Perhaps one of the reason people like dolls is because they can be aspirational, which means they help represent what young women want: social prestige and material success. Dolls often achieve this by the gorgeous clothes they wear. Did you know there are dolls and then there are “fashion dolls?” With fashion dolls, it’s all about the way they’re dressed to reflect fashion trends. Some are modeled after teen girls or adult women, while others can be based on children, males or even non-humans. Of course, most fashion dolls look young, pretty, female, fashionable, and, of course, well-dressed.
The Start of Fashion Dolls
In the 1800s, fashion dolls got their modern era start in France in the form of “bisque dolls.” Made with bisque porcelain, these dolls were known for their realistic, skin-like matte finish. And, they were costumed in fashionable European clothing styles of the day. Gigi’s stocks quite a few bisque dolls currently for sale.
More recently, Barbie was (and remains) the intensely popular fashion doll of America. Created in 1959 by Mattel, an American toy company, Barbie has set the modern day standard for fashion dolls. Millions of little girls have asked their Moms for Barbie dolls for Christmas, complete with different outfits to dress them up in. Interestingly, the first American fashion doll was named Cissy and put out by Alexander Doll Company in 1955. While collectors might know of her, the average person does not– Barbie stole her thunder, for sure.
Girl Next Door Fashion Dolls
In the 1960s, Barbie inspired Tammy, which was a young “girl next door” fashion doll advertised as “the doll you love to dress.”
More recently, Bratz dolls came on the fashion doll scene around 2001, complete with large heads, skinny bodies, and lush lips. Bratz seemed to have a rebellious hip-hop feel to their outfits.
In 2010, Monster High fashion dolls, inspired by monster movies (sci-fi/horror/thriller films), became a hit with doll collectors and little girls. A little more ghoulish than Barbie– okay, a lot more ghoulish than Barbie– Monster High is just one of many mass market fashion doll lines that has made a name for itself in a competitive market. See Monster High dolls on Gigi’s site here.