

      Also, not cool, Felicity's sis! :p

    9. What about Draculaura, Robecca or Rochelle?
      Especially Rochelle. ;D

    10. Yes, Rochelle would be perfect for that type of set!

  3. Yeah, 60's Barbie was so cool. She had an edge to her, thanks to those knowing, side glancing eyes. And to think they tried to tell us that lady was a teen! Lol! I'm about to head to work but if you go to www.fashion-doll-guide.com I'm pretty sure they have some pics there. :)

    1. I still didn't find it, but that's okay.
      I think I *might* do a mock-up of that boutique idea & post some pics on Flickr (still getting used to the changes, heh).
      Is it okay if I eat my words regarding Barbie? I said on the sequel blog that I think she looks like a 'sex doll', but there are some variants that I *do* like.
      The Barbie dolls of the 60's, for example, are very high-fashion compared to the frilly, pink mess of the 90's onwards. And that figure made so much sense at the time, it's as though her body is made to look like she's wearing a bullet bra & a corset (I've heard recent Barbies have wider hips & smaller chests?). And as I mentioned, those eyes are fab.
      This 'Coctail Dress' Collector Barbie is a brilliant nod to the era. I would totally wear that dress!
      I also like the Barbie Basics. Very model-like, though I think I'd like them much better if they weren't grinning (I prefer a relaxed face). :)
      Some of the collector Barbies are also pretty nice, like the Bob Mackie Barbies (they might be to costume-y for you, but I like them). Incredibly detailed! Love the 'Fantasy Goddess of the Americas'

    2. You can see the vintage boutique playset here, Felicity: http://connectiblesblog.com/uncategorized/barbies-fashion-shop-1963/
      I think it looks rather nice, myself.

      Barbie's body was designed that way to accommodate her clothes. Since they were using actual fabrics utilized in real fashion, the body had to have the exaggerated bust and tiny waist, otherwise the thick fabrics would've looked bulky and lumpy, hardly ideal for a fashion doll. I think it was just serendipity that the clothed Barbie body perfectly mimicked Dior's New Look (one of the best looks in fashion history imo).

      I like the Barbie Basics, too. There are some great fashion sets with that collection! I'm not too big on the Mackie Barbies -- as you guessed, they're too costume-y for my tastes. Cocktail Dress Barbie is gorgeous! I don't like all of Best's designs, but when he gets it right, he *really* gets it right.

      Have you seen the recent Dolls of the World France Barbie? She's stunning! And since she's pink label she's not outrageously priced. I actually came across her recently at KMart and came *this* close to getting her. I might get her yet. I love her beauty mark and light blue eyes. Her dress is simple; stylish but understated. She's even wearing Mary Jane's! Check her out: http://www.barbiecollector.com/shop/doll/france-barbie-doll-x8420

    3. Oh, I understand that Barbie dolls have to have exaggerated proportions to make clothes look good. It's kind of like Monster High dolls, they have nice, curvy legs but small torsos, so they look a little strange when nude, but dressed up, they look beautiful.
      That playset is really nice, even considering it's made of cardboard. I can see why my description reminded you of it. :)
      I have seen the DotW France Barbie, her face makes me think 'If Catrine was human, she'd look like that'.

    4. Yeah, I guess I just get aggravated when people give Barbie sh*t for her proportions when they don't know what they're talking about. You don't hear about it so much nowadays though. In the 80's and 90's it was rampant.
      Wow, I hadn't thought of France Barbie that way but you're absolutely right, she's like a human Catrine! I guess that explains why I'm infatuated with her lol.

    5. Maybe not, but some people still feel the need to rag on about fashion dolls.
      Even Monster High gets a bit of backlash sometimes. I read a blog post about some woman ranting about how Clawdeen looks like a hooker. O_o
      It's like some people think their daughters really want to emulate these dolls or something, which doesn't make much sense to me, because children are financially dependent on their parents, so it's not like they're gonna go out and buy *slutty* clothing.
      When I was a little girl, I don't remember wanting to grow up looking like Barbie, all I really wanted was my own pink convertible. lol

    6. People seem to think fashion dolls have a huge influence on kids and their aspirations. If they'd just look up the research they'd realize the connection is negligible at best.

