A New Barbie Book on Fashion

Barbie Fashion Book

Some little girls grow out of Barbie. She’s too pink, too obsessed with shopping and she likes men with crazy razor sharp cheekbones, they say. Then, they paint their walls black and become monosyllabic for about three years. Others hold Barbie in a special place in their hearts, even when they grow out of playtime. Her miniature demeanour and Lilliputian possessions symbolise the tiny universes they conjured up as children – lots of adventures crammed into a compact world of innocence. It’s hard to replicate that and somehow other dolls have never quite nailed it.

It’s true that Barbie could be accused of compounding the idea of an unrealistic female body shape, but then to blame her for the objectification of women is quite ridiculous. Arguably little girls don’t walk around saying ‘I want to look like Barbie’ – they’re more like to say ‘I want to be Kim Kardashian or Kylie Jenner’ these days. Barbie has changed shape too and more importantly she now comes in seven different skin tones – that was by far the most important and significant change to be added to the manufacturing brief last year. More to the point, it’s Barbie’s dinky look not her body shape that little girls like. If we want to champion health and intellect over superficiality and unrealistic body image perhaps we need to stay clear of self-indulgent/semi-nude selfies first.We’re of the opinion that Barbie’s place in the world is one of worth.

In fashion Barbie has been a constant source of imagination and she’s also done her it in the socio-political arena. Vogue Italia’s Black Issue of 2008, which was masterminded by the late, great Franca Sozzani came with a Black Barbie supplement to celebrate diversity in fashion – indeed the first black Barbie came out in 1967, a year before the American Civil Rights Act. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries she’s been dressed by some of the most sought after designer labels on the planet from Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta and Dior to Burberry, Charlotte Olympia and Carven. Jeremy Scott based his entire Moschino spring summer 2015 collection on a Barbie fest, playing with her plastic fantastic credentials to the nth degree.  Now Barbie has her very own fashion bible thanks to Assouline – the luxury publisher for the discerning traveler/gastronome/sybarite/pleasure seeker. The book, which comprises 300 illustrations of Barbie in her best garb in cosmopolitan as well as exotic destinations, is a compendium of pleasure for the Barbie die-hard fan. Ken and his razor sharp cheekbones also get a look in, but his wardrobe oozes sprezzatura, so what’s not to love!

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Barbie Fashion Book by Assouline

Barbie Fashion Book

Barbie Fashion Book