17 Feb 2009
Barbie turns 50 this March but the classic doll was still turning heads recently at New York's Fashion Week, where models styled as Mattel's fashion icon took to the catwalk in designer outfits.
Over 50 world-renowned fashion designers, such as Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka, Tommy Hilfilger and Calvin Klein came together for the first time ever in New York and showcased real-size, Barbie-inspired looks.
A model made up to resemble a life-size Barbie doll.
A model gets make up backstage.
The show opened with an homage to the original Barbie's outfit, designed by Rachel Roy.
“As a little girl, my favorite was the original Barbie, who wore a black and white zebra-striped swimsuit," said Roy. "She represented beauty and style, but more importantly, she represented fun."
Lucky guests to the show also received a Barbie doll dressed with the outfit.
"I'm a Barbie girl, in a Betsey world," said designer Betsey Johnson.
“I had a Barbie before I had a G.I. Joe,” said designer Alexander Wang.
"Barbie represents the importance of individuality and personal expression through fashion," said designer Yigal Azrouel.
“I love Barbie’s fun spirit! She makes me think of happy outfits and bright colors. I think of ‘pink butterflies’ representing her femininity,” said designer Koi Suwannagate.
"Barbie represents a confident and independent woman with an amazing ability to have fun while remaining glamorous," said designer Diane von Furstenberg.
"Barbie is a little girl's introduction into fashion and style," said designer Rebecca Taylor. "They learn how to express personal style by mixing and matching pieces and creating different looks from the Barbie doll collections. Barbie has inspired little girls around the globe for the past 50 years and will continue to be a fashion icon."
“Barbie represents the best in all women. Over the years, she has shown young girls all around the world that they can be anything they want to be—a lawyer, a doctor, or an astronaut —and look fabulously fashionable doing it. She is a modern day icon,” said designer Kimora Lee Simmons.
“The Flag is the ultimate dress for the most famous American icon,” said designer Catherine Malandrino.
“Barbie has been completely foreign and familiar to me—it is unreal yet typical," said designer Wenlan Chia. "This mixed quality makes Barbie the best model to dress as she can be changed to anyone.”
"I've always found clothing to be a great vehicle for fantasy," said designer Erin Fetherston. "Barbie is a perfect example of this. With each change of her outfit, we've seen Barbie do and be anything and everything. This is what I find so magical about fashion, it gives us the ability to channel and experiment with identity, self-expression, and imagination through our own self-styling."
“Barbie is a risk taker with a hint of sophistication. Her style is constantly evolving with the newest trends. She will always be an inspiration to young girls because of her sense of style,” said designer Amir Slama of Rosa Cha.
“What we remember most are Barbie and the Rockers, those perms were perfection!” said designers Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra.
“Barbie, like a diamond, is forever," said designers Phillipe and David Blond.
“Growing up, I never had a Barbie since my mother, being French, only bought me dolls from France, despite my begging for a Barbie," said designer Nicole Miller. "Years later, I was given the opportunity to design two Barbies which mean a lot to me since I had never gotten to own one as a child. To me, Barbie is a true American icon.”
“Barbie is an American fashion icon, and I have fond childhood memories of dressing her,” said designer Monique Lhuillier.
"Barbie and I have had quite a long and fabulous star-designer relationship, so I knew immediately how excited she would be to make her Bryant Park debut in one of my creations," said designer Bob Mackie. "Our Barbie never went through those awkward teen years and has obviously drifted into middle age without a hit. Go girl—you're looking good!"
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