FROM WENDY ROPER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR MANNEQUINS DE LA MODE:
I am delighted to introduce a different kind of fashion doll to collectors: Milou the Mannequin.Seven years ago, when I started collecting, I searched in vain for a doll that expressed the clean, sophisticated look I had always loved in the work of vintage fashion magazine illustrators.Their graphic and stylised interpretation of human features is a rich but rarely-exploited source of inspiration for doll designers and, yet, to me it seems appropriate and logical that such fashion illustration should become three-dimensional.Milou is the strikingly fresh result of such alchemy.To reflect the pared-down simplicity of Milou’s looks I wanted her costumes to discard all excess decoration, to rely solely on the quality of cut, colour and fabric for their appeal. But to create clothes like this takes rare skill, an ‘eye’ and not a little courage! I first expounded my Milou ‘philosophy’ to Gary three years ago, and he accepted the challenge with enthusiasm. During this time I have gained a profound respect for his skills, talent and flair. The depth and breadth of his knowledge is astounding, while his approach to design is meticulous. He is also a consummate professional – a quality which is underrated these days. But perhaps the highest praise I can give Gary is that he has realised, beautifully, my original vision of Milou.You will have gathered by now that Milou is about quality not quantity. There will only be a very few editions of Milou. Each of her ‘seasonal’ collections will be small but special, and will consist of three or four costumes. It is a more traditional and rational idea of collecting which, I hope, will bring a lot of pleasure to collectors.”
MILOU’S BOX PACKAGING REFLECTS THE ELEGANT SOPHISTICATE
MILOU THE CONCEPT:
Radiating an irresistable charm, Milou the Mannequin invites you to share her vintage Parisian world of elegance, beauty and privilege where well-groomed chic and flawless taste are eternal.It is early spring, 1945.In Paris the soft wind of peace and hope is blowing through the streets and over the rooftops.Exiles are returning.The city is once more buzzing with excitement and anticipation as the legendary House of Mornay re-opens its salon de couture in the Place Vendôme for the first time since 1939.Milou is the première house mannequin.With her aristocratic lineage, her haughty demeanour, her poise and sang-froid, she is the perfect expression of the ‘simplicité de luxe’ ethos for which the House of Mornay is famous.She is a true Parisian Elégante , or as the French might say, “Milou est formidable!”And now, with all Paris Society seated expectantly, a hushed silence descends.A new collection is about to be shown and Milou is about to make her entrance. This is just the beginning….
FROM GARY ALSTON, MILOU’S EXCLUSIVE COSTUME
“I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work with Wendy Roper’s company Mannequins De La Mode on Milou the Mannequin.For my part, in order to realise Wendy’s vision, I needed to immerse myself completely in the period; thus followed months of extensive research into the ‘Golden Age’ of Parisian haute couture which Milou represents.Following Wendy’s original brief, my aim was not to produce mere copies of vintage fashions, but rather to take the spirit and mood of an era, and imbue the designs with my own personal handwriting.The result is a unique fusion of styles that is unmistakably Milou. I hope that you will enjoy the fruits of this collaboration, and indulge yourself amidst the rarified atmosphere that is the world of Milou.”
EXQUISITE DETAILING, INTRINSIC STYLE
Milou’s debut costume ‘Vent Doux’ is part of the’L’Ouverture’ spring 1945 collection. It features a breathtaking formal eveninggown in silk taffeta.The silk was dyed especially for this design in order toproduce the unique ‘antique gold/old gold’ colour.The bodice is fitted with asweetheart neckline, gathered at the decolletage and scooped lower at theback.Draped sleeve caps lend a distinctive air.The sumptuous skirt is cut with acentre front flared panel, and gathers softly at the waistline.At the back, theskirt evolves into a full train.The gown is fully lined in silk.The black grosgrain bolero jacket includes puff sleeves, bodice darting, and a snapclosure at the centre front.It is hand embellished with a cluster of coppersequins and a deep yellow spotted feather.In the true spirit of the couture, the jacket is lined with the fabric of the gown.Underneath there is a full length petticoat in grey/green silk, topped with layers of black tulle, the top layerof which is edged with gold satin ribbon.Matching silk camiknickers with blacklace inserts and a tie waist go underneath.Accessories include black threequarter length evening gloves, and black suede peep toe shoes. Milou theMannequin comes complete with a stand and certificate of authenticity.A furthertwo costumes which make up the ‘L’Ouverture’ spring 1945 collection will be
released in 2007.