Friday, August 5, 2011

OOAK Chandra Centrepiece @ 2011 Barbie Convention

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

Ibrahim’s Inspiration:

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!

Ibrahim added:
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.




  1. Wow, she is quite the centerpiece! Stunning. Model 17 looks like he is escorting her at a function where she is being honored.

  2. Yes, she is quite stunning. Mattel should think twice before discontinuing Chandra. She's already a pretty doll, but Ibrahim worked magic with makeover. Her eyes are gorgeous and those lips are popping! The turban of netting was very creative. Her profile looks like that of an Egyptian queen.

  3. Stunning doll. But I wish her head piece was smaller so we could better see her amazing face.

  4. WOW very glamourous. As one who makes Barbie clothes for my niece, I can appreciate the workmanship and creativity that goes into making these mineature masterpieces. FABULOUS work Ibbie (I get to call him that because he is one of my dearest friends in the world)

  5. Mrs Johnston should see you now and WOW what a glam doll. I knew you had the talent and now everyone else does. Dorothy

  6. She is beyond words! I've always loved what Ibrahim has created in the past years and this year is no exception.

    Way to go Hubby! Well, convention wise, that is.

  7. Thanks Wycked Wanda... I've only seen Ibrahim's work in pictures. I can only imagine how lovely the dolls look in person.


  8. This Is Absolutely Great!!
    I LOVE IT!!!


Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!