Wednesday, September 9, 2009

style icons: blythe



do you know blythe? she's the girl of a thousand faces, all of them framing those humungous eyes. she causes quite a stir - some people are fanatics and others think she's a little too strange to find endearing. but i'm sure that doesn't bother blythe. she's been down and bounced back. she's one tough cookie!


she was created in 1972 by allison katzman as a sort of homage to the wide-eyed waifs illustrated by margaret keane. unfortunately, the world wasn't ready for blythe and the toy company kenner ceased production after just one year. but nearly 30 years later blythe was rediscovered when chronicle books published photographer gina garan's book 'this is blythe'. pretty soon blythe was 'big in japan' and replicas and new editions of blythe were produced by takara japan and ashton drake galleries USA. blythe had a whole new generation of fans who were old enough to appreciate her and creative enough to take her from being a quirky doll to the star of a fascinating subculture.


i have a blythe (a 'mrs retro mama' unsurprisingly) and although initially my plan was to create something unique and customised, i just like her the way she is. she stands in my studio, rocking out to a music box and being my little plastic muse. i do love seeing what other people do to their blythes, though. some of them are near works of art. pictured up the top are some of my favorites on flickr. groovy babies, dolly birds, and a fabulous yarnhead bear! isn't the yarhead bear fascinating?


what do you think of blythe? do you have one?


9 comments:

Alli said...

I love Blythe! Outre Gallery first introduced me to Blythe. For some reason my favourite Blythe pictures are the ones where she looks like she might kill me in my sleep.

I don't own one as yet, but am wondering if I am too old to be given a Blythe doll for my 30th Birthday next year? Hopefully not!

Pilgrim Lee said...

yay for outre! haha i know those pictures you mean. she has quite a glare sometimes. i don't think you're ever too old for anything, so go for it - get a blythe and play dress-ups as much as you like! satisfy your inner child ;)

Punky's Mamma said...

I like Blythe - she's cool, she's old school & she's just a bit weird...

I am too poor to own one, but I did stretch to buying a book of Blythe photography! (which I used to draw some creepy art lol)

EG:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2529/3680244461_11746f99ea.jpg

Pilgrim Lee said...

oh that drawing is cool, i love that style of dot shading! clever :D

strawberry lemonade girl said...

Ooooh lady lady I have about 9! (one Kenner too....eep!)

My Bs:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22848658@N00/sets/72157594284883662/

I swear your posts freak me out (in a good way). I have a little list of things I want to write about when I have time and you hit so many of the same things! I love it...my lil Aussie Bloggin' Sister! haha

Pilgrim Lee said...

alex, haha sorry, you're welcome to post about the same things as me! i won't mind. i mean clearly we both have EXCELLENT taste! ;)

your blythes are SO cute!

EmilyKate said...

I have a Blythe, yes, but I scalped her and got halfway through rerooting her hair, and ran out of hair. so she is half-bald, her scalp isn't attached fully, she's not suitable for photographing... I changed her eyechips but used the wrong glue and she looks like she has cataracts. oh! the cat actually threw up on her too! Oh, that was fun, washing cat spew out of her hair... one day I will order more hair and fix her up pretty.

Pilgrim Lee said...

emilykate- tsk naughty cat. everyone's a critic, eh? no need to spew on it though haha poor blythe

amilelka said...

I just got my first blythe for my 30th birthday! Cost 2 weeks worth of rent but she's gorgeous.

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