In the first installment of Deja View I took a look at Gloom Beach Cleo, my first ever MH doll. Within days of getting that first doll I had picked up several more, among them Dawn of the Dance Frankie Stein. (And yes, this was my first Frankie!) If GB Cleo opened my eyes to how interesting and unique these dolls' facemolds and body structures were, DOTD Frankie showed me that Mattel was doing some pretty smart things with doll fashion.
Dawn of the Dance was the first themed line from Monster High. The first wave hit shelves in late summer 2010 and consisted of three dolls: Frankie, Cleo, and Clawdeen. In an early example of the punny pop culture awareness this line has, the name is a play on George Romero's 1978 film, Dawn of the Dead. The idea behind the line was that the ghouls were attending an invitation-only party, and the clothing should be fun, funky, and, judging by the dolls' outfits, very retro. I was impressed by the presentation of DOTD Frankie. A lot of thought went into extending Frankie's storyline within the MH universe with this doll. Frankie had only recently been created and this was her first party -- she was excited, and we get to see this on her box back, as she goes through her day preparing for the party.
Included in the box with Frankie were her invitation and two snapshots from the party. On the back of the pics are handwritten notes from Frankie about the great night she had. All in all, an elaborate setup and presentation for a playline doll!
Dawn of the Dance gave us our first Frankie release after her basic doll (not counting her greyscale SDCC limited edition release). This Frankie is decidedly more colorful than not just the greyscale doll, but also her Wave 1 basic doll. Frankie has a thick strip of very dark blue eyeliner. Under the eye is a considerably thinner strip of grey eyeliner. Surrounding it all is a thick layer of electric blue eyeshadow; above the eye it goes all the way to the brow. The makeup around her eyes has a very light shimmer, so light you might not notice it. Contrasting this nicely is her lips, hot pink and also lightly shimmered. Frankie's hair is pulled into a tight ponytail. Her hair is completely straight, no wave at all. It's layered and lands a little past halfway down her back when in the ponytail. She doesn't have bangs. In true Frankie fashion, the hair is incredibly silky and soft. This Frankie has a more even mix of black and white streaks than later Frankie dolls, who generally seem to have mostly white hair with fewer black streaks. Truth be told, I prefer the look of her dolls with the heavier emphasis on white hair. Not that this Frankie is anything to sneeze at...
The real strength of this doll, and what made her a must-have for me, is her outfit. Frankie comes wearing a strapless cocktail dress. It's form-fitting and bares a print of stark, black and white, lightning bolt stripes. They stretch diagonally across the dress. The material is a semi-stretchy knit and has textured dots completely covering it. These dots especially stand out against the black stripes -- they look great! Across her abdomen Frankie wears a blue, metallic cummerbund. It has two stripes of white ribbon, each encircled by a silver industrial nut. She also wears a patent leather jacket in hot pink and matching hot pink fishnets. All the materials here feel very nice. There's a variety of textures and bold use of colors that somehow manages to avoid coming across garish and unsightly. In fact, Frankie's outfit couldn't be better put together. The girl knows how to dress! Everything's really well-made. Hems are clean and it all fits perfectly. Especially impressive is the jacket, a tiny little thing, with pleated puff sleeves and teensy hems. To this day this is one of my all-time favorite MH outfits. It gets a lot of use around here -- in fact, I don't think I've ever not had it on a doll since I first got this Frankie way back when. And yet this outfit is still in great condition! No snags, tears, or worn hems on this heavily trafficked outfit -- pretty impressive!
Frankie's shoes are mismatched wedge heels. The right shoe has a body of metallic silver while the wedge is black. On the left shoe, the colors are reversed. Unfortunately the shoes haven't withstood the test of time as well as the dress. While the black is fine, the silver has become spotty and chipped. But I love them anyway! I actually think the chipped silver adds even more funkiness to the look! Her purse is a satiny clutch in blue and pink. The colors are connected by thick black threads. A triangular top of black and white lightning bolts is sewn over the front. A tiny black ribbon wraps around the doll's wrist. These purses made of material rather than plastic would be short-lived. I would say it's disappointing, but Mattel is continuing to do great things with purses. I do miss the soft purses, though. Frankie wears small, electric blue lightning bolt earrings (love these!), and also came wearing a small necklace and black and white bracelet. I spent a half hour looking through my bagged MH accessories, then checking all my dolls, trying to find the necklace and bracelet, to no avail. I don't even remember my DOTD Frankie wearing a necklace, so it's possible mine didn't have one. I really loved the bracelet, hopefully it pops up soon! Her last accessory is her iCoffin. I've always felt like these were "filler accessories", but at least it has some electric blue stickers and bares her name, so it's personalized. Frankie came with a hot pink stand and matching hairbrush.
The overall vibe of this outfit is pure 80's. The fit, the colors, the prints -- all 80's. This look would go on to be very influential on not just Frankie's later dolls, but also on the entire doll line as a whole. The 80's repeatedly appear throughout MH fashion. Most notably on Frankie, but also on many other dolls. The werecat twins, Ghoulia, and Venus would all go on to wear outfits heavily influenced by the 80's, and I can't help but imagine Mattel's designers felt confident tapping into that era based on the positive response to these early DOTD outfits.
I have to be honest -- for about a year I fell out of love with DOTD Frankie. Not the outfit, just the doll. For starters, when I first got into MH I really wasn't all that much of a Frankie fan. By the time I did start getting more into her, several more Frankie's had been released, and I liked most of them more than DOTD Frankie. Once again, I'm speaking specifically about the doll, not the outfit. Over time I've come back around to her. I still think her hairstyle, while certainly very pretty, isn't particularly exciting. Her faceup on the other hand? I love it now! They were still figuring things out when it came to makeup with these early dolls, and so this Frankie's makeup is pretty different from what we see on her now, at least in terms of shape. I really love the extra-thick, bright blue eyeshadow. It's so striking, and really makes this Frankie stand out. As for the outfit, I've always loved it. I still think it's easily one of the best looks we've seen from Monster High. It was the first sign to me that Mattel meant business when it came to great doll fashion. The elaborate character setup and presentation of the doll told me that this was a line of great quality, something I needed to pay attention to. And I still am -- that's gotta say something, right?