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Barbie Fall 2009 Collection

Y'know, there are those who say that Bryant Park has gotten a little too...shall we say, democratic in the last few years and all too often are renting out tents to groups with only a peripheral presence in the fashion world. We tend to agree. On the other hand, the Barbie fashion show was just plain fun and besides, is there a woman anywhere more fashionable than that little plastic bitch?

"The iconic doll celebrated 50 years with a runway show featuring looks created by 50 American designers, including Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Anna Sui and Diane von Furstenberg. The world’s top models brought the doll to life in three themed wardrobe sets. The first looks were a tribute to the retro dolls of the '50s and '60s, followed by a Malibu Barbie-inspired crop with big hair and tanned skin, and the finale featured edgier looks with clear plastic toppers that gave the audience a peek into Barbie's bright future."

Some of these looks are just plain adorable and we salute the designers who really got what this show was all about. Some (Malandrino and Burch, we're looking at you) just didn't and threw any old look on a model and called it Barbie.

Diane von Furstenberg

"Barbie represents a confident and independent woman with an amazing ability to have fun while remaining glamorous," said Diane von Furstenberg.

Michael Kors

“Barbie is everything that an All-American gal should be… sporty, smart, sophisticated and sexy,” said Michael Kors.

Catherine Malandrino

“The Flag is the ultimate dress for the most famous American icon,” said Catherine Malandrino.

Betsey Johnson

"I'm a Barbie girl, in a Betsey world," said Betsey Johnson.

[Photos: WireImage]

OH. MY. GOD. When you think this site couldn't get any gayer. I LOVE IT!!!! DVF's is FABULOUS!!!!

"I'm a Barbie girl, in a Betsey world," said Betsey Johnson.

I love her! I have to go back and look at all these dresses again. So many posts, so little time. Thanks, Tlo!

Love DVF's and Betsey's as usual. I guess I'm old fashioned. I just didn't care for the "edgier" black stuff. To me Barbie isn't Barbie without a bright color pallette - the black and white chevron swimsuit not withstanding.

I'm surprised they weren't also asked to replicate their outfit on an actual Barbie :)

Koi Suwannagate - the styling was SOOO Barbie.

The House of Field - harkens back to Blayne, and NOONE needed that.

The Nicole Miller had the Barbie vibe more than most.

It looks like some of the designers actually designed something for Barbie and others just pulled something out of the sample closet.
The Rebecca Taylor and Nanette Lepore are cute.
Betsey Johnson's looks kind of like Kaynebow's Recycle dress.
Did Robert Best have a gown in the show?

The Baby Phat looks like Michael Knight's design recently highlighted on PRG as being one of PR's Top Ten. The Catherine Malandrino has been worn by . . . everyone . . . since Election Day.

I usually like Kenneth Cole's sayings, but he lost me with the 'Everybody needs a Ken' shirt. I'm thinking he's never actually had a Ken, and so doesn't realize that Ken is lacking a little something.

If Ken was anatonically correct, Barbie wouldn't spend all her time shopping for clothes. In fact, when I see these shopaholics, I always think the same thing: They must have a Ken waiting for them at home.


LOVE Nicole Miller's Mod Barbie (she must be about my age). Also love DVF (though not new, I guess the color was), and Betsey Johnson (who was born to Barbie).

But was Michael Kors dressing Barbie, or a Star Trek action figure? That baggie poncho was truly a WTF moment.


I actually thought Kenneth Cole's was pretty witty, since HE is "Ken", no?


Three of Four(or Three as Four) must have been channeling Blayne- their design is growing fabric tumors....AYEEEEEE-my eyes!

DVF, on the other hand, did herself and Barbie proud.

Thanks for the fun post, kittens!

To GothamTomato:

As Kenneth Cole happens to be one of my clients, I think the t-shirt's saying was a reference to Mr. Cole, himself, as well as to Barbie's crewcut boyfriend. We all know that Kenneth Cole's ad copy is rife with multi-meanings.

I need to look at the pix again, but the DVF is timeless and so right in the pink for this project.

The B+W chevron Rachael Roy bathing suit seems to remind me of Barbie swimwear from many decades past, too.

I agree with DuBois: I think the more retro looks evoke Barbie to me more than the forward-looking ones do. Whether little girl consumers would agree or not, only time and the cash registers will tell.

All the best,


Oh, my. DVF is still making that dress! I owned it in collge? law school? in powder blue and white. The woman's a genius.

The Catherine Malandrino is the dress Heidi wore on Ellen a while ago!

