Paper doll Armitage? I wish . . .


Twiggy paper dolls offered lots of mod outfits to little girls of the '60s.

Little girls enjoyed their mom's McCalls--the Betsy paper dolls were the draw.

A Norma Shearer paper doll with one of the gorgeous Adrian gowns--and anachronistic "Knickers". Ladies would not wear any form of underpants for decades to come.

So, I was watching the 1938 version of Marie Antoinette this morning, the one with Norma Shearer, and I have to say the costumes were absolutely to die for. Designer Adrian really did outdo himself creating the magnificent gowns featured in the film. It was originally supposed to be shot in color, but it was decided the cost was just too high.
Even in black and white, it’s breathtaking. And if you need color, you can add it to B&W paper dolls of Shearer’s costumes.

Do children of today even know what paper dolls are? I certainly enjoyed them as a child. I fondly remember my Twiggy, a magnetic figure with mod outfits, and Betsy McCall from the old McCall’s Magazine.

The paper dolls I see now are all geared towards adults who love fashion and/or film and have a nostalgic yearning for the playtime of the past.

Suddenly, I find myself yearning for a Richard Armitage paper doll set. Of course, it would also need to have the accessories: his military berets, and those to-die-for scarves of John Porter’s and cool sunglasses, Thornton’s top hat, Guy’s sword and gloves and so forth. And changeable hairstyles and degrees of facial hair, too. And removable tattoos for Lucas!
Hmmm. Maybe the figure should be made of that wipe-off material and you could use a dry erase marker to add as much or as little “hair” as you wished.

Of course, Richard Armitage paper dolls wouldn’t be as good as having the real thing to dress and uhm—undress, but I think I would quite enjoy it.

14 responses »

  1. Oh, I loved paper dolls as a child. My younger sister and I would spend hours cutting out their clothes, dressing them and playing out different scenarios. For a change from the commercial ones, we would cut out models from the fashion pages of magazines and use those. It didn’t matter that they were all different; we had them grouped according to size; small, medium and large. Very methodical we were! 🙂
    My mother sewed a little, but we didn’t have the McCalls dolls. I don’t know if they were even available in Australia.
    I could have fun with a Richard Armitage paper doll. There are action figures out there so why not?! The closest thing I can think of is bccmee’s dressup activity on her site…hats I think it was. I’ll have to look it up.
    Thanks for the opportunity to reminiscence, angie! 🙂

    • I am glad others are enjoying the nostalgia trip. It all started with me looking at photos of the gorgeous costumes from the movie, and running across the Antoinette paper dolls, which led to thoughts of Betsy McCall . . . Happy memories. 😀

  2. When I was a little girl, it was Disney princess paper dolls and I just loved putting their pretty dress on them. A Richard Armitage paper doll sounds like a great idea, think of all the interchangeable character outfits. Although the doll might need interchangeable toupees for authenticity–we can’t have guy clothes with Lucas hair,now can we? 😉 There are so many talented ladies in the RA community, I bet someone could make one.

    Mezz, this made me think of bccmee’s dress up activity as well.

  3. “Of course, Richard Armitage paper dolls wouldn’t be as good as having the real thing to dress and uhm—undress, but I think I would quite enjoy it.” Talk about a guilty pleasure, I think I’d have to keep such things in a special box and only bring them out when I had a rainy afternoon to myself.

  4. Pingback: Richard Armitage “Paper” Dolls? « RAFrenzy

  5. I used to love paper dolls as a girl too. Mine were special because my grandmother drew them for me, and she also drew the dresses! My favourite paper doll gown looked very much like the Marie Antoinette dress in the post! I still have the doll and the dresses somewhere! Thank you for this trip down memory lane, Angie! 🙂

      • She was a very,very talented lady, unfortunately she died very young. She was my grandfathers 2nd wife (my “real” grandma, his 1st wife died during WW2), but I worshipped her nevertheless. 🙂

  6. Angie, I noticed a trend for paper doll’s books is back. I have no idea if little girls like them, but mothers will for sure!!

    I remembered also that the excellent BCC had this idea for her artistic blog: Bccmee’s Richard Armitage Vids & Graphics.

    She applied the paper doll’s concept to the lovely John Porter.
    This is the link if you want to play a bit. Enjoy!

    • I am delighted they are trending again. Years ago (but well after I was an adult) I found a book of paper dolls featuring film stars from the 1930s and some of their costumes from their most famous roles. I never cut them up. I did use colored pencils on the lovely black and white drawings and I would copy some of the styles in my own drawings. I have always had an interest in fashion throughout the ages. As you say, grown up girls like the paper dolls, even if the little ones might not. 😉

      I love Bccmee’s Porter game. 😀

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