Sunday, October 25, 2009

Barbie World

As it's Barbie's 50th anniversary this year (the reason for the rather odd Barbie inspired show Mattel have just hosted at New York fashion week - see below) we thought we'd dedicate a post to her, given that in some ways she's the ultimate fashion icon, and a sort of pop art object. You might want to look away now if you're a fashion diabetic who can't tolerate such levels of sugary sweetness..

Rebecca Taylor, Betsey Johnson

Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang

Monique Lhuillier, Marchesa.

Various designers were roped in to produce a Barbie-esque outfit for the show, including Christian Louboutin who came up with the suitably pink shoes, although we're puzzled as to why the organisers didn't make it more fun by booking models who actually looked like Barbie, and then doing their hair and make-up accordingly. With the models they chose it just looks like a rather odd regular fashion show: the kitsch factor isn't nearly high enough to pull it all together, even if the outfits are fun.

Anyway, with this Barbie-fest going on, we were inspired to look in our large design book collection to see if there was anything on Barbie. Surprisingly, we found this "Apple Identifier to Barbie Dolls":

We have no idea why or how we acquired it (oddly it's a guide for hardcore Barbie collectors, with sections like "The Ponytail Era" - and as strange as our hobbies may be, Barbie collecting is not among them), but it has some fun pictures, and we're amazed how up-to-date some of Barbie's outfits from over 30 years ago look:

Hervé Léger bandage dress, anyone?

Prada SS09 gold?

Roland Mouret style tailoring?

Serious Barbie fans may be interested in fashion-publisher Assouline's new book, "The Ultimate Collection: Barbie", which costs $500, and doubtless has a much larger collection of photos, perhaps including the various Barbie outfits that have actually been designed by high fashion designers. The photos are removable, which means they can be displayed elsewhere too.

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