I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet. -- Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

22 February 2009

Happy Birthday Doll-Barbie in Bryant Park

Barbie and I don't speak. We haven't in years! She used to live with me, her clothes and pumps everywhere. My dog would grab her by her hair or swallow her little pink heels, which was often a source of great upset at our house...me for Barbie and her missing shoes which were essential to her "Look", the rest of the family for the dog.

A special day involved a trip to the toy store to buy a new outfit or a new accessory.

Robert Best, Mattel
I designed clothes for her, I dressed her and her friends in only the best and most recent styles and hung them all carefully in her closet on teeny plastic hangers. She traveled with me, packed in her own travel case with the appropriate wardrobe for the trip. She had a life filled with ball gowns, great hair, sunglasses, shoes!! - at 9 years old I could only dream about such a life, and did. Looking back on all those hours buttoning itsy bitsy buttons, I think I have to give Barbie a lot of the credit for inspiring my life long love of fashion, elegant style and beautiful clothes. She was, and is again, every little girl's fashion muse. We did had a lot of fun together,but...

...then I grew up. I became a student of women's history and the impact of popular culture on girl's self image and the development of their self esteem. Barbie became the negative poster girl for the damage that a skinny youth based culture can impose on not only little girls but women of all ages. Playing with Barbies became something that enlightened Moms did not allow their little girls to do despite growing up with her themselves. She became a target and lost her cache. The ideal of perfection, long legs, skinny frame, perfect eyelashes and lips could be seen going hand in hand with the rise in eating disorders, demand for plastic surgery and low self esteem and achievement for girls. Can a toy cause such emotional impact...maybe, but I am ready to make peace with Barbie. Yes, she has in her "life" embodied the "ideal" and that is a dangerous goal for little girls to attempt to achieve. Barbie,however, is a cultural icon whose "life" has reflected our history as women and the changes we have been through and the lives we live today...

Tory Burch

as she went from white gloves to motorcycle jackets... Nicole Miller
from prim and proper to living her own style,

Monique Lhuillier

exciting and elegant Vera Wang

Adventurous and very much her own woman

Diane Von Furstenberg
and still with the same guy!. Kenneth Cole(who else!)

Quite a load to pin on a 9" piece of plastic, but somehow Barbie has weathered it all and shows no signs of sitting back on her pink sofa and kicking back her pointy heels...and on March 9 Barbara Millicent Roberts(who knew?) turns 50.!

To celebrate this milestone what did Barbie do???-Botox, Lip injections, Lipo...??? NO, instead Barbie hit the runway at New York Fashion Week with her own show in Bryant Park. Many reviewers in fact have said that this show was The show to see and be seen and there can be no doubt that Barbie's presence injected some much needed pink enthusaism to a troubled fashion market. An American icon who at 50 is coming into her own-if Calvin Klein and Badgley Mischka dress you ...then you must be doing something right.

Koi Suwannagate

Fifty of the fashion world's most influential designers from Reem Acra to Vera Wang created looks that celebrated Barbie's past, Rachel Roy

her present ...


and a look to her future Badgley Mischka

Complete with LOTS of BIG hair, sunglasses, great shoes and a fantasy world of the best in style, Barbie once again lived every little, and not so little, girl's dreams-being dressed by the best! With her own Website, facebook page, Blog , endorsements with Sephora and Bloomingdales-all in Barbie Pink of course, she is at 50 inspiration for women who have survived it all and looks amazing doing it

She isn't fading into her late mid-life, well maybe she'll write her memoirs? Barbie honey, you may not look like any 50 year old I know but let's face it girl...you wear it well!