- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Personal Best

Despite his recent ouster from “Project Runway” — Bravo’s Emmy-nominated fashion reality series, seen each Wednesday at 10 p.m. — Robert Best still has his fans … and an apparel line in stores.

Most women likely won’t wear his designs — but dolls will. The Los Angeles designer is a principal designer for Mattel and has worked on his own line of Barbie collectibles for 10 years.

Barbie is an American icon, and Mr. Best — who also has worked in New York with such fashion icons as Isaac Mizrahi, Anne Klein and Donna Karan — has designed fashions for some of the most memorable dolls in the Barbie collection. He created Millennium Bride Barbie, Wedgwood Barbie and the Faberge series. He also has designed celebrity dolls based on Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe.

Unlike the original Barbie, Mr. Best’s latest line features some of the high fashion for which he is known in “Project Runway.” The Best Models on Location Barbies (priced at $34.95 and available at several retailers including Target and KB Toys and online at www.barbiecollector.com) were inspired by the world’s best-known fashion hot spots. They have a brand-new ModelMuse body sculpt and clothes that look straight off the catwalk.

Each doll in the collection — tagged with such jet-setting monikers as the Milan Barbie or the South Beach Barbie — comes dressed in “a glamorous bathing suit for spa visits or swimming” but also features a posh assortment of mix-and-match designer outfits and accessories.

Says Mr. Best: “I basically think of Barbie as if she is real, and even though there is fantasy in my work, I always think of what a real woman would wear and then translate that into doll scale.”

Arrested development

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje of the hit show “Lost” was arrested on a traffic violation in Waikiki over the weekend, police said.

According to Associated Press, the 39-year-old actor, who plays Mr. Eko on the ABC drama, was arrested early Saturday for disobeying a police officer and driving without a license. He posted $500 bail and was released after spending a little more than six hours in jail, police said.

He is scheduled to appear in district court Sept. 26.

In December 2005, Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros were arrested for drunken driving. Both pleaded guilty.

Wedding belle

“American Idol” season one contestant Tamyra Gray was married Saturday on the island of Capri, Italy, to songwriter and producer Sam Watters, celebritycafe.com reports, citing a report in People magazine. The two had been dating for two years.

Miss Gray, 27, a Takoma Park native, was in the top four of the first season of “American Idol.” Mr. Watters, 36, has produced and written songs for Celine Dion, Jessica Simpson and Kelly Clarkson. He also was a member of the 90’s R&B; group Color Me Badd.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance and Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and wire reports.

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