Doll News Summer 2020 - 123

Sharon Lightcap, who sang the songs onstage. Bonnie
Borelli would do the commentary for the shows and read
the fashion descriptions while Mrs. Hoyer was backstage
making sure the dolls' dresses were just right before they
were exhibited on stage.
In designing the ensembles for the Miss America
"contestants" she used various beautiful fabrics and trims
such as taffeta and lace, satin, chiffon, rhinestones and
sequins. The formal dresses were designed with different
necklines. Mrs. Hoyer had a book of pattern pieces and
each pattern was given a letter and number. She would
select the fabrics, trims, and embellishments and which
bodice and which skirt she wanted used for each costume.
Her choices and designs were given to Mrs. Grace Pehlman,
who made all of the special ornate gowns according to Mrs.
Hoyer's specifications. Many of the dolls had an upswept
hair style similar to the real Miss America contestants in the
1960s. Some of the dolls were dressed with stoles, and most
of the dolls wore "gauntlets" or "mitts."
The "Miss America" Pageant that was described in Mary
Hoyer's book, Mary Hoyer and her Dolls, explains how her
daughter, Arlene, displayed these dolls beautifully. There was
a pianist for the event and judges. The panel of judges for one
of the shows was chosen from West Reading High School in
Pennsylvania. Many little girls would have been in attendance
at the show. After the winner was announced Mary Lynne,
Mary Hoyer's granddaughter, recalls her grandparents
having to rush back to the store in Reading
where they would be actively engaged
with mothers and daughters desiring to
buy the contestant dolls. These shows were
understandably exciting and exhausting for
Mrs. Hoyer. Some collectors have been able
to find some of these "Miss America" dolls,
but they are indeed rare. In this particular
show described in Mary Hoyer's book "Miss
Alaska" was the winner. Her dress was
described as tulip pink under a coat of white
nylon net trimmed with white fur.
Another one of Mary Hoyer's fashion
shows, "DOLLIES from Out of This
WORLD," presented dolls dressed to
represent each of the planets. Sometimes
the 18-inch "Gigi" dolls were used for the
"Miss Universe" dolls. The winner here was
"Miss Pluto," whose gown was made of
shimmering satin and her full circular coat was trimmed in
white fur. Early in the 1980s Mrs. Hoyer was asked by Doll
Reader magazine to design a set of costume patterns for some
of her dolls that would be published in their magazine. She
included some of the "Miss Universe" doll patterns to be
shared in several issues. There are currently "Miss Universe"

"Miss Bo-Peep" from the "Fairyland" fashion show is
pictured in a taffeta dress edged in nylon lace. Her
crinoline is tagged and her mint gold shoes lend a
fashionable accent to her lovely outfit. The Mary
Hoyer mark is inscribed on "Miss Bo-Peep's" back,
and her pretty curls are shown at the nape of her
neck. From the author's collection.
DOLL NEWS * UFDC.ORG

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Doll News Summer 2020

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