As Barbie has been a beat in the rhythm of fashion since her introduction to the world as "The Teenage Fashion Model" in 1959, so pulsed the dramatic "heartbeat" motif projected onto the monolithic back-wall dividers of February 14th's Barbie Runway Show in the Tent at Bryant Park. Pink, plastic, shiny, glitzy, glam- so screamed Saturday's rather epic showing; however, nothing was lost behind the completely appropriate and totally dazzling over-the-top production of the show.
Our favorite leggy blonde commanded total attention as she flaunted her 50 looks as designed by a selection of 50 of fashion's hottest designers. The opener, a Rachel Roy designed interpretation of the classic black-and-white Barbie swimsuit was followed by several memorable pieces including a classic Diane Von Furstenburg wrap in pink leopard (DVF herself watched proudly from the front row), the patriotic circle-jerk of (ironically) French designer Catherine Malandrino's American Flag dress, and the real show-stopper- a Mackie designed gold sequined gown complete with diaphanously cascading white feather "detailing" (a positively titanic understatement).
The show was not only commemorative of Barbie's 50 year, magnanimous presence in our lives (only the equally plastic Janice Dickinson rivals her in the looks-for-age department), it also celebrated the newly established 3 year partnership between Barbie and CFDA. According to the lookbook given to attendees of the show (along with tantalizingly wafer-thin Barbie chocolates and a limited edition Fashion Model Edition Barbie Doll garbed in her iconic striped swimsuit), "the Barbie brand will work with the CFDA on a handful of programs to support up-and-coming designers through mentoring programs, the development of strategic partnerships, and the provision of financial stipends and scholarships."
Looks like America's Plastic Sweetheart has a heart of gold after all.
I never had that secret Barbie stash that most men like myself are typically thought to have coveted during their childhood; I played with boy toys. She has never been anything of consequence to me. That said, let me now say this- after Saturday's show, girlfriend has got my number. Mine and everyone else's in the Tent that afternoon.
-Post by Nicolas Seraleyva