January 31, 2009

Unlikely Style Icon: Barbie

Barbie, (full name Barbara Millicent Roberts), has always represented different things to different people. To some, she is a silly childhood toy. To others, a representation of Western culture’s warped body image. But to me, Barbie has always been synonymous with glamour. As a child I dreamed of being an adult, not so that I could live alone or stay up as late as I wanted, but so I could dress like Barbie.
And it seems that my dreams might soon become a reality, with the fashion world quickly catching on to Barbie’s style. Not only was everyone’s favourite 11 ½ ‘ superstar the subject of a recent M.A.C. line, but is the inspiration behind Jeremy Scott’s next collection, and will even have her own show at fashion week.

Barbie Inspiration Board:


Embracing Your Inner Barbie:
1. Wear Pink:
Though pink is perhaps the most popular colour among the 2-10 year old girl set, we tend to wear less of it as we get older. While I’m not advocating that you buy a fuchsia Juicy tracksuit (PLEASE, PLEASE don’t buy a fuchsia Juicy tracksuit!), take a cue from Barbie and integrate some pink into your wardrobe. As she shows us, there is a pink item out there for everyone, be it a beautiful pale pink gown or a pair of bold magenta leggings.
(Top: on the Chloe Spring 09 runway, Below: from LF Markey's Spring 09 collection (at Fashion Fringe), both photos from style.com)

2. Be Overdressed: The first Barbie doll wore a striped one-piece swimsuit, paired with white, cat-eye sunglasses, high heels, and hoop earrings. Her hair was perfectly coiffed, and her eyeliner bold. Red lipstick topped the look off. The first impression that she gave the world was one of a glamour girl. (Seriously, how often do you wear red lipstick and heels to the beach?). Busy Morning Barbie wore a peach and white striped day dress with a matching broad-brimmed hat, heels, and woven purse. This is quite different than most people’s real-life errand running outfit of jeans, T-shirt, and ballet flats!

Try wearing some big sunglasses the next time you go pick up groceries, or a faux-pearl necklace to class. Overdressing just a bit will make you feel like an old-Hollywood star.

3. Keep it Classy: While those Bratz skanks wear their nano-skirts and belly tops, Barbie remains ladylike. Yes, she has been known to rock the occasional cropped tee or mini skirt, but she is more likely to accessorize it with delicate earrings or a cute cardigan than platform knee-high boots. Remember to pair your more risqué ensembles with these lady-like touches in order to give off the right vibe.

4. Find Your Thing: The first thing that comes to mind for many people when they hear “Barbie” is blonde hair, high heels, and the colour pink. And no matter what the mini- style icon wears, at least two of these seem to feature in.

Now, you may find Barbie’s style disgusting. You may be a punky, Alice Dellal-esque girl who would rather die than wear a pink sparkly gown (at least un-ironically, anyway). But you’ll notice that most other style icons have their “thing”, too. For Anna Wintour it’s the bob and sunglasses, for Mary Kate Olsen the Starbucks cup and layers, and for Agyness Dean the androgynous haircut and leggings. So find your thing, be it chipped metallic nail polish or tailored cuts and try to combine it with this season’s trends.

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