If I had to pick one period of fashion that I think I would look pretty good in it would be the 1950s. In the real world, I might be a strictly hoodies and jeans sort of girl, but if I do dress up, the the 1950s tight waist, full skirt, is my go-to silhouette.
Also, historical paper dolls are what I mostly collect and were my favorites as a child. So, it is a win-win all around for me. I did this series last year for the larger scale Jewels and Gemstones. It was fun to put them together as a set. I have even more 1950s stuff, so there will be another set of these.
Let’s talk some sources. Her dresses are Vogue 8596, Simplicity 3572 and Simplicity 4966. Two of the hats are from the Montgomery Ward Spring Summer 1950.. All of the other Accessory inspirations are from the Met including- this purse, these shoes, this hat, and these shoes. Her underwear is this corset from the V&A.
For Sapphire’s hair, I based her style off the hair styles worn by Dorothy Dandridge and Leana Horne two black stars from the 1950s. These photos of Lena Horne and Dorothy Dandridge (Here’s the same hair again on Dorothy Dandridge in 1954) were my inspiration.
They were also super interesting people. Dorothy Dandridge was an actress who was the first African-American woman to on the cover of Life magazine. She died quite young, sadly. Lena Horne was a wildly successful singer. She got blacklisted after being accused of being a communist.
I tend to love the color red. However, for this set, I chose to try to avoid using it, even though I tend to always want to. Her only red is the lipstick. I love the idea of wearing hats, even though I don’t. So, the hats as universal as possible, so I matched them to shoes.
The show Lovecraft Country made me want to finish this set. The character Ruby has the most amazing outfits. I love seeing a curvy, black woman dressed up in the finest 1950s fashion. The actress Wunmi Mosaku does an amazing job with the character and I love the costuming choices like this dress and this dress. Seriously, I want her all clothes.
I don’t know if I’d universally recommend Lovecraft Country, because it is a horror show and there’s some pretty graphic violence. I like it, but I know it won’t be everyone’s taste. Plus, it is uneven- hits well when it hits, but when it doesn’t… (much like Lovecraft’s writing) it’s a little painful. There’s also some transphobic stuff which I found pretty troubling. I think the show has good and bad things about it.
I digress. Enjoy today’s paper doll and if you love the blog (and want more paper dolls) join us over on Patreon.