French fashion dolls are types of antique dolls created in the 19th century. They are designed to display the latest fashions of the day. However, they are more than just mere models of fashion. They are made to teach young ladies and prepare them for womanhood. Today, they remain admired for their detailed clothing and accessories. They are adorned with complete trousseaus, from nightgowns to opera glasses, to evening gowns.
These dolls are made of bisque heads, glass eyes and leather bodies. The earliest French dolls have glazed-porcelain heads and multi-jointed wood bodies. They were also made from other materials such as gutta percha, brown leather and cloth. Some of them had painted eyes while those that have glass eyes are more preferred.
What makes French fashion dolls so distinct from other types of dolls is that they are the very first dolls that focused on accessories. They are lavishly decorated, because they are designed as replica for young girls who are expected to grow into graceful women. They were a reflection of a lady’s style and taste.
The accessories of French fashion dolls did not just feature doll clothes for 18 inch dolls. They also included certain amusements such as games, photo booklets, and sewing tools such as a pair of scissors, lace bobbins and threads. Grooming essentials were also a fashion staple. They come with perfume bottles, ivory-handled toothbrushes and ivory brushes and combs. They are also embellished with jewelries such as necklace and earrings. Other jewelries include religious crosses and pocket-watches. They also come with furniture like desks, tables, chairs and wardrobes.
On the other hand, German bisque dolls are not only dressed with doll clothes for 18 inch dolls but are also accessorized with stylist hats, gloves, shoes, purses. They even came with toilette sets and china dish. Just like the French dolls, they also had some furniture such as vanity tables.
Modern dolls with doll clothes for 18 inch dolls today are inspired by French fashion dolls. They have adult figures and wear elaborate clothes and accessories. Doll accessories include purses, shoes, hats and underwear. For instance, baby dolls focus on doll accessories that are designed to help the child care for them in much the same way French dolls taught young ladies to be proper and graceful women.