MDVANII "MASCOT" OF FRENCH HIGH FASHION
In 1993, while BillyBoy* was working on the porcelain version of Mdvanii, the resin Mdvanii was featured in the fashion magazine L’OFFICIEL, as the “Mascot” of French Haute Couture dressed for the occasion by some of the reknowned maisons de haute couture and designers of Paris. The issue was featured a 16-page article on BillyBoy* titled “The Incredible BillyBoy*” which notably featured the couturiers creations for Mdvanii, posed in Mdvanii’s own sets in which precious jewels signed by some of the most prestigious jewelers in the world were displayed: Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, Lalaounis, Buccelati, Boucheron, Chaumet, and others. (Mattel also copied this idea years, more than a decade actually, later).
Gian Franco Ferre for the House of Dior created for Mdvanii the lovely Watteau-inspired white wool suit and leather tricorne from their collection. Torrente dressed Mdvanii in a shimmering black wedding gown, dotted with Swarovski crystal. Jean Paul Avizou for world-famous Révillon Haute Fourrure (the house created furs for historic women, from Marie-Antoinette to Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich) created only what could be called masterpieces for Mdvanii and Dheei, as well as other BillyBoy* dolls. The house of Pierre Balmain created a dramatic red silk gown, the house of Guy Laroche devised an exquisite cocktail dress in green satin with fluffy shocking pink underdress, and Thierry Mugler dressed Mdvanii in the same wool black dress with a cagoule hood modeled by top model Linda Evangelista in his fashion show, a very daring yet sober style. The L’Officiel Mdvanii was dressed by BillyBoy* in a beautiful ensemble using Liberty of London print for the dress and raw silk for the coat in two great colour combinations with matching straw hats along with stockings and forties-style pumps in contrasting fashion tones. The painting shown was specially made for Mdvanii’s interior by the late French artist Fabrice Janosik.
L’OFFICIEL magazine had commissioned a limited series of 80 L’Officiel Mdvanii dolls, for which a special woven label was created. These dolls were all delivered, numbered and signed, in the early Mdvanii box. In addition, a coupon in the magazine allowed people to order them especially for themselves. The ones owned by the magazine were destined to be offered to a selection of elegant woman throughout the world, a very nice idea from the magazine’s editor, Mr Laurent Jalou, now deceased. BillyBoy*, who had perfectly fulfilled his obligations was flattered by the honor of the “Mdvanii, Mascot of Paris High Fashion” idea. They were given to international celebrities related to the magazine. None have ever shown up to be bought on the secondary market.
MDVANII IN VOGUE HOMMES
Later, as the porcelain dolls were finally achieved, they were featured in a VOGUE Hommes, other couturiers and designers dressed Mdvanii to accompany her male friends, also dressed by couturiers. BillyBoy* felt that it would probably be the last time he would associate his work to the fashion world, because the idea that he had initiated, as early as 1983 and which received huge acclaim, was not as exciting anymore. It nevertheless had been thoroughly exploited by others after him, notably by Mattel for Barbie (again) but also for Snoopy, Babar, teddy bears etc ). The House of Torrente, created a sophisticated black satin sheath gown with a print gauze stole, Sonia Rykiel, a humorous trapeze black wool dress with feather trim and studded brassiere and culotte in trompe-l’oeil. Claude Montana dressed Mdvanii in an ultra modern shocking purple-y pink suit comprised of sequined hot pants and a wide-shouldered tailored jacket and assymetric pink glasses and Rhogit-Rhogit in a purple leather suit. The doyenne of fashion, Madame Grès, created for Mdvanii an evening gown in a sublime brown jersey with pleats in her world-renowned style inspired by the Antique, just before retiring from fashion the following year. They also dressed Rhogit.Rhogit as a gladiator servant. Myriam Schaeffer, for the House of Nina Ricci, created a wonderful red Vichy gingham gown, with huge full skirt, and last but not least, the young and talented Josephus Timister for the House of Balenciaga designed a classic and sexy black dress with black Chantilly lace worn with a draped silk jersey turban and a drop-dead chic real somalia leopard fur coat, a great homage to the genius Cristobal Balenciaga's style, while Zhdrick was granted with a fabulous fur coat and...Balenciaga briefs! Michel Klein designed elegant Chinese-inspired black satin suits for Mdvanii and Rhogit-Rhogit, Maurice Weinberg, luxurious ready-to-wear line of classic fashion, a perky and chic dark navy suit with a above-the-knee length skirt, rather unusual and very sexy on Mdvanii. The male dolls were all fabulously dressed by Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Balmain, Oswald Boeteng, Francesco Smalto, Walter van Beierendonck, José Lévy. Other talented young designers, such as Isabelle Camard and David Zanola created for Edie, Tzulli and Muio-Bix witty and youthful outfits. (All Mdvanii and other BillyBoy* dolls dressed by couturiers will be the subject of an entire exhibition on this site soon).
One might wonder why the Master of high Fashion, Yves Saint Laurent, did not dress Mdvanii. It was simply a question of deadlines for the printing of the magazines. Mr Yves Saint-Laurent, who certainly supported BillyBoy*’s work on fashion dolls since decades, notably with his exquisite creations for BillyBoy*'s The New Theater of Fashion which included the Barbie doll, would have probably created a sublime creation for Mdvanii, the Empress of high fashion dolls, a true work of art, created by artists. It was sad and unfortunate that his health prevented him from doing some designs for Mdvanii, even though privately he told BillyBoy* how much he wished to.
These historic creations, made on both resin and porcelain dolls, have all been displayed on several occasions by BillyBoy* with the Fondation TANAGRA, notably the museum show in Paris called Poupées. We are happy to give a tribute to the generosity and talent of all these couturiers and designers, whose creations have certainly found in Mdvanii, Rhogit-Rhogit, Zhdrick, Edie, Muio-Bix and Ouimi perfect representatives of their fashion styles instead of...mascots!
Design by Lefty© Fondation Tanagra