The American Girl Fashion Show April 5-6 at Plimoth Plantation will include 40 young models.
Susan Pastore of Plymouth is pleased her daughters want to dress like their American Girl dolls. To Pastore, the modestly dressed American Girl dolls certainly beat Bratz dolls with their sometimes-skimpy clothes and caked-on makeup.
"There’s nothing natural-looking about the clothes and makeup on Bratz dolls. It’s not anything you’d want young kids to wear,'' Pastore said. "But the American Girl dolls are wholesome and natural.''
Pastore’s daughters, Kylie Rose, 9, and Catherine Grace, 6, are excited to model American Girl clothes with their dolls during the American Girl Fashion Show on April 5-6 at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth.
The fashion show will include 40 young models, many of them South Shore girls. Each model will walk the runway while holding an American Girl doll wearing an outfit that matches what the girls are wearing. The show will include both historical and contemporary fashions, and while the girls model the clothes, a narrator will provide commentary about the history of the outfits, what was fashionable about them during their time and how they play into fashion today.
The 1,000-plus people expected to attend the event will be seated at tables – including highchairs for dolls – for a tea party, and they will be served sandwiches and sweets.
Carolyn Antoine of Hingham has six tickets: four for humans (herself, another mom and their daughters), plus two $10 tickets for the dolls.
"We always talked about going to New York to the American Girl doll store. We could never really afford a trip like that, so when we heard about the fashion show coming to Plimoth Plantation, we jumped at the chance to go,'' Antoine said. "We’re all looking forward to it.''
Proceeds from the event will help support Plimoth Plantation’s education department, which provides programs for school children.
American Girl dolls come with books that provide background information about the dolls. The 18-inch dolls and paperbacks typically start at $90 – and many of the dolls actually have long histories.
For example, there’s Felicity Merriman from the 1700s who believes the American colonies should be free; there’s Addy Walker, a black girl who escapes slavery in the 1800s; and there’s Kit Kittredge, whose father loses his business during the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Jennifer Monac, public relations manager for Plimoth Plantation, said she believes the dolls draw young children to history.
"Because the American Girl dolls are tied so much to history, it’s another way of bringing the stories of the past and making them relevant in the present,'' Monac said.
Also, the dolls tell historical stories through the eyes of young girls and women – a perspective not often found in school and even at Plimoth Plantation, Monac said.
"We use a lot of primary sources, and women weren’t encouraged to read and write and keep journals (during the 1600s),'' she said. "So we’re not learning from their journals; we’re learning about women from the few times they were mentioned in men’s journals. The American Girl dolls give little girls a voice in history.''
"Ellie Donovan Moore of Plymouth has ordered American Girl outfits for her 9-year-old daughter Miranda, who is modeling in the fashion show.
"So many of the dolls that are in stores now and the girls’ clothes are not appropriate for little girls,'' she said. "The American Girl clothes are modest, but there’s nothing frumpy about them. They’re fashionable and cute.''
Moore said her daughter likes to play dress-up with her American Girl doll Mia, but Miranda is even more fascinated with the books.
"The books are wonderful,'' Moore said. "They have an educational content I appreciate, and the stories are very creative. I’m excited that a doll could inspire such an interest in learning.''
Dina Gerdeman may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Patriot Ledger