Post by MaryCarly on Sept 29, 2009 16:53:59 GMT -5
I have this outfit and love it, but I think the jewelry is fairly pointless. I am not even sure where it all is at the moment. I think my doll (JLY #28) may be wearing one piece of the jewelry, but even I could make something similar and I have no crafting abilities at all! I encourage you to jump at the next reasonably priced auction. I don't think you will be sorry. Even my dh commented on how much he liked this outfit and he normally doesn't even notice what I am wearing let alone how the dolls are dressed.
“How few would believe that from sources purely imaginary such happiness could be derived.“
Post by ceceluvschili on Sept 29, 2009 16:57:49 GMT -5
We have that outfit with the jewelry and my opinion is that the jewelry is poorly made. As soon as we took it out of the box the shells on the jewelry started coming off. You could probably make something better as far as the jewelry goes. The rest of the outfit seems well made.
Post by C.I.Fairfield on Dec 27, 2009 23:04:42 GMT -5
I recieved this second hand for Christmas. My set was missing the anklet, choker and matching girl's bracelet. Otherwise the set consists of a skirt wrap, matching headband, and leotard.
I give this a B (for actual item) and an F- for history, placement and presentation.
Let's start with the F. As shown by my confusion with where to put this review, this is NOT a historical outfit. At best, it can go back to the 1970's (as I do for my Junie) and actually I think a lot of people would find in questionable in today's context as well. It's generic African print (not authentic Kente cloth), and the cowrie shells? Please. Throwing some shells at something does not make it "African."
This outfit is, if anything, a representation of African-American art forms, and not a particulatly authentic one at that.
But, on to the B. As an outfit itself, it's pretty good. The leotard is nice and thick and well finished. It's cut pretty far down in the back, which makes it easy to get on, and I like the sleeves that cover the arm caps.
The skirt is nice because it has elastic and some shaping, which helps it look nice on the doll. The headband is easy to get on - it didn't mess up my Junie's hair, which is a plus.
It gets the B because I am not sure that this was ever worth $28. Really? It's not a complete outfit, honestly. But it is kind of cute.
I ,too ,am very confused by the placement of this outfit with the historical section but I guess because it is associated with Addy , it may be easier to find if placed in her section. The outfit is clearly not historical nor is it authentically African but I will let AG off the hook for this one since they did name the outfit African Dance Outfit of Today. Emphasis on Dance ( the leotard and the jazz fringe) and Today (Addy clearly would not have worn this in the 1800's). With all that said, it is a very cute outfit and I purchased it because of it's uniqueness. The set comes complete with a black leotard; a print skirt that ties on the side; a matching headband; a gold cuff bracelet; a cowrie shell choker and anklet for the doll and a matching one for the girl. My only disappointment aside from it not being historically/ethnically correct, is that the cowrie shells are plastic and it would have been nice if AG could have used real shells. However, they are pretty decent replicas, having texture and shading making them look real. I rate it an A-
From the card that came with this outfit: “The colorful pattern on the skirt and head wrap is inspired by the kente cloth from western Africa. Known as the “cloth of kings,” kente was once worn only by African royalty. Today, many Africans wear kente cloth on special occasions, and African Americans often wear it to honor their heritage. Young dancers enjoy wearing kente cloth, too. Its bold colors and dazzling designs make it perfect for performances!”
Here’s a picture of the outfit. First from the card that came with it and then in real life:
I have mixed feelings about this outfit; there’s some good, some bad, and as others have mentioned, some ridiculous (namely, that this is part of Addy’s collection).
The best part of the outfit are the pieces that are made of cloth. The black leotard seems very well made and is a nice, stretchy, heavy leotard fabric. It is easy to get on and off. The scoop in the back dips lower than the scoop neck in the front, and overall it looks and feels just like a miniature version of a real dance leotard.
The skirt is also well made. When my daughter did African dance in real life, this piece was called a lapa and was essentially a long cloth with two of the corners tied. AG simplified this and made it more like a wrap skirt, with small pieces extending from the corners, making it really easy for even young children to tie. There’s also a bit of elastic at the waist in the back, and AG added fringe to the edges (which I don’t think is authentic but it does help the skirt look more “closed” where it meets than it might otherwise). Here’s the skirt all laid out:
The headband is also a nice piece. It’s almost 1.75 inches wide at its widest, and it has a nice sturdy elastic strap connecting the two sides, so it can do a great job of holding hair back. The fabric matches the skirt and is really pretty.
Those are the best parts of the outfit, and I think they’re pretty appealing in a strictly modern sense, if you’re not thinking that it really has anything to do with Addy.
The worst part of the outfit from my perspective is the jewelry, particularly the shell jewelry. The outfit comes with three pieces of woven black fabric, each about 1/4 inch wide and a few inches long. I don’t know what the black fabric is, but it feels like a heavy nylon, similar to what pet leashes are made of, and there are cowrie shells glued along each of them. Two of these pieces have Velcro on the ends and are meant to wrap around the doll’s ankle and neck. The third has a short chain and clasp, and I think is supposed to be a matching bracelet for a girl. They’re not very well made, and shells fell off each of them the first time I took them out of the package. This might have bothered me if I actually liked the jewelry, but I thought it looked awkward and uncomfortable anyway. There is also a very lightweight gold-colored cuff bracelet for the doll, and this piece isn’t so bad, although I’m not sure how durable it will be in the long run. It feels as though it might break easily.
Overall, my feeling is that this outfit’s connection to Addy is weak at best. Considering it solely on the basis of a modern dance outfit, I would give the cloth pieces an A or A- (not sure whether to give credit to AG for making it simpler or take away for lack of authenticity), and the jewelry a generous D.