Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A TRUE FASHION ICON (reaching beyond the canon)

Jackie Ormes (1911-1985) was the first black female comic artist. Patty-Jo 'n' Ginger and Torchy in Heartbeats were nationally-syndicated staples in numerous newspapers. I am absolutlely mesmerized by women who faced the racial indignities of segregation while agitating for civil rights and still managed to maintain flawless appearances.
From the Collection of Judie Miles VIA
Torchy in Heartbeats came with a paper doll of the heroine-Torchy Brown, which was replete with wardrobe choices. “She modeled some cartoon characters after herself as beautifully dressed and coiffed females, appearing and speaking out in ways that defied stereotyped images of blacks in the mainstream press”(1). Jackie Ormes provided girls their fantasy fashion world. That’s what paper dolls are all about: creativity, experimentation, and rehearsal for a fabulous future.

I am obsessed with paper dolls. All of my nerdy obsessions have memories attached
to them and contribute a great deal to my fashion sense. On birthdays, my Great-grand Mother would send me a birthday card that had paper dolls attached. Along with my supply of workbooks and coloring books, my Mother also got me books of paper dolls. I coveted them. Sadly, because of their ephemeral nature, none of those dolls survived.

A few years ago I found the most charming paper doll template on the Studio Museum of Harlem’s website and sat for over an hour with my Prismacolors meticulously coloring the outfits created for May, by a contemporary black female illustrator Elaine Pedlar. The slogan on her website reads: “WHERE DREAMERS AND FASHION LOVERS COME TO CREATE AND PLAY.” It is my goal to visit her store very soon, but until then I will continue to visit her website Dumbelle (the movie rocks!) and keep up with her blog     


Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist
by Nancy Goldstein

1 comment:

  1. ABSOLUTELY WONERFULL eye am known as my govt name all throughout


I l♥ve to hear from my readers:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...