Regal Solstice Anja

Anja was an FR doll that premièred at last year's Integrity Toys convention. Based on the Simi sculpt, it is only natural that her face reminds people of Veronique. She was also the second W Club doll for 2010, although she arrived in 2011 to those that ordered her. So here is my Regal Solstice Anja, an edition of 700 pieces, according to her certificate. Below you can see how she arrived to me, in a new type FR box (without the ribbon) with the accessories and extra hands in a a nice holder securing the doll inside.

This doll was much discussed in the forums and blogs for her eccentric outfit as well as her totally different look than her first incarnation. The dress is inspired (or copied, what do you think?) from a Dolce & Cabbana gown from their Spring/Summer 2008 collection, as a reader of Terri's blog found out.  The major difference is that Anja's dress is embroidered while the real gown has a printed fabric (with hand painted or appliquéd flowers). The silhouette and hairdo remind me of the ones Claude Montana used when he did Lanvin Couture

So how is the actual doll coming out of the box? A real beauty! Her face is gorgeous - the sculpt does remind me a lot of Veronique and now that I have the new Ms Perrin doll in my hands I am more convinced that Anja's sculpt was one of the rejects for the part. I love her face paint: the combination of nude lips with intense eyes (but thankfully not overdone) is almost always a winner. Her red hair is parted on the side and gathered at the back and their flame red colour reminds me of Linda Evangelista back in her heyday in early 90s when she changed hair colour almost every three months.

Her jewellery is incredible - a jet black Victorian-style necklace that covers her entire décolletage without looking too much (cannot think of anything else save something transparent that could survive this dress) for her outfit. It is complemented by dangling earrings in the same style - mine are asymmetrical but the dolls I have seen on other sites have same length earrings (the longer one is the proper length). I think a ring should have been included to balance it our. Check out her French manicure, it is impeccable.

Her dress is a multi layered gown with the top layer in a moire lime green fabric with embroidered pink and lilac flowers in a scattering pattern. Beyond the obvious comparisons, it captures the spirit of one of the Indian couture outfits I shot for Grazia years ago. The bodice is double - the green embroidered top that protrudes to the front (crump catcher is a way I have seen this style described) is over a dark blue corset-like top with straps - check it out below.

The back of the top leaves the dark blue to come out. 

The skirt is asymmetrical - the front is shorter than the back, which ends in a small train. There are three layers here: the lime green with the embroidery, a soft dark blue tulle with ruching at the hem under the green and below this one, another tulle layer, this one stiff, dark blue again and short, worn like a petticoat to make the gown puff out better. You can see the three layers below:

The construction looks good, especially considering the layers of fabric and the various textures and lengths - what could have looked like a pile up turns out to be a light and feathery confection that looks definitely like it came out of a couture salon.

So now we come to the last part of the outfit, the one that finishes off the ensemble and makes he final statement: the shoes. Although the pink and blue colour scheme, the straps and the platform heel looked like a good idea, the result is disastrous. The shoes are not well proportioned to the leg, they are not cut well at the sole and heel, leaving the doll balancing precariously on them, with their points looking up instead of front. I still have not found a way to make them look presentable enough. Would have preferred a strappy heeled sandal for this.

So what we have here is a very good doll, with a gorgeous dress, a bad pair of shoes and a ring that should have been included to make this one a more rounded offering. I do not know what the possibilities for re-dressing this doll are but I bet she will look good in suits too. We will find out, promise!