It’s been more than six decades since Barbara Millicent Roberts, known affectionately around the world as simply “Barbie,” hit the scene in 1959. Since then she’s been seen just about everywhere, from sitting poolside at her Malibu beach home to holding down myriad jobs from a fashion designer and makeup artist to an animal rescuer and veterinarian — she’s even on the gram with her friends.
Now she’s made it to the silver screen in her own movie, starring Margot Robbie in the title role and Ryan Gosling as none other than Ken!
She’s America’s girl next door, with a scientifically impossible curvy physique, feet permanently posed in a tippy-toe arch, and a Malibu home to die for. Just imagine, being 22 years old with your own beach house. Yep, that’s right, Barbie was young, too, just 19 years old when she debuted.
Like many women and young girls, Barbie played a big role in my play time—I took her swimming in HER pool, I helped her decorate HER Malibu home, I even designed her clothes (admittedly not as well as HER fashion-forward wardrobe, but don’t judge me).
Over the years, Barbie has become quite diverse, in career as well as culture — she comes in full figure now, too. The movie even showcases a diverse range of Barbies (Kens too) including Issa Rae (President Barbie), Ritu Arya (Pulitzer Barbie) and Nicola Coughlan (Diplomat Barbie).
Barbie was one of my favorite, if not THE favorite, dolls to play with. She afforded me the opportunity to stretch my imagination beyond my surroundings. And outside my mother and grandmother — who were fashion plates in their own right — Barbie was one of my fashion inspirations. Her wardrobe was limitless!
As a young collector at the time, I also had Skipper, Barbie’s younger sister and Christie, her African American best friend.
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When I first learned there would be a Barbie movie, I was beyond delighted to see my childhood pastime come to life on the big screen and I couldn’t help but become nostalgic. As the founder of FashFilmFete, I was particularly intrigued and excited about the perfectly pink costumes in life-size.
The costume designer tasked with fashioning the film is British designer Jacqueline Durran, who has worked on films such “Anna Karenina” and “Little Women,” for which she won an Oscar and worked with director Greta Gerwig, who also directs “Barbie.”
“Greta writes at 100 miles an hour, often four scenes in a page of script,” Durran told Vogue.com. “There’s a lot of costume changes.”
Although I have yet to see the film (I’m waiting until the theaters thin out), after watching the trailer and seeing the myriad posters flanked with chicly-dressed, the costumes will undoubtedly be as fierce and diverse as the casting.