What’s so good about So In Style?

3 Jun

The girls wondered nervously if Grace was about to burst into song

Right, I’m from the North of England and my family have pretty much all worked in the Potteries at some point. I grew up in a house rammed to the rafters with china knick-knacks and all of them were special for some reason – a birthday or anniversary present, an heirloom, something that Great-Aunt Whatever might have held and painted by hand. My sister still collects this stuff, but not me.

I suppose that by my teens, I’d developed a dislike of china knick-knacks. I think everybody resents their parent’s clutter, its part of that urge to flee the nest. I’ve warmed to it over the years, and I definitely understand the need to invest objects with special meaning – that’s what any collector does.

But it was more than that. I could deal with the flowery trinket boxes and the decorated teapots. It was the pottery ladies that got to me – pottery ladies with beautiful simpering faces and period dresses. A fancy teapot or a painted plate might get used if we had company, trinket boxes serve their purpose, but what does a pottery lady do, other than sit there for years collecting dust? What’s the point of it? As a child, I always felt sorry for toys with painted-on clothes who were frozen into one position. They gave me the creeps.

Now, whenever I catch myself looking at a beautiful collector doll in an intricate, floor-length dress, I worry that I am on the brink of collecting china ladies myself. I think So In Style is as far away from this as I am likely to get. It seems to me that there is a difference between an active collection and a static one. An active collection is something that you can participate in, you can reinterpret, re-dress, photograph, write about, maybe even restyle, re-body, repaint (I’m not brave enough for these last three yet, but one day I will be, I’m sure). A static collection is just … there. Everything is done already, and there’s nothing for you to do except buy more of them. If you like your static collection, that’s great and I wouldn’t judge you, but hey, its just not how I roll.

So In Style are playline and therefore inexpensive, so I sort of feel that I have permission to take them out of their boxes.These dolls are interesting, they are contemporary, they have character, and they certainly don’t simper. I think these dolls, not the Fashionistas, have picked up the baton dropped by Fashion Fever. I love the fact that the Rochas have jointed elbows and bending knees, and I wish they would take it further and sell them with fashionista-style ultra-poseable bodies. Just please … stop with the horrible plastic earrings …

(above from the left: Trichelle wears her original VIP SIS outfit, Chandra wears new playline and vintage shoes, Grace wears a handmade dress by BusDriverLynda, and Kara wears new fashionista dress and Barbie Basics collection 002 look 01 shoes and bangle).


One Response to “What’s so good about So In Style?”


  1. Dolls in Brief « barbiebeauties - May 25, 2012

    […] Barbie = So In Style dolls, a contemporary range of black and (some say) mixed-race dolls designed for children but […]

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