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Barbie Bling

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 7 months ago
Barbie Home





Barbie's clothes were designed to resemble the fashions of her time.  Therefore, Elliot Handler scooped up Charlotte Johnson, a free-lance fashion designer from Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles, CA, to design Barbie's wardrobe (Handler 8).  Ruth Handler wanted Barbie's clothing to be of good quality and of the latest fashions emulating those of the top designers, such as Christian Dior, CoCo Chanel, and Balenciaga, to designs of today from Givenchy, Versace, Dolce & Gabana, Vera Wang, and Gucci. 


In Barbie's earlier years, particularly before the 1980's, fashion was intended for specific occasions, which greatly explain the naming of her outfits, such as "Solo in the Spotlight" of '60, "Career Girl" of '63, and "Saturday Matinee" of '65.  Such outfits like "Roman Holiday" were inspired by the lovely Audrey Hepburn in '59, and "Red Flair" worn by Jacqueline Kennedy in '62 (Steele 9).


Jacqueline Kennedy's White House Wardrobe (1961-63)



Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's




Rumor has it that Barbie's clothes are of much better quality than our own!


Mattel sent Johnson to Japan to work with seamstress Fumiko Nakamura, and to oversee the production of Barbie's wardrobe.  Barbie's clothes were exceptionally well-made and hand-sewn by Japanese women.  Ruth found that "Japanese women, with their smaller hands and traditionally more nimble fingers, were ideally suited for making these tiny garments" (Handler 10).


Barbie's zippers really zipped, buttons buttoned, and jewelry clasped - unfortunately her shoes never seemed to stay on.


Furthermore, Charlotte Johnson explained Barbie's impossible dimensions were necessary for her to wear her clothes in the most flattering way.  Barbie would lose her figure to zippers and snaps if her waist wasn't so tiny.  In fact, Ken's "bump" also had to be downsized to accommodate his zipper, too (Lord 49).


Nevertheless, Barbie is after all a fashion model, and not only does the trendy teenager have to keep up with the latest fashions, she has to live in fashion, too.


Barbie has a three-story dream house completely furnished with louvered doors that open and close, a fully-equipped, state-of-the-art kitchen, and a luxurious bed and bathroom suite that would bring every femme to her knees.  She also has a detachable third floor playroom with a flat screen TV, other electronics, and a balcony.


She also drives a Corvette, Jeep, yacht, and motorcycle - in Barbie's signature color pink of course!


Could Barbie's ultimate accessory be Ken - the ultimate boy toyHow many Ken doll's do you own per Barbie?




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