"Eeeewww. Fake Barbie (R) clothes." Those four words verbalize the faint disgust yesterday's savvy kids felt when, in the midst of doll play, an inferior, generic, or "clone" dress or top suddenly surfaced from their sizable supplies of perfect Mattel doll outfits. The impostors were treated as tainted outcasts and were basically left to rot. Today, a younger generation of doll lovers is on the rise. These leap-for-cheap fashionistas gleefully embrace the very items their quality-conscious predecessors detested. Here, for your viewing pleasure or revulsion, are nearly 800 not-exactly-gorgeous getups and some of the downgraded dolls who wore them, mostly from the '70s and '80s ('80s collectors, rejoice! Your time has come!), many in their original packaging. Prepare to shield your eyes from clumsily drawn fashion figures, pathetic attempts at high-fashion lingo, and mediocre package graphics culled from around the world!
Carmen Varricchio had the good fortune to begin his career in the New York fashion industry sketching for some of the world's best designers. He has sadly been amassing dolls and doll clothes for more than 25 years, and has no logical explanation for what one fellow enthusiast has rightly called the absurdity of doll collecting.