OOAK Chandra CentrePiece by Ibrahim Ismail of England
(All images courtesy of Ibrahim Ismail--click to enlarge in a new window)
I had the pleasure of viewing images taken by Ibrahim Ismail of England at last week's 2011 Barbie Convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ibrahim is one of the artists who donated dolls to be used for centrepieces for the Saturday night banquet and for a lucky table guest to win. The banquet theme was "The Ultimate Couple."
I was blown away by Ibrahim's OOAK Chandra CentrePiece doll and asked if he would allow me to feature her here. He graciously agreed, provided additional information about the banquet, and also shared his inspiration behind the doll's customization.
Full-length image of OOAK Chandra CentrePiece by Ibrahim Ismail
As I was a table host, it has been a longstanding tradition that they give out dolls and I try [to] do a version of a vintage Barbie outfit if I can.
In the past I did a simple Enchanted Evening in leopard print and in 2005 I gave out a blue version of Solo in the Spotlight. I was playing with that idea and decided to make Solo in the Spotlight 2011.
This was my prototype which I made and to give her an “African” feel, I gave her a turban. That is one thing I miss seeing back home as before, most Black African ladies would wear turbans in Zanzibar when we attended weddings and celebrations.
With the current climate of Islamophobia, many African women have taken to wear a Hijab to make a stand and although they look glamorous, that African identity is being lost as they take a religious stand.
I wanted to recreate that African feel with my Solo in the Spotlight 2011.
Indeed he did!
The Convention designed the rest of the table centre and they also made several Kens (the Basics Demin blonde, brunette and AA) to go with the dolls that were not sent in as couples. [Chandra] was a single doll so they provided a Ken doll. I also donated a Teresa basic doll in a very Indian outfit which was placed with a brunette Ken.
Ibrahim's lovely Chandra was paired with customized Ken, Model 17 from the Barbie Basics Collection 002. They indeed are a lovely couple, but Chandra is definitely the center of attraction.
Stay tuned for more 2011 Barbie Convention information and images courtesy of Ibrahim Ismail.