BFMC Nostalgia: My Love Affair With Silkstone Barbie

One wall within my Barbie room

One wall within my Barbie room

Those that know me, know that I am truly a BFMC (Barbie Fashion Model Collection) purist. The BFMC brought me to a place in collecting Barbie that I just can’t seem to shake, for 14 years now.  A majority of my collection is now based around the BFMC. It is my true love in my collecting hobby.

Recently I was revisiting a plan I have for artwork on my office portion of a wall within my doll room.  I have had an idea for a few years now to feature old introductory ads for the BFMC on this wall.  This introductory period was a time when magic happened within the Barbie collecting community. In the year 2000, the BFMC was introduced. Many collectors were re-charged and excited by this new modern twist on this vintage faced Barbie. It was a magical time! When I look back at the ads during that time period for the collection, I am overcome with awe and inspiration. But it was not always that way for me.

You might recall a story I shared in my introductory page for this blog.  I share that in 2002 I discovered Lisette Silkstone Barbie at a local doll show.  You may also recall that I went to that doll show in hopes of finding vintage Liddle Kiddle dolls, as this collector was on a Barbie collecting hiatus.  At that doll show, I kept circling a Barbie dealer’s display that featured several current Barbies, one of which was Silkstone Lisette. When I picked up that Lisette doll, I was an instant fan. I purchased her without batting an eye. It wasn’t as though I was not aware of the BFMC.  After all, I had numerous copies of what was then “Barbie Collectibles” catalogs laying throughout my home.  In fact, a couple of years prior, my boyfriend (now husband) stole a catalog from my townhouse when we were dating so that he could order the Barbie Coca-Cola Malt Shop for me for Christmas one year.  How romantic is that!? The truth of the matter is this: When I saw that copy of the Barbie Collectibles catalog that debuted the first dolls in the BFMC collection (Delphine, L1, L2), I could have cared less.  I honestly and truly despised Delphine’s look. I thought she was impossibly HAUGHTY.  She did not look like Barbie to me, and I had no desire to purchase her what-so-ever. Of course, that would soon change.

The day I purchased Lisette, I suddenly understood what this Silkstone collection was all about.  As I drove home from that doll show, with Lisette in hand, all I could do was HOPE that this haughty Delphine looking character was still available to order.  I walked through the door, and I then literally started rummaging through a pile of papers on my desk to find a copy of the catalog, that thankfully was still featuring Delphine. I  called to order Delphine that very day.  To this day, Delphine remains my favorite Barbie within my collection.

So as I sat staring at these advertisements recently, I got to wondering just how long had it been since that fatal day I placed that fateful order? I checked my receipt: April 9, 2002. So for me, this will be my Anniversary date for my BFMC love affair.

In my last post, I shared that I have been having a rough collecting year in this year 2016. A sincere lack of interest prevented me from having any enthusiasm for my passion.  I have found that when I am longing for BFMC inspiration, I revert back to the good ol days of the collection, the debut year. I am instantly reminded of what brought me back to collecting in the first place, and the love for those days never gets old.

Here are some ads from the very early days of the collection (circa 2000-2001). Note: The photographs below are not my own, they are Mattel promotional photos. These are the glory days of the collection. I found these ads (and scanned them here for this post) in old issues of Barbie Bazaar Magazine. I have had them stored in a file entitled “frame” for a very long time. Soon I hope they will hit the walls of my doll room:

One of the first print advertisements for the BFMC, featuring a glimpse of my all time favorite Barbies, Delphine.

One of the first print advertisements for the BFMC, featuring a glimpse of my all time favorite Barbie, Delphine.

A two page spread that I consolidated here. Obviously that enormous pink gown was too big for a one page spread.

A two page spread that I consolidated here. Obviously that enormous pink gown was too big for a one page spread.

There was a  7 1/4″ x 10 1/4″ 4 page glossy promotional brochure/booklet that was featured in one of the issues as well. The booklet is a complete walk down memory lane for the debut of the collection. If ever I wish to remind myself of the true inspiration for my most meaningful reason for collecting, I thumb through the booklet and the BFMC magic is once again within my heart:

The cover.

