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Arts & Antiques by Dr. Lori
Toys that Inspire Art and Fashion

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Dr. Lori, Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, Dr. Lori hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide. Dr. Lori is the star appraiser on Discovery channel.   Visit www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, Lori Verderame on Google+or call (888) 431-1010.

By Lori Verderame

 Colored pencils can be chopped up and strung in the manner of small scale beads to make jewelry.

Colored pencils can be chopped up and strung in the manner of small scale beads to make jewelry.

Repurposing crayons to Legos to Beanie babies

In 2014, soap bubbles, little green army men and the Rubik’s cube were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum located in Rochester, New York. The Strong Museum has one of the largest collection of toys, board games, dolls, and video and electronic games in the world.

To date, 56 toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, which was established in 1998. Other include the rubber duck, the stick (yes!), the cardboard box, the game of chess, Hot Wheels toy cars, the doll house, Star Wars action figures and dominoes. Anyone can nominate a toy to the hall of fame. Final selections are made on the advice of a panel of judges made up of historians, educators and others in the field of play.

Thinking about vintage toys prompted me to consider how they are repurposed into new and true art forms. I found some pretty interesting collaborative efforts, mainly in the areas of craft, fashion, art and jewelry design.

Crayola crayon and colored pencil necklaces are the result of a designer using a pre-fab necklace, rope or chain link to string through a group of pre-drilled crayons or pencils. Colored pencils can also be chopped up and strung in the manner of small scale beads to make jewelry.

Legos have inspired many works of art, such as high fashion, ultra-pricey couture and jewelry pieces. For instance, the Chanel clutch purse ranges in price from $9,900 to $11,000 each. These Chanel purses are true works of art, hence the pricetag. The purses come in bright colors just like original Lego building blocks and feature geometric shapes. Since their introduction, the Chanel Lego purse has been seen in the hand of some of today’s trendy celebs, such as fashionistas Rihanna, Jennifer Biel, Dakota Fanning and Kim Kardashian.

Legos have inspired other artwork besides purses. The Smithsonian Institution’s annual Craft2Wear event featured jewelry using Lego blocks. Actual Lego blocks are strung together into necklaces, earrings and bracelets by several designers worldwide. Some are enhanced with sterling silver, set precious stones and gold leaf.

Gamers should consider keeping their spare change in in a PlayStation wallet, which is inspired by Sony’s best-selling video game console introduced in 1994. Like some of its games, the wallet is hand-held.

Beanie baby purses featuring the famous TY tag stuffed animals are turned into pocketbooks with clever names like Beary Bag (bear) and Hutch Clutch (rabbit).

In the world of high fashion, shoes are at the forefront of today’s trends. You don’t play around when it comes to a woman’s shoe closet. I have a pretty serious shoe collection myself. And, toys have inspired some pretty innovative high heels, such as the erector set shoes designed by Jimmy Choo. Just as erector sets prompted children to build miniature skyscrapers, you will be soaring from your ankles to your toes on urban-inspired Choo shoes. For Manolo Blahnik fans, Anna Wintour’s book Manolo Blahnik Draw­­ings highlights his designs. You can see the wit and whimsy — some of it coming from toys — in the luscious designs of his “just can’t live without” shoe creations.

Who knows… maybe during 2016 Fashion Week, we will see the introduction of Rubik’s cube knee-high boots, little green army men earrings and soap bubble wand barrettes and hair bands!

Arts & Antiques by Dr. Lori

Toys that Inspire Art and Fashion

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