As you know, I have a passion for fashion dolls, especially those in lingerie.
I’m not a huge Barbie fan, but I troll the sites now & then for a stellar bit of lingerie for them & today I learned something I did not know: Barbie was virtually a copy of a German doll called Bild Lilli.
Bild Lilli was originally a cartoon character created by West German cartoonist Reinhard Beuthien for a “filler” on June 24, 1952 for the newspaper Bild-Zeitung in Hamburg, Germany. Lilli was as a curvy gal who knew what she wanted and went about her business to get it. She was classy & sassy and her fashions were designed by Reinhard’s wife, Erika.
Max Weissbrodt from the Hausser/Elastolin company in Neustadt/Coburg, Germany created and produced the doll which interestingly enough became a popular bachelor-party gift in West Germany.
Barbie was made on 1959, and as you can see by the photos, clearly a copy (Lilli is the blonde, Babs the brunette).
I gather International Copyright wasn’t too strong then ;)
There is a fascinating interview with Inge Astor-Kaiser, Germany’s premiere collector of the Lilli doll, which not only discusses the doll but the culture in which this pinup of a doll was created — here’s a quote to entice you to read more:
Her personality was naive, sexy but at the same time clever, she was easily able to wrap men around her little finger, yet she was still youthfully innocent. A doll that had an expression between a teenager and a woman. Lilli was a beauty and she was a lady of fashion. Lilli was a symbol of the new femininity, a symbol of liberation and the satisfaction of women’s pent-up demand for consumer goods. Her perfect body,her high heels, red lips and fingernails, her ponytail and the wisp of hair curling over her forehead, her made-up eyebrows and her cheeky expression exuded sex appeal,confidence and independence. She wore the outfits of dream careers like stewardess and ballerina, or a sporty look for tennis or ice skating. She turned heads in ball gowns, furs, haute couture, lingerie, and American style casual clothes.
In searching for more about Bild Lilli, I found this article which states that 20 to 25 percent of adult collectors are men. Women like to collect the dolls; men like to dress them up.
So now, dear lingerie loving cross dressers, do you collect dolls too?