Discover the new website of the Paris Musée de la Poupée by clicking
musée poupée paris

Photos Charles Fegen, Alex Howe, Musée de la Poupée

An exhibit on the fashion icon dolls

Le Musée de la Poupée-Paris is delighted to be celebrating the fifth birthday of iconic doll range ‘The Sybarites™’ a product of Superdoll_collectibles™, London with an exclusive six-month exhibition.

Not since The Pandores luxurious fashion doll, created in the XVII century and the Second Empire Parisians, have we seen anything like the Sybarites™. During the Ancient Regime, the Pandores were the equivalent of Paris fashion ambassadors to the European Courts. The Pandores wore the latest creations in order to tempt the aristocracy to commission the couturiers to create a life sized version. These dolls even had Diplomatic immunity: during times of war, the dolls had a royal pass to cross war torn borders.

The aim of this exhibition is to travel, hand in hand with the fashion doll, from the last two centuries until today.

You decide; utility item? play-thing? ...or highly coveted objet d’art?

back to top of the page

The Sybarites and their creators

The Sybarites™ were the first manufactured doll of then couturiers Charles Fegen and Desmond Lingard; they were born out of the void in the doll-world in terms of the quality and beauty that C&D were looking for in the dolls they wanted to buy and, ultimately dress in their fabulous gowns.

Mascara trio

Through painstaking development, clandestine market research and their strong vision, C+D crafted the doll of their dreams: Clone 0101 Venus D’Royce. Initially there were two breeds of clone and since inception in 2005, these have expanded into the double figures, however some remain unseen by the public eye.

Traveller bride

Their first production doll, Sureal, set the tone in many ways; it sold out in hours. Sureal was ‘fashion forward’ and unafraid to step away from the traditional doll aesthetic, the finish on both the doll and the garment were to an exceedingly high standard. Every detail, even down to the packaging, was tailored to be the doll experience C+D had wanted to create.

On the secondary market, the Sybarites™ sometimes fetch much higher than their retail value and are cherished by those who collect them. Over and above this, the dolls are not ALL there is to Superdoll_Collectibles experience; the fact that dolls are packaged in meticulously stylised boxes and even their vacuum formed acrylic facemasks embossed with ‘Sybarite’ across their foreheads is also revered.

Piglet fashion victim

Since this initial foray into the doll production world, The Sybarites™ have become ‘leaders’ in the fashion doll market. Their creators are notorious for their subversive social and political commentary within the artistry of their dolls. The insightful and innovative implementation of C+D’s concepts, and their rigorous standards, are the hallmarks of these modern fashion dolls: these qualities are fully realised in the Chalk White range. These are the ‘one of a kind’ dolls hand-painted and dressed by C+D personally. These dolls have been exhibited at lavish soirées in London, Paris, Moscow, New York and Tokyo.

Opera Ba

C+D are the first doll makers to truly bring couture to dolls, rather than the doll makers who have tried to make the reverse transition. A Sybarite™ is not just a doll, it is a piece of C&D, and it is a process of creating a concept; something tangible, yet ethereal.

Self medication

Charles Fegen, a couturier specialising in bridal corsetry, and Desmond Lingard, a technical marvel, had been fashion doll collectors for many years before starting Superfrock_Collectibles. At first, the doll dresses they created were a labour of love, however, the company really came to fruition when their  unique doll dresses started fetching over $2,000 at auction. It was this fevered response that allowed both C&D to realistically start working toward a future exclusively with dolls.

Charles Fegen and Desmond Lingard

Charles and Desmond met at fashion college in South Africa. They worked together on many fashion projects and their creative talents were developed within the juxtaposition of the burgeoning avant-garde nightclub scene in the authoritarian apartheid state.
Eventually they grew tired of their home country, and disillusioned with the fashion practices there, and they set off for London, England.
They thrived in the capital and dressed some of the world’s most famous and glamorous people. To some, it would seem perplexing to have such a radical change of environment, but this environment became the perfect birthplace for their  work . Creating a doll meant two fundamental things; a perfect canvas for their expression, and the doll they had been looking to acquire for so long as collectors.

Couture swallow

The Musée de la Poupée presents, on the occasion of this exhibit, Slipper, an exclusive SybariteTM doll in limited edition. She will be unveiled on grand opening on March 13, 2010.

back to top of the page

History of fashion dolls

The Pandores :

As early as the XVII century, the Pandores were the perfect Paris fashion ambassadors for all the European, and foreign, courts. These miniature models enabled aristocracy to review, in a small size, the outfits later created, in human size, by the Parisian fashion designers of that time. These dolls were so popular, and so irreplaceable, that they were awarded a royal pass to cross war torn borders!

Reproduction of an 18th century engraving

Reproduction of a popular wooden doll in the XVIII century

The Parisiennes :

During the Second Empire, the Bourgeoisie facilitated the huge development of new fashion dolls. These children’s toys also called ‘Parisiennes’ had a bisque head and sometimes, bisque arms, a wooden or leather body and outfits as refined as those of their ancestors, the Pandores. Famous fashion designers of that period, such as Worth, dressed these exquisite dolls with luxury, grace and excessiveness. The Parisiennes played a fundamental role in the upbringing of several generations and continue today to thrill doll collectors all over the world.

Lilas, Rohmer fashion doll, Napoléon III

Lilas, Rohmer fashion doll, Napoléon III

Lilas, the beautiful fashion doll presented above and a star doll of the exhibit is also the theme of a new book published by the Musée de la Poupée.
This book tells the story of this exceptional fashion doll by maison Rohmer. Its rich wardrobe has been preserved in pristine condition in the original trunk. Every outfit is clearly detailed and photographed in special settings evoking the Napoleon III era.

