Jan Loves Vintage – Vivienne’s Collection

*As I took a lot of photos for this post the fashion show photos appear as a slide show at the end. 

Although she and Vivienne have very different ideas about how fashion shoots should be done Jan does share Vivienne’s love of vintage dresses. Jan will do almost anything to get her hands on a great dress so when Vivienne offered to let her try on some of the dresses in her collection she was happy to agree to do it Vivienne’s way.

Jan and Vivienne Showrunners

Midge was recruited to take the photographs  and Vivienne invited her sister Becky along for the afternoon. Becky is not a model but she does love old things including clothing.

Vivienne prefers to shoot indoors especially with her vintage collection because she worries about things being lost or damaged. She arranged for the use of a room at a local Function Centre to work in.

Some of the dresses are reproductions but some are genuine vintage pieces. Vivienne said  that everyone must be professional and that there was to be no fooling about with the clothes. Jan promised that she would be a model of good behaviour.

The outfits shown are as follows:

  • Barbie Learns to Cook – vintage
  • Commuter Set – Reproduction
  • Sheath Sensation – vintage
  • Silken Flame & Red Flare – reproduction
  • Sophisticated Lady – vintage
  • Evening Splendor – vintage dress only
  • Senior Prom – Reproduction
  • Solo in the Spotlight – reproduction
  • Slumber Party/Sleepy Time Gal  – vintage PJ’s
  • Unidentified vintage PJ’s

Jan and Becky have the Model Muse body while Vivienne and Midge have the Twist and Turn body. The reproduction clothes were supposedly made to fit this body shape but I have found that they fit some better than others.

The Shoot:

The weather was lovely on the day of the shoot and although she had promised not to Jan could not resist having some photographs taken outside while Viv was not looking. Here she is in “Sheath Sensation”.

Barbie Sheath Sensation #986 (1961-1964
Jan could not resist sneaking outside for some pictures.

Naturally there was the usual fun and games trying to work out what fitted each model best. Most of the outfits were loose at the top on Becky and Jan and of course the shoes didn’t fit them.

Becky was ready first as usual wearing “Barbie Learns to Cook”, a print dress that opens at the front. It was a little loose on her but not a bad fit otherwise.

vintage Barbie Learns to Cook.
Becky in vintage Barbie Learns to Cook.

Vivienne was quite annoyed to find that Jan had been outside and told her that if she left the building again she would be off the shoot.

“I don’t want my vintage outfits getting grass stains on them.” she said firmly.

Jan decided not to mention the red shoe that she had lost then fortunately found again.

Becky meanwhile changed into “Commuter Set”. This fit Becky very well and she thinks it is very smart. She said she would wear something like this to work for an important meeting or presentation. Unfortunately I don’t have the little hat that goes with this outfit. Becky looks good in hats.

Midge photographing Jan and Becky.

Vivienne then told the girls to change into evening wear.

Becky was the first to appear in “Silken Flame” with “Red Flare”. She found the bodice of  the dress  a little loose but otherwise the dress fitted her nicely. The coat was a good fit as was the hat but she had a little trouble with the elbow length gloves (Model Muse bent arms) and shoes so Vivienne advised her to just carry the gloves.

Jan followed in Sophisticated Lady, an outfit that she adores.

vintage Sophisticated Lady.
Collar down, This is Jan’s favourite of the collection.

Vivienne changed into “Senior Prom” which fitted her perfectly, even the shoes.

Jan was next in “Evening Splendor”. This dress seems to fit everyone quite well although it is a little loose  on  top for Becky and Jan.

Vivienne had planned for Becky to wear “Solo in the Spotlight” but when she tried it on she said “It is just too loose Vivienne, I don’t really want to pin it on to me. I think you had better wear it yourself.”

“I can’t” replied her sister sadly. “I tried it on when I bought it and it just won’t go over my hips. Jan will have to wear it.”

“I’d love to . ” said Jan who had tried it on earlier “but it doesn’t fit me either.”

“Oh dear. What a pity.” said Vivienne. “We will have to photograph it on a mannequin.”

“I bet that it would fit Midge. ” Jan said suddenly. “She is just the right shape.”

Vivienne was a bit doubtful. “It is a very fragile dress. She can try it on but no fooling around.”

Midge was not keen either. She did not want to be the one that tore Vivienne’s prize dress.

“It’s a lovely dress but I’m taking the pictures today. Who’s going to do that?”

“I am taking the pictures today.”

Jan had the answer for that. “I am sure one of us can press the button for a couple of shots. Come on, I’ll fix your hair and make up. ”

The dress did fit Midge as Jan predicted and before you could say “wardrobe malfunction” she was before the camera which was being handled by Vivienne’s friend Alex who had just arrived. She assured Midge that she had plenty of experience behind the camera as well as in front of it. Vivienne kept a close eye on proceedings which made Midge feel even more nervous.

Alex behind the camera
“I’ve spent enough time in front of a camera to know what to do.”
Midge in Solo in the Spotlight.

While Midge was getting changed back into her street clothes Becky and Jan modelled a couple of pairs of vintage pajama’s that Vivienne had. After that they all gathered for a photo.

The traditional group shot.
Alex was happy to take the pictures.


The Show:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



  1. Ooohhh I love Barbie fashion posts, and I got to see Becky and Midge, both of whom you inspired me to but. Fun seeing the rivalry between Jan and Vivienne too. The fashions pop against the new backdrop. Great post. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Adore the vintage outfits, especially Becky in Commuter Set and Jan in Evening Splendor, chic, less is more style.


      • I’m in despair about Mattel, their fashions keep getting worse. I finally managed to buy a new outfit for Ken from their slim pickings: green striped tee, dark denim jeans and white sneakers. At least they were real clothes, but will only fit the skinny fashionista body.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Both Naomi and I share your frustration. Her collection is predominantly Ken so you can imagine how difficult it is to keep them well dressed.


  3. I haven’t peeked at any new backdrops yet but yours is looking good with the latest shoot. What Lovely models. What gorgeous gowns! Just waiting on a gal/yet to be named looks a wee bit like Jan with longer hair. Also some old tyme beach wear for an outside shoot. I may try a plus size model shoot when/if I find my phone.(Or invest in a digital camera.)Happy Family grandma and pa and sister (Diedra Hall) to be re-mamed..will be featured. Maybe Elizabeth (darcy)and other 12″ gals.(And a few suprize celebrity guest)Theres fun in the sun but I Love the glitz and glam, roll out the red carpet!..you’ve got a hit!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great photo shooting! Those fashions are to die for. Considering the delicacy of some of the fabrics it is a wonder how many of them survived child’s play in great condition, but then it was the age of hooks and loops and pressers instead of vicious velcro. I doubt that today’s clothing will turn little girls into collectors.


    • Certainly not the synthetic stuff that most Barbies come in now. More and more dolls seem to have painted on clothing so the kids don’t have the fun of changing their clothes. I know hooks were probably hard for little hands and even I struggle with tiny buttons but they do look nice and don’t lose their grip like velcro, and if they come off you sew on another one.


    • One piece Laurel. What I did was to fold it and pin the doorway part to the wall and the carpet part on the table in front of it so that it looked more 3D. Worked quite well didn’t it?


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