Yes, I know I promised I was over and out with Barbie, but I felt I owed it to all of us to discuss these get-ups on display at Galeries Lafayette.
Look at it this way: You can forget about airfare, hotels and meals because I’m saving you the time and trouble of a trip to see this once-in-a-lifetime 5oth-anniversary exhibition. No please, don’t thank me. I’m happy to do it. (Let me add, the Euro is still about 30 percent more than the dollar. So this is a major money saver.)
Let me tell you why I decided to postpone my promise about Barbieland: It’s because once again, in my opinion, with only two (maybe three) exceptions, the designers designing for this 50-year-old “icon” — if you’ll pardon the word — are giving her clothes suitable for her youngest daughter (or if she happened to be precocious, which she probably was, her oldest granddaughter).
Except, and here’s where I’m fascinated, the clothes from Diane von Furstenberg and Chantal Thomass (you may take issue with the Thomass outfit, but at least she has a sense of humor) are the sole Age Appropriate numbers. And why’s that, one might ask? Because they’re both women of a certain age. That’s why.
The white feathery frock by 35-year-old Véronique Branquinho, on a doll that looks like American Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, would probably work if one were so inclined. The Christian Lacroix cocktail dress is no doubt a “good legs” issue, although it could be a smidge longer I think.
As for Sonia Rykiel, I’d suggest: Take the accessories and run. And Martin Margiela, I’ve got seven words for him: Please talk to someone about your fantasies. Barbie’s wearing a bodysuit, but I just realized she’s also wearing a face suit — very scary.
Oh yes, as out there as the Marithe et François Girbaud dress/thing is I have a friend who would wear it in a second. She’d add black opaque tights and her low-heeled bootines. Françoise is another one of those cases where age has no meaning. Whenever I see her in one of her kooky creations it makes me smile. They always work — on her.
Assuming Barbie is a hoarder, she could have pulled the Pucci number out of the back of her closet, as in been there worn that, wonder if I can let that hem down or use it as a tunic (?!) The Kenzo may be back there someplace as well and she needn’t fret about length on that one, it’s more a question of “I’d forgotten how many layers one could actually put on one’s body and still be able to walk sideways through a door.” It also poses the pesky problem of how many pounds is that pile of clothes adding to my body.
Merci par avance for your patience. I give you my word I tried to resist this temptation, but as Oscar Wilde said: “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” Et voila.
Pictured above: Girbaud, von Furstenberg, Thomass, Pucci, Kenzo, Ungaro, Branquinho, Lacroix, Rykiel and Margiela.