Michel Couture's Flavia, Grande Duchesse de Beauharnaise

Flavia, Grande-Duchesse de BEAUHARNAISE

 I was very surprised to be contacted by Mel Odom several weeks ago with a message saying that Hayworth would like to send me a doll. I provided Mel with my address and last week the doll arrived. That was the second surprise. To be quite honest, I have heard nothing but bad press regarding Michel Couture/Hayworth. Stories of deposits made and held for months with no product abound. Apparently, this gentleman attended a convention with samples of his products and took deposits but did not deliver. That's not to say that the deposits were not returned. I have no idea.
However, to the surprise of many, this doll won a 2011 DOTY Industry's Choice Award

Putting on my neutral hat, I guarantee that this review is not colored by what I've heard from others, just by my experience and the product itself.

Flavia is packaged in a white shipper inside of a nice black box which is reminiscent of early years of Fashion Royalty doll packaging.

The suit fits very well. I was able to put her gloves on without much difficulty. Her shoes fit over her stockings.
 Jewelry is a pair of gold metal rhinestone cluster earrings and a strand of rhinestones for a necklace. One jacket pocket has a black and clear rhinestone starburst pin.
Flavia's suit is a neutral woven fabric of black, taupe and white and is lined in light gray. The construction is excellent. The zipper on the back of the skirt was slightly off by a notch or two but this was of no account. Her stockings are thigh high and shoes are vinyl. I love the faux snakeskin train case. It has a pouch inside along with the designer's name. The closure is an elastic that goes over a brass finding. Her muff is shaggy. The hat is a wonderfully huge straw thing. It fits snugly on her head. That and the train case are my favorite pieces.

The doll herself has a pretty but cartoonish face. She bears an uncanny resemblance to Joe Tai's Ingrid in the mouth and chin area.
Her hair is neatly and nicely done up but the view from the side isn't pretty because the rooted hair stops and leaves a great deal of empty head where there should be hair.
The doll has limited articulation. Neck, arms at shoulders, waist and legs at hips are jointed. I am used to fully articulated 12" dolls. Michel Couture needs to put less emphasis on this doll as a model and more emphasis on his well made clothing. Her body is behind the times.
The suit fits the tall Fashion Royalty body. The hat fits as well but this hairstyle doesn't work well as the part of the hat that would sit on the dolls head needs a flat hairdo.

 I placed a piece of Kyori's hair inside the jacket to hide the lining. Due to the shape of the jacket opening, the lining shows all the time.

My package had no other information regarding availability or price so I went to the website. About the website - it is grandiose and pretentious. Go yourself and see what I mean. 

This doll is listed as: Flavia, Grande-Duchesse de BEAUHARNAIS® Mannequin Habillé de Luxe.™ She is sold along with with a separate fashion called Pariser Platz Modèle de Luxe™for the sum of $299.99. 

The Pariser Platz outfit alone lists for $150. I looked high and low to find if the doll was available separately but could  not find that information so I wrote to them directly. Unfortunately I have not received a response. I also asked if the merchandise was in stock and ready to ship. No reply.


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