Lilas, la vie exemplaire d'une poupée de mode sous le Second Empire
Cahier N°1
By Samy Odin – (in French and English)
21 X 29,7 cm - 80 pages - + de 150 pictures
Signing session during Toymania fair on May 2, 2010.

The Art Nouveau and Art Deco decorative silhouettes :

At the turn of the 20th century, the fashion doll acquired a unprecedented decorative dimension. It was very desirable, in fashionable houses, to show dolls dressed with the latest fashion styles. Thanks to ‘Fémina’ magazine’s praise, Mrs Laffitte and Désirat’s frail wax silhouettes (poured on a metal frame and dressed with ultimate Haute Couture outfits from Paris) were found in all good houses. Models by Poiret, Lelong, Lanvin (just to name a few of the period’s most sought after designers) inspired the dolls outfits. Once again, the fashion doll was not considered just as a toy for children.

Fleurette by Petitcollin

The boudoir dolls :

As early as the end of the Twenties, and until the Second World War, another type of decorative dollappeared on the market. For the first time, this product was catering to all of the social classes.
The boudoir dolls were sold fully made, or in parts. Self assembled dolls would allow the owner to dress her doll to match the colours and style of the interiors where the doll would be displayed.
Most of these dolls had a head that was covered with silk or jersey, a hand painted face, a stuffed fabric body and cloth (sewn) or composition arms. The most refined of these models (predominantly made by the Italian companym, Lenci) were made from felt and sold for excessive prices.

Boudoir doll

The post war fashion dolls :

With the advent of plastic materials, a new generation of play dolls and decorative dolls appeared on the increasingly international market. In Italy, Ottolini produced Sonia, while his competitor Bonomi made a fortune from Jenny. Lilli , a German doll, was a success as early as 1955. Lilli inspired the American Barbie, that iconic doll which would change everything from the moment she was created in 1959. After Barbie, a variety of fashion dolls was launched in every country. These dolls represent the ideal feminine silhouette and new outfits reflecting today’s fashion and trends that children and adults aspire to, even to this day.

Bild Lilli and Barbie TM

To see some images of the opening of the exhibit :

Samy and Guido Odin, the owners of the Musée de la Poupée-ParisM

They report the exhibit...

back to top of the page

Around the exhibit...

"SlipperTM" an exclusive SybariteTM doll in limited edition !!!

The museum is proud to present, on the occasion of the exhibit, an exclusive Sybarite doll. It will be unveiled on the grand opening on March 13, 2010.

NEW BOOK : "Lilas, the exemplary life of a fashion doll under Napoléon III"

Samy Odin is preparig a brand new book on Lilas, a magnificent fashion doll by Rohmer. You will discover her amazing story and her fabulous outfits. Samy Odin will sign his book during Toymania Fair on May 2.

"Making of a dress for a paper princess " : workshop for children

Children from 4 years old, get inspired by the beautifull dolls' outfits to create (by cutting, sticking, drawing...) a dress for a paper doll. After cutting and drawing the doll, children will dress it with a long puff or flared skirt and with leg of mutton or trumpet sleeves.

reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11

"In the world of toys" : story telling sessions

A story telling session with several stories is given for children from 3 years old.
A real size doll will take you through stories in the world of toys. Get comfortable, open your ears and imagine that, during the session, dolls are alive !

reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11

Educational tours of the museum for children and families

Educational tours are given for children at least 5 years old and their parents
. These tours begin by handling dolls' parts from various periods and end with the visit of the permanent rooms of the museum.

reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11

"Have your birthday party with dolls" : birthday parties in the museum

Lets celebrate your birthday in an unforgettable way, inviting your friends with the dolls !

And you will also get a birthday present ! : the museum will offer a present to any child having his birthday celebrated at the museum.

unguided tour with an educational questionnaire or educational tour + cake (not provided) + story time or workshop
A la carte package, on Wednesday and Saturday
reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11.






Program "From Pandore to SybariteTM dolls"

Samy Odin, director of the museum, gives a program on fashion dolls from the fabulous Pandores until the lastest Sybarites.

Saturday 14/03/10, 11/09/10 at 4pm

reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11

"Introduction to doll collecting"

"Yes, you can touch !" Samy Odin, director of the museum, will give doll discovery sessions consisting in handling various dolls from different periods and countries and made of different material. Then, participants will visit the museum on their own, testing their newly acquired knowledge.

reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11

"Seminars on French doll makers from the 20th century"

Samy Odin, director of the museum and doll expert will give a first series of seminars on French doll makers from 1899 to 1939. These 2 hours sessions will enable you to study dolls, from head to toes, and to understand their importance in each doll maker's history.

reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11

How much is my doll worth ? Doll appraisals

How much is my doll worth ? When was it made ? How ? By whom ?... Samy Odin will appraise your dolls after your visit of the museum.

A Saturday per month, reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11

A specialized shop – bookstore

The Museum’s shop is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 6pm, and is also available on this website.

Play dolls and collectible dolls, clothes and accessories, miniatures as well as a wide range of books and products are for sale.

A doll hospital and appraisals

The Museum’s doll hospital repairs antique dolls, baby dolls, plush animals... and gives appraisals.
Veronique Derez, our doll doctor, is usually present 2 Thursdays/month from 1 pm to 4 pm but you can come from Tuesday to Saturday for a free estimate of the repairs on presentation of the sick dolls or plush animal.

For appraisals and doll identity card, with charge, an appointment is required on presentation of the object.

back to top of the page


This exhibit has been set up with :

Following exhibits

Baby boom
Poupées françaises, 1946-1959

October 9, 2010 - March 13, 2011


Le retour du Père Noël
October 9, 2010 - January 9, 2011

back to top of the page

All rights reserved.