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D.C. Expo Part I

Date: 08/10/98

Maybe next year I'll actually go to Expo and give you a first-hand report. But Home Shopping Network's six-hour remote coverage on Friday night did give us all a pretty good look at what this extravaganza was all about. And, for those of you who might not have been able to watch or maybe just need another glimpse, I offer here the highlights and my picks-of-the-show.

Long after we have forgotten all the dolls, and the ohhh's! and ahhh's! are but a dim memory, artist Rustie's shirt will surely shine on! In the camera-catching-sparkly brightest-of-bright-blue below-the-knee length big shirt, she out-glitzed even her overwhelmingly regal ladies, of which there were several. She bounced in and out, in her usual exuberant manner, whenever one of her dolls was presented and decried the prices at which they were being sold. Rustie is always a show unto herself . . . and I want to know where she got the shirt!

Though she certainly gets the prize for 'most visual', many other artists also appeared. We were offered introductions to several artists never or seldom seem on HSN previously, along with our regular favorites. Pat Loveless actually attended and looked better than she had recently (she has been suffering ill health for a couple of years now). She only had one doll presented in the show, a 15" H mold reproduction. Jeanne Singer and Pat Kolesar offered their collaborative effort, a Fudgesicle doll with one of Pat's precious pooches begging a bite. 'Best hair' has to go to Pat's purple 'do.

Janie Bennett, a new name we will certainly come to know, brought us Sunshine (722-021), an extremely well-done African American baby with a great big smile, pudgy cheeks, and a very realistic color. More babies came from Phyllis Parkins, this time in vinyl and floppy. Unlike the Middleton babies, though, these have teddy bear joints at shoulder and hip for posability. Both these gracious ladies mentioned more dolls to come on HSN.

The highlight of the evening for me was the appearance of Paul Crees and Peter Coe with their first-ever porcelain dolls. This British duo, who generally work in very small editions of poured wax, are producing a limited number of dolls in a more inexpensive medium so that their work will be available to a greater number of fans. Their Russian Empress Alexandra (792-660 / 24" / $299) and the youngest of her four daughters, Anastasia (753-068 / 17" / $199) are my #1 picks of the show. Stunningly clad in historically detailed court dress of the period, they are both full-body porcelain with painted eyes. Ever so enchanting! They will be bringing us Juliette and an 1890's high fashion doll in the near future.


Coming up: More artists, more dolls -- Expo Part II

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