Rayla Revisited

1 Apr

In December last year, I featured Cloud Queen Rayla, but I don`t think it turned out well. In fact, I think it was one of the worst posts I have ever done. I was having problems with poor light, which didn`t help, and I also had a lot of posts to set up and shoot before Christmas so I rushed it. Somewhere between conception and execution, it all went wrong. I think the main problem was that the scene I set up was too much like the original theme of this range of dolls – overblown sentimental fantasy. While there is nothing wrong with this in itself, Mattel can do anything I can do about a thousand times better, so what I really needed to do was photograph this doll in a different kind of setting and avoid the comparison. This is closer to what I like to do anyway.

Earlier this week I was trying to tidy up the doll drawers (a hopeless task) and I came across Cloud Queen Rayla. As I was attempting a bit of a cull, initially I put her in the “to sell on” bag. Then I found myself wondering, what don`t I like about this doll? Whenever I start wondering this, I end up trying to fix it.

It seemed to me that the main culprit was her dress. Her pale blue fantasy frock is very pretty, but I think its the wrong colour for her. Another problem I encountered during the December photos was her orange skin tone, but she really doesn’t look so orange in daylight. Fine, so I would photograph her during the day. Also, her frizzy hair was hopelessly kinked in a very unattractive way at the back from where her original hairstyle had been taken down, and was not looking good. Presumably the frizz was why the boyf took to referring to her as “Fatal Attraction Barbie”.

I brushed it through but this didn`t help much. I then boil straightened in tiny increments, as I was trying to keep as much of the wavy texture as possible whilst getting rid of the huge kinks. Much better! I love the colour of the streaks and I think she now has one of the best heads of hair in my whole collection.

When it came to re-dressing her, I tried various pretty, girly outfits, but with her super-long locks, she still looked too Princess. Then I remembered an old dress that I made when I was about eighteen. This dress says a lot about how I was feeling about collecting at the time. As far as I remember, I made it out of a (new!) handkerchief and a piece of braid purloined from my Mother`s sewing box, purposefully choosing a colour that was like real clothes, rather than traditional Barbieland neons and pastels. I wanted it to look like a Bond Girl sort of dress, sexy and sophisticated. Note that I didn`t have a clue how to sew, hence the terrible stitching – although not much has changed on that front really! The problem was, of course, that its virtually impossible to pull off a sexy, sophisticated look with a 90s Barbie. However, I think it suits Cloud Queen Rayla very well – I remembered this dress because I was thinking that she looks a little bit Latina, and then I was thinking about J-Lo`s famous cleavage-flashing high fashion outfits.

So, at last I have a suitably glamorous model for my dress, and Rayla is safe from the “To Sell” bag once more ….






6 Responses to “Rayla Revisited”

  1. timelesslady April 4, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    She turned out pretty!

  2. barbielea April 5, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Yes, considering she’s really a starry-eyed fantasy Barbie, she’s looking quite grown- up now. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. the stay at home philosopher April 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m loving what you are doing with these dolls. It’s a beautiful place to take a stroll with the kids on a Sunday morning. Thank You.

  4. barbielea April 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Awww thanks! It’s selfish really, gives me a chance to become completely involved in something that isn’t relevant or important in any other way but for its own sake. Navel contemplation I suppose, but being a philosopher I’m sure you understand how really great that is. And its nice to know other people like it too. Great article on Barbie packaging, by the way – I’m all for it! As well as beds, you could make great little pop- up scene setters, all sorts of stuff. It would save the waste and bring a whole new dimension to the play experience.


  1. Sindy Special 5 – Cherry Blossom Sindy « barbiebeauties - April 20, 2012

    […] made her dress in a manner similar to the way I made the one in my recent Cloud Queen Rayla post, although now I have learned to curve the straps to the boobs a bit better. Hopefully, you will […]

  2. Skipper 6 – Teen Skipper « barbiebeauties - September 9, 2012

    […] shorter than whoever she is talking to. This face sculpt has really grown on me since I bought a Cloud Queen Rayla. Apparently, my new girl was released in 1997 and was the first Teen Skipper to use this […]

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