I am very happy to launch the official Mdvanii Blog, authorized by the artists BillyBoy* & Lala.
Mdvanii is an original artwork by contemporary artist BillyBoy*created as a "conceptual art doll for adults" who debuted on Valentine's day, 1989. She was launched at the prestigious British department store known for launching avant-garde artists and exquisite and eccentric artworks, Liberty & Co. in London, England. It was visionary Carol Lister, buyer for Liberty's and daringly adventurous Stewart Liberty, the owner and heir to the founder of the store, who invested a great enthusiasm and energy for her debut on the most romantic day of the year, a day to celebrate love and beauty.
While there have been unofficial blogs, and while she has become iconic and even copied with counterfeits, the authentic Mdvanii de BillyBoy* as she was originally known as, after 21 years of notoriety, still holds a great allure and mystic.
Mdvanii is in many of the world's most famous museums and private collections of art and dolls in the world. Le Musée de Louvre in Paris, The Kyoto Museum of Art in Japan, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City all house unique Mdvanii creations.
Mdvanii is an original concept and sculpting, inspired by 1950s and 60s fashion dolls, but she is entirely hand-conceived by the artist BillyBoy* between 1987 and 1989 and was soon followed by many other original sculpted dolls for her extended family.
Her spiritual inspirations are many. The exotic, highly sensual looks originate from BillyBoy*'s Russian-origin mother, her personality became mixed with that of his famous fashion icon aunt who dazzled Paris in the 1920s and 30s and was a muse to Dali (he said in his autobiography she was his "best friend along with Mademoiselle Chanel"). Mdvanii, (pronounced "Mid-vah-knee") is a name inspired by said aunt's best friend Roussia, a Russian lesbian Princess, second wife of painter José Maria Sert.
Her clothes are mythical!
The dreamy, highly-detailed ensembles are completely made in the truest sense of French haute couture and use the same fabrics, embroideries and details of the great and traditional creations of master fashion-makers. Bianchini-Férier embossed fabrics, Schlaepfer and Lesage embroideries, Gripoix jewellery details, as well as private stocks of luxurious fabrics and countless other minute accessories used by the leading houses of fashion in Europe from the private collection of Mr. BillyBoy*such as Raoul Dufy printed silk satin made for Paul Poiret, given to BillyBoy* by his daughter Perrine de Wilde (née Poiret). Other tenues may be made from a swatch of Sonia Delaunay painted silk given to BillyBoy* personally when he was a teen. Then there is the yardage of vintage 1940s Schiaparelli satin given to BillyBoy* by the House of Schiaparelli, then inactive, found in the rafters of the Place Vendôme establishment.
Mdvanii has been an influence in all sectors of creation. From being the French fashion bible L'Officiel's official ambassadrice of high fashion in the 1990s, to influencing contemporary artists and authors, from being copied and examined by doll makers from the most flagrantly commercial to the most limited "makeovers" (a concept BillyBoy* initiated and innovated)...Mdvanii has been written about, talked about, chatted and blogged about and photographed by the leading creative people of the world. She is loved and contemplated from a broad spectrum of society, "a sculpture with a lifestyle" and an "object of contemplation" Mdvanii is known now as a work of contemporary art.
The objective of this public blog is to not only display the amazing 21-year history of Mdvanii but to show the soon-to-be available collections of classic Mdvanii haute couture dolls, clothes, wigs, accessories and all sorts of divine details from her scintillating world. The artists will not only be releasing some of her classic looks made in her famous fabrics from the early period of 1989 until 1993, but new items which were only in prototype form up until now soon will make their way into collections worldwide.
This blog is a preview of the newly created website dedicated to her soon to debut via the Fondation Tanagra. She has been since 1997 shown on the website of the non-profit cultural foundation based in Switzerland which was founded by the artists, called Fondation Tanagra and one can still read her fascinating history on it's current website - www.fondationtanagra.com.
I will be your ambassadrice and guide as we further discover the fascinating and forever expanding and evolving phenomenon that is Mdvanii.
- Cheong Kwon
- historian and journalist