You can see more of My Debutante at the Dropbox link:
My Debutante - coming soon to a Madame Alexander Convention (near you?). A tribute to my longtime friend, costume designer, Cissy collector extraordinaire and Alzheimer's patient. Richard did costumes for TV, stage and for the LA Opera. He started out doing children's clothes in New York City, which gave him a unique understanding of commercial sewing. As these things tend to happen, we crossed paths at a doll show in the late 1980s in Glendale, CA, both budding Cissy collectors, and stayed friends during the good, best and ugliest times. In hind site, our friendship was long distance because my design career tended to take me where the action was, which was for many years a confused place called Las Vegas.
One of the ways of communicating was helping Richard develop a project he called "Debutante". He liked to create clothes for Cissy that were timeless - vintage but they could be worn today. He often tried costume ideas on Cissy first - so Debutante could, for the most part, be translated for people too. Another part of staying in touch was attending the Madame Alexander Doll Club Conventions - usually if they were within driving distance. While sometimes getting there was an emotional and "will they or won't they" roller coaster ride, the MADC event itself was sublime. Getting away from life's ick factor was such a relief, and a chance to be, well somewhere from silly to stupid. Richard also used a couple of the conventions to test the waters of his Debutante concept, and to enjoy the company of others that came from hither and yon to participate in these virtual doll summer camps.
As Richard has coped with his Alzheimer's, he started sewing and creating for Cissy with an intense passion that I think only his own minds eye could completely understand. He wanted to recreate the scenario of the conventions, the elements of the unknown, new and rekindled friendships all around dolls, dolls and more dolls. For the past two conventions we attempted to make it happen, but Alzheimer's is not a patient condition. In mid-planning, the 2013 trip was canceled, and the idea was retired once and for all. With the help of Richards brother and wife, I've gathered some of the outfits Richard was working on and put them together as we would have done in years past for his Debutante. This wardrobe, along with a hardcover book of My Debutante will be donated in Richards name to the 2014 August 6-9 MADC Convention in Philadelphia to be auctioned off. Hopefully, this will add a little excitement and merriment for all - and leave a pleasant footnote to Richard's love of dolls, costuming, people and MADC.