Thursday, September 17, 2009

Madame Alexander Cissy

In the mid 1950's, Madame Alexander added a fashion doll to her range. This doll has arms jointed at the elbows, and legs jointed at the knees. She is made of hard plastic, has sleep eyes and wears an elaborate wig. Her name is Cissy.

Cissy is 21 inches tall. She comes with a large array of costumes, most of which were high fashion of her era: swing coats, pencil skirts, and Chanel-type dresses with petticoats, hats, wraps, and high heels with stockings. Cissy was the first fashion doll made with a "high heel" foot. Cissy is a teen doll meant for older girls with dreams of being all grown up.

The Cissy face mold was previously used for Winnie and Binnie Walker, but Winnie and Binnie have little girls' bodies. Cissy's body is more mature and is jointed so that she can be posed in many ways.

Madame Alexander ended the first Cissy run in 1962, and later dolls were made without the elbow joint. So influential was Cissy to a teen girl's sense of fashion, that the Fashion Academy awarded Madame Alexander with a gold medal award - three times!

In 1996, Cissy was revived and a modernized version of the doll was born. Modern Cissy has a hard plastic body and a vinyl head and arms and stands 20 inches tall. She has a slightly narrower bust and smaller waist than Vintage Cissy, but both dolls are favorites with collectors.

As you can see, I have one of each - a Vintage Cissy and a Modern Cissy. Both dolls are gorgeous, for different reasons - each representing her own era. Vintage Cissy is marked Alexander on the back of her head, and Modern Cissy is unmarked (which is why saving those hang tags and tagged outfits is so important.) Modern Cissy is Holiday Cissy from 1999. She wears her original outfit and comes with her own earrings as well as a pair of matching earrings for her adoptive "mommy."


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