Barbie are launching a collector's edition of it's dolls based on the superb US television series 'Mad Men'. There is a picture above. As ever the Male dolls don't quit cut the mustard. The Don Draper one looks more like a character from 'Twilight'. I am, however, fascinated by their effort to produce a middle-aged man doll . Personally I think it is probably well nigh impossible to capture the caddish silver fox that is Roger Sterling in all his droll dry glory. His doll looks most peculiar, like a cadaverous Steve Martin. Faces aside the suits don't work, perhaps because men's tailoring, especially of this era, requires movement. And these man dolls are unlikely to be arranged in louche lounging positions due to the limitations of Barbie limb articulation. More to the point, the required accoutrements: a cigarette or a tumbler of whisky are rendered impossible by the prudishness of the manufacturer's home nation.
The ladies are more appealing. Betty Draper, the most tedious female character on the show is virtually a Barbie anyway, albeit a frustrated and trapped suburban one. The frou frou fifties prom style dress and the Grace Kelly swirl of ice cream hair look completely appropriate. The character is a doll. The Joan Holloway doll is a little disappointing, it seems Barbie did not have the guts to represent the voluptous gorgeousness of the sharp sassy secretary. The hair and dress design are, however, charming. I'd have liked a Peggy, but expect a comparatively plain yet intelligent character might be a step too far... The dolls have a special ceramic style finish which is interesting and they do at least seem to have the right skin, not the colour of old prawns favoured by the modern Barbies. Despite the carping I do sort of covet the Joan doll, but only sort of. Actually I would rather have Pan Am Barbie, or raunchy rockabilly Barbie if I were not too old for dollies.
Hard Rock Barbie.
This post was not intended to be about disappointment but I feel let down that the Mad Men style seems to have had more effect on menswear. My friend Laurence was wearing a wonderful suit last weekend which echoed that rat pack styling. The beautiful curve hugging dresses, wonderful rich colours and elegant shoes worn by the female cast do not seem to have had much of an effect, but when they do it is ruined by odd tailoring. This dress (pictured below) from Phase Eight looked promising but was far too short and the waist was, quite unlike the photograph, high. I am hoping that fashion is being slow and that Autumn/Winter '10 on the High Street will see a feast of lovely clingy tailored frocks; but I am not holding my breath.