Friday, 25 January 2013

Jean Harlow Finale!

  For all the Jean Harlow fans out there, and for those who simply enjoy reading my blog....I present my finished Jean inspired art dolls. Each doll has a ribbon sewn to her back (as most of my doll creations do) so you can hang her glamorously from your wall or mirror. I'm also pretty sure she'd be quite at home elegantly posed among your powders, perfumes and potions.


  I really have spent my last couple of weeks engrossed and obsessively researching one of my favourite screen idols. I pride myself on already being a bit of Jean Harlow fanatic but it was little snippets of information that I'd forgotten or newly discovered that made this whole project an absolute joy!

 Before anyone asks I will be listing in my shop over the weekend (will tweet and facebook to announce) I had intended to list today but there are still a few finishing touches to make. Listing is incredibly time consuming and I still have a few sequins to sew and a few ribbons to add before they are available for sale. As I said in my previous post there will be no reserves made on this collection so everyone who is interested has a fair chance.

  I hope you enjoy one of my favourite posts to date.......Jean Harlow we salute you!

Easy to see why everyone loves Jean.

I love seeing Jean in all her off-duty looks - she really does carry off a pair of high waisted pants to perfection!

Black feathers ,black velvet, black sequins and black beads.

Pocketsized mini Jean

I love this picture. I photographed this from my book Harlow in Hollywood as I couldn't find a copy anywhere on the net. I have to include it in my post as its one of my favourites. April 1932

Still a little bit of work to do on this one.

Every doll will have a little Jean tag.

Oh girls the things we went through for glamour! With Spencer Tracy in Libeled Lady 1936

William Powell the love of Jeans life.

There are little bits of blue threaded into this ones hair.
.."jean was one of my most cherished friendships. You would have thought we were in boarding school we had so much fun. We'd stay up half the night talking and sipping gin, sometimes laughing, sometimes discussing more serious things... Jean was always cheerful, full of fun, but she also happened to be a sensitive woman with a great deal of self-respect. All that other stuff, that was put on. She just happened to be a good actress who created a lively characterization that exuded sex appeal." Snippet from Myrna Loys autobiography Being and Becoming

Jean and Clark Gable on the set of Red Dust 1932 one of my favourite Jean Harlow movies

The Jean team...

'She didn't want to be famous she wanted to be happy'...Clark Gable..


Monday, 21 January 2013

Little More Jean....

  Well it seems my cotton top Harlow dolls are quite a hit! Thankyou so much. I really appreciate all your lovely comments, emails and reserve requests. To be honest I'm finding it a little hard to keep up. I'm really enjoying making these beauties as Jean is one of my favourite icons. I'm so happy you feel I'm doing her justice. There are currently 4 unfinished Jeans - but there could be more in the pipe line. I have decided to announce a listing time via blog, facebook and twitter so everyone who wants one has a fair chance.
  I've been a little less productive on the stitching in the last few days in favour of sketching and fabric sorting. I'm planning on selling a lot more of my illustrations during 2013 (alongside my dolls and brooches) so I'm currently researching new printers, so I can produce good quality prints at home to list in my shop.

  For now here's our 'baby' applying her makeup. This illustration is inspired by all those old beauty ads and photos of Hollywood starlets applying their beauty products...
So loved creating this little 'Jean' beauty sketch. Will play about with it a bit in photoshop to see if I can centre it a bit better...but part of me quite likes it ever so slightly uneven. Will list in my shop as a print once I have my sparkling new printer.
Combing that amazing platinum hair
From top left Mae West, Maureen O'Sullivan, Bette Davis and Norma Shearer

Possible little tag for my Jean dolls
Beautiful Jean

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Jean Harlow Part 2

  Here's another little dose of Jean Harlow gorgeousness! Plus more working progress snaps of the 'Jean' team.
These two creations are a little smaller in size and sport some pastel shades running through their
locks. The main inspiration for this is all the beautiful tinted photographs and old magazine covers featuring Jean in colour! I love the way, in some, her hair glows almost blue, yellow or pink and her face is luminous with beauty, youth and life.
For the blue haired Missy I've concentrated on her off duty style but for the other I'm going for glamour in a deep green or black velvet 30's style dress and little black hat reminiscent of one I own myself
mini Jean in the snow
I think Jean looks incredibly striking in black
Beautiful Jean and tinted magazine covers from the 1930's
  I did plan to move onto Louise Brooks next week (been doing sketches and picking out bits of her image that create her style) but I'm going to stay with Jean for another week and create a few more. Can't wait! Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Homage to Jean Harlow...