      I'm not into slut shaming, and that's basically what these parents are doing. It's silly and reductive, anti-woman even. Not cool at all.

      When I was little I was mostly obsessed with dolls' hair. It didn't mean I wanted hair like that myself. I just really liked it (and still do) on dolls.

    7. I try not to be a slut-shamer. Sorry. :(
      But I think it's more in the attitude than in how you dress.
      Like, you can wear short skirts, corsets, low-cut dresses etc. if you want, and I say, 'If you've got it, flaunt it', but the sleeping around behind your partners back, regardless of gender, is *so* not cool.
      Hope you understand. It's just that loyalty means a lot to me.

    8. Well yeah, cheating isn't cool at all. I'm a Scorpio -- we were built for commitment and won't have it any other way! :)

      I didn't mean to indicate you were a slut-shamer, but rather the parents who do those things.

    9. Oh, I know you didn't. What I meant to say was, I can be guilty of slut-shaming, just not regarding how a woman dresses & carries herself. Rather, in how she treats other people. Although, I try my best not to think & speak negatively of others. It's that 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' -thing, also known as The Golden Rule
      I think it's different to gay-bashing, because you have no control over your sexual orientation & the 'F' word is just horrible & dehumanising. But you *do* have control over how you treat other people, and I think cheating on someone is just absolutely despicable.
      Hope that makes sense to you & that you don't think less of me.

    10. I don't think less of you at all. I absolutely see where you're coming from. When i was younger I definitely did some slut shaming of my own, but toward other gay men. Looking back, it wasn't cool at all. I'm glad I moved on from that.

  4. This is the article I was talking about.
    "I told her that girls who dress like that often don’t have full and happy hearts, and they use clothing like that to get attention and make themselves feel full."
    What. The. Fuck. *facepalm*
    There's some good comments among the mindless drivel, though.

    1. Oy, some people. There are more important things to worry about, people! Get some perspective!

  5. Crap. Now I must have that Cocktail Dress Barbie. Fuck me, right?!
    *Adds to wishlist*
    Which of Best's Barbies do you like & dislike, John?
    I love Cocktail Dress Barbie, Mermaid Gown, Boater Ensemble, Elizabeth Taylor (White Diamonds & Violet Eyes), Grace Kelly (To Catch A Thief & Rear Window), Gala Gown, Hope Diamond, and Walking Suit.
    Oh boy, that's a long list. ;D
    Not really digging the Ballet Wishes doll or the Luncheon Ensemble doll (I love the red hair & green eyes, but I hate the outfit).
    I love this video, which shows the attention to detail.

    Glad you're back, BTW. :)

    1. Oh gosh, that's tough! Hmm, I love Debut -- the way he reinvented the original swimsuit is just amazing, love those exaggerated stripes! I'm also a big fan of the 10th anniversary Silkstone doll, and I also love the Elizabeth Taylor dolls. There are tons of others but I'm drawing a blank right now. Even though I never buy any of them, I subscribe to Barbie Collector magazine, basically so I can have pics of the dolls in good quality lol. Me and my paper ephemera obsession!

    2. You can see them all here;

      P.S. I sent you a very late reply to your email. ;)

    3. You mean this beauty?
      I love it, too. It's very mermaid-ish.

      Hahaha, all this time I've been reading 'Silkstone' as 'Silktone'. (Truth be told, I thought it referred to her skin.)
      Ahahahaha, I'm so stupid. lol

    4. Nah, you're not stupid! Quite the opposite, in fact! :)

      Thanks for the link -- very handy! And time consuming! So many beautiful dolls to look at! lol Yep, Tribute is the one I was talking about. Isn't her dress just about the best thing ever? I'd forgotten about her earrings, so detailed and 100% elegance. If the facemold was a little more like the original Barbie face, I'd be a total sucker for the Silkstone dolls!

    5. I know, it's beautiful. She looks like Lagoona in human form. :)
      I like the final doll better than the fashion sketch.

    6. Yeah, there are some similarities for sure. The color scheme is very similar. I love the style of his sketches! I kind of feel like they're so stylized it's almost hard to compare to the actual dolls. But I can definitely see where you're coming from! :)