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Fashion Police: Tim Gunn, Stephen Burrows & the Blonds make arresting ensembles for Barbie!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Recently I found myself in the Children’s Place—the fashion outlet for kids, usually aged 14 and under—that inspires exuberance, excitement, and ebullience . . . among adults. Yep, that’s right. The store for dressing up and dressing down our assorted offspring should be more correctly called the Parents’ Place.

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Happy Birthday . . . no, make it birth-week! There are too many dolls for a day.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Today is my birthday . . . well, not really. It’s my birthday week, but I am a big believer in prolonging everything that is good in life. I like to linger over dinner for hours; read a good book, and then read it again; see a thought-provoking movie and then share it with friends. I like to extend the things that I enjoy, and so that’s why I love my birthday week (and, in some cases, my birthday month).

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Cuckoo for Kewpies: The adorable love messengers are turning 100 years old.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

September is the anniversary of some personal milestones for me—my birthday, my first-ever post-college full-time job, deaths of my parents, the Word Trade Center attack—but it’s also the month that honors the arrival of a doll that is often dismissed and overlooked. I’m chatting about the Kewpie doll. We all know them, and, most likely, if you’ve ever attended a carnival or a state fair, you might have won one or two during your windmill pitching attempts at knocking over a row of milk bottles.

The Kewpie (as a doll) emerged in September 1912—one hundred years ago. In all of the decades that have followed, it has managed to attain its wide-eyed, small-nosed, smirking-lipped appeal.

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Empty Nest Syndrome: From the Obamas to the Simpsons, Spice Girls to Star Trek, matryoshkas are madcap!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

I have a confession to make: when I was a young girl, I LOVED Russia. Yes, I “hearted” the Soviet Union big-time. Now, I’m not speaking about their political system, or their less-than-freely-held elections. Nope, I wasn’t crazy about the Kremlin and its policies, but I was awestruck by the onion-domed cathedrals, storybook spires, and the whole landscape that always seemed dipped in lacy snowflakes and glistening icicles. For me, Russia looked like a Hans Christian Andersen opus sprung to life. I adored it, and as a kid I imagined it would be the chance of a lifetime to visit Moscow or St. Petersburg in person and marvel at the out-of-this-world architecture.

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Wild for Steampunk: Wilde Imagination’s Imperium Park swings open the visionary floodgates.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for something fun (and economical) to do with your kids. Going to the movies used to be a weekly or monthly excursion for families, but now in the Northeast, when admission for 2 adults and 2 kids can easily escalate to $45 and beyond, movie-going is a four-times-a-year affair, if at all.

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A Touch of Evil: Disney debuts a lineup of designer villains that are gorgeous and ghastly!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

I think Mae West was onto something when she drawled, “When I’m good, I’m very, very good. But when I’m bad, I’m better.” There’s something very compelling about watching a bad person having a real good time—when it’s safely being projected on a movie screen or a Broadway stage, of course. Witnessing a “Goody Two-shoes” always putting her best foot forward can grow dull and repetitive for a grown-up sensibility. Sure, many little girls want to dress like and act like Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Ariel. However, for the adult viewer, give us Maleficent or the Evil Queen any day of the week! The villains who squirm and shimmer and shine and shout their way through many Hollywood vehicles are the characters with the wittiest lines and the most complex motivations. In the world of Disney cartoons, it’s the bad guys and gals who have the spoken lines and the animated lines that make “evil” both alluring and disturbing.

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Go for the Gold: Does your doll collection reflect a winning attitude?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

So far, so good. That’s my assessment of the summer Olympics, and I make that judgment as a couch potato par excellence. If a person could achieve Gold Medal status for resting on her gluteus maximus, I’d be the Michelle Phelps of the sitting arena. (By the way, wasn’t “Gluteus Maximus” the name of the Russell Crowe character in “Gladiator”? It was something like that.)

 

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Record-breaking Dolls: 2012 Olympics invites elite sports figures to become literal figures.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

I can’t predict the future; I’m sometimes able to comment accurately on the present; but I sure as heck know how to remark on the past. In this case, I’m pretty sure that most of you were watching the Olympics last night, and the night before, and the night before, and the night before (and the night before, not to be too redundant)!

 

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