 No sooner do I finish one project and I'm straight into the next. A few posts ago I mentioned creating some dolls inspired by some of my favourite movie style icons.

...Starting with the beautiful Jean Harlow, I've been intensely researching her image (which I've kind of been doing since I was 15) and picked out the elements of her look that for me stamp her style.

   I own two beautiful books about Jean Harlow - Harlow In Hollywood by Darrell Rooney and Mark Vieira and Platinum Girl by Eve Golden. The latter one I bought in a flea market a few years ago but its the same edition I poured over at the age of 15 in my local library. I remember being staggered by the sheer glamour and remarkable screen presence of this beautiful, flawless bombshell and I knew I would forever have her as an icon in my life.

  I feel like I almost knew Jean Harlow. Shes always been a huge inspiration. Shes one of those old movie stars who despite her glamorous on screen persona, you knew she had a delicate and warm nature. To me she seems like someone who wasn't entirely untouchable. I'd have liked to have had a cup of tea and a good old giggle with Jean Harlow.
Usually, Jean Harlow was photographed in silk and satin, but she preferred casual clothes in her private life

My most treasured books
 Jean on screen appears all fluffy, satin, wisecracking and figure hugging, but in real life she really wasn't that fond of fussy clothes, and preferred black and white to bold or patterned outfits. Her off duty style (which I adore and actually find more interesting) was always, no makeup, wide sailor style pants, short sleeved sweaters, pumps and a sweet ribbon in her hair. Jean famously said "I'd rather have a few dresses of very fine material than a whole closet full of fussy, cheap-looking things." If only some women could adopt that philosophy today!
Jean much preferred to go without makeup and was nicknamed 'baby' partly due to her cherubic pink skin.
That platinum,silver hair is amazing!

   I didn't want to change the style of my doll - I want her to be a recognisable Curious Pip, but I also want you to recognise my creation as Jean Harlow even though some of my future Jean creations may have pastel pink, peach or blue hair. I have chosen a pink fabric for her face because Jean was noted to have had very pink-ivory skin. I have taken elements of her on and off screen image to create her a little outfit that is altogether Ms Harlow/Curious Pip. Hope you like her?

This is very much 'working progress'

 Hats worn on the side of the head was Jean's preference, regardless of whether it was fashionable at the time or not..I'm creating a version of Jean's cute little hat (top left) Jean loved wide legged trousers so I have made her a pair of silky lounge pants reminiscent of the ones she wore in 'Reckless' 1935. To add sparkle to my 'homage to Jean' I have made her a large pin in the shape of the one she wore in 'China Seas' 1935

   I remember feeling quite heartbroken when I learnt Jean had died at such a young age. She was just 26 when she died of kidney failure during the filming of Saratoga in 1937. If you've ever seen the film its incredibly haunting and easy to spot the four minutes in which Jean's stand in Mary Dees sits behind a big hat or looks through a pair of binoculars. What a dreadful emotional effect that must have had on her.The atmosphere on set must have been an incredible struggle - such a devastating tragedy.

  Jean Harlow I love you so much!

  I will bring you more snaps of my finished creation plus pictures and snippets of information about Jean Harlow either tomorrow or over the weekend. Happy Thursday everyone! x

  This picture and caption is a scan taken from Harlow in Hollywood

She was a generous and thoughtful, amused and amusing young woman - who had the ability to mesmerize millions.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Finished! The Vandeville Players!

  And so my Vaudeville Players are complete. I spent the evening adding the finishing touches to the dolls, giving them names and creating little stories for them...Hope you like them. They are now listed in my Etsy Shop

  If anyone has any questions regards these dolls and my work, please, please contact me before purchasing. These dolls are my biggest project to date and are priced to reflect the time, detail and uniqueness I have put into each piece.
Gracie, Nanette and Polly
Polly.. With her golden pin curls and heart shaped lips had dreams of becoming a great aerialist but sadly she's afraid of heights! Instead she learnt the accordion and trumpet. She's an accomplished singer and songwriter. She's also quite the comedienne and successful female clown.
Nanette....Always the talk of the town with her halo of marigold curls and rose bud lips. She is quite the blushing damsel and has many an admirer. Nanette was already an accomplished dancer when she joined the Vaudeville Players but she now incorporates juggling into her act. She dreams of the Broadway stage and performing in the Ziegfeld Follies. In her spare time she enjoys writing jingles..
Gracie...She who wows everyone with her wisecracking style and comedic songs. She is an expert tap dancer and impressive singing impersonator. In her spare time she makes beautiful masks which she adds to The Vaudeville Players incredible costume box!

Each doll comes with a little printed tag with a handwritten description of her character inside