The cover.


10 thoughts on “BFMC Nostalgia: My Love Affair With Silkstone Barbie

    I love the idea of framing the ads, they’re so chic. Seeing lunch at the club made me want to redress a new doll in that outfit. Sometimes I forget the total look until I see an older picture.

      thebarbievignette
      on said:

      Lunch at the Club is incredibly classic. It will without a doubt stand the test of time for Barbie collectors. I Love everything about that ensemble!

    Hazell
    on said:

    I loved reading this and seeing the old photos from BFMC. I started collecting Silkstones just last year that’s why it made me so sad when they switched to articulated silkstones. I’ve always been inspired by your silkie vignettes and displays on flickr. How do you keep your dolls from getting too dusty? I notice that most of your collection are not in glass cabinets.

      thebarbievignette
      on said:

      Thank you Hazell for your nice comments about my photos and collection. For some reason I’m very fortunate with the dust situation within my room. It is located in a separate area of my home, so it isn’t subject to pets or humans much. So dust doesn’t really get kicked up. I do keep check on the situation however, and check often for any signs of dust collection. I have used canned air. I also keep the larger ball gowned and/or Platinum issue ladies in Plexiglas cases (such as two BFMC display cases). Lastly, I handle many of dolls often, moving them around and redressing, that I don’t think dust has time to settle. On another note, the vignette display cabinet that I’ve shared photos of was made with Plexiglas grooves so that I could add it once the displays were set. I STILL have not made an effort to get the glass cut to size and install it. Again, I am constantly reworking the displays so I have not made it a priority.

    MissTae
    on said:

    WOW Silkyfever! I felt like I was sitting right next to you when I read this. A lot of the same feelings you expressed about Delphine and Lisette were the same I felt the first time I saw the BFMC line. I hadn’t ordered any, at the time but in 2002, I got L5 as a gift from a Mattel Manager, who had her delivered to my office, and when I opened that box, I nearly fell over at my desk! I’ve been hooked every since. Those promotional photos are just stunning, and looking at yours, also takes me back to the very first time I saw this gorgeous line. Mattel really had it together back then, I just hope that the line returns to, or at least comes close to it’s previous station in what I call “the Fashion Doll Food chain”.
    btw..I haven’t met a Barbie collector yet that doesn’t have a “frame file”. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

      thebarbievignette
      on said:

      I always love to read your comments to my posts! You’re becoming an old friend – love it! L5 was an incredible addition to the collection. I would say of all the AA dolls in the collection, she remains a constant favorite (I think I have three of that lovely lady!). I know that the old promo pics evoke emotion for so many collectors. As difficult as it is to accept, I believe those days are behind the collection, which is why I am glad I can reflect back to that time with all the fantastic visuals from the early days. I created a tab in my sidebar just for “BFMC Nostalgia” believing that other collectors will want to take a walk down memory lane from time to time to reflect back and get re-inspired! I’ll be adding more posts there in the future to provide a heavenly place for us hopeless nostalgic types to visit when we need inspiration.

        MissTae
        on said:

        Ive said this before, and I’ll say it again; you and Rebecca (think_pink1265) should get together and put out a book focused solely on this beautiful line. I have the one issued by Mattel, but when I see Rebecca’s and your collections, that is the quality I’d like to see represented. Your collections show the inspired beauty and dare I say, opulence that grabbed our attention regarding this collection in the first place. So get on the horn with think_pink1265 and make this happen! LOL! 🙂
        I’d be first in line to buy that book.

          thebarbievignette
          on said:

          Way too ambitious for me LOL! Those are some wonderful compliments, thanks so much!!! I had ideas at one time to do a book of some sort, but it is a daunting task. I never say never though!

          It just so happens that I know Rebecca personally, and am honored to call her a dear friend, even if I don’t get to see her as often as I would like. I have had the amazing opportunity of visiting her stunnig doll room on a few occassions, and as one can well imagine, it leaves you feeling giddy and speechless.

    Peter Harrigan
    on said:

    Yay! So glad to see this yummy post! Thanks, Doll!!!!

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