I was there it was chaos!!! Every gay guy I know is hunting for that Ken!! Love the show, very well done EXCEPT for the seating arrangements...many people who were allocated SEATS got dumped to SRO....BOO to HL Group for doing such a horrible job and insulting INVITED GUESTS!! Got in at last second SRO which means someone else got my sag...GRRRR. STILL loved it and the fashions (well, most of them) 'cause I'm a "Barbie Girl"

The DVF is fabulous. I can't believe Malandrino just ripped off a dress she designed 9 years ago... why bother doing the show if you aren't going to make something original. If you are going to use an old design, at least use something that hasn't recently been all over the media the past few months.

The Vera Wang dress is a real barbie dress

And Michael Kors did a variation of the Chevron bathing suit in his Spring 2009 resort collection, didn't he?

Barbie is all about the accessories! Those designers who added purses, gloves, coats, hats.... well they played with Miss Barbie when they were young.

Now poor Tory Burch must have hated Barbie and is dressing her like a mother from the Brady Bunch, while Koi Suwannagate and Betsy Johnson just TOTALLY GOT IT!

fun fun fun!

Oh, Bob Mackie. Just keep on doing that thing you do.

The Twinkle dress was adorable. I think I may actually have had one like it for my Barbies.

LOVE IT! You bitches keep delivering it!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!

"anon said: We all know that Kenneth Cole's ad copy is rife with multi-meanings."

Yeah, like so much other copy (but not everyone gets that).


Thank you so much for posting this. Some of the designers have designed for Barbie (Anna Sui, DVF, Badgely Mischka) in the past for collectors.

Loved the whole thing, especially the Costello Tagliapietra.

They did the show in three parts, Vintage & Mod Barbie, 80s Big Hair & 90s Barbie, and Future Barbie.

Love you guys!!!


The 50th anniversary doll was designed by Robert Best, as was "Generations of Dreams 2009" that will be available in June. You can see a lot of his designs at


My Cher doll would totally steal the Bob Mackie outfit from my Barbie.

(Yes, I really had a Cher doll as a kid. Sonny too.)

I'm rather impressed by those who "got it". Barbie has always been a reflection of the times and there have always been designer versions of the doll, so why not a fashion show? It sounds hokey until you actually see it.

Fun fun fun!

Is it just me or is the Rosa Cha almost exactly the same as Jay McCarroll's S&M band-aid bathingsuit?

My Faves - DVF and Betsey Johnson.

Disappointed with Maladrino's effort. You don't half-ass a Barbie look. She could have done much better.

All the rest - Fab =)

Why do so many of the dresses have those plastic-y looking sleeves or wraps? Does that say "Barbie" in some way that I'm just not getting?

I may be stepping in it here, but i have never gotten the Malandrino asthetic. Im sure her clothes are intricately made, but they just don't photograph all that interestingly.

And beyond that, American flag clothing fills me with fear of iron on decals, puff paint, and giant hairbows. I had some serious childhood 4th of July cheesy clothing trauma.

Love the Betsey, the DVF, and I would adore the Kors if it hadn't had the clear plastic poncho...


i'm a barbie girl too. i think the majority are very barbie indeed.

My 9yo daughter just looked at Malandrino's and commented, "That isn't Barbie." Out of the mouths of babes.

She loved Betsey Johnson's, by the way.

Maybe it's just because I love him, but Uncle Nick's barbie outfit still tops all of these for me!

I didn't love this at all. I flipped out, shut all my doors, and brought in a diet coke to my office to get ready to watch this over and over again. I thought it was awful. I didn't feel like I was watching a tribute to Barbie fashion at all. :(

Too, Too Cute!! Love it! I even loved the outfits I hated!! Just 'cause it's Barbie, for heaven's sake!!
Seriously, though, the very, very best were DVF and Betsey Johnson. Just fabulous!!
It would have been kind of neat to see Uncle Nick's Barbie dress in the show.
Thank you so much, TLo for all you do for us!

It would be nice if Catherine Malandrino could find something to pimp out other than that damn flag dress. It's 5-6 years old! That's a lifetime in the fashion industry. She is a talented designer but hot damn, you'd think this was the only thing she ever made!

Rosa Cha might also want to buy a clue. Does she even know who Barbie is?

I just LOVE the DVF and the Rachel Roy. How fabulous! Thank you for posting about this. It is so exuberant! Perfect for a February day.

loved Nicole Miller, Twinkle, and Tracy Reese, and the Betsey Johnson was FLAWLESS. and wasn't that Reem Acra sported by Eva Longoria recently? meh. i think they could have ousted Malandrino's, Vera Wang's, etc and put in Uncle Nick's and Santino's Barbie dresses!! all in all though, what a delight! thanks TLo!

I love the DVF and the Betsey Johnson ones.

I might be biased just because I absolutely adore the two anyways.

Barbie has way more shoes than are show.
But I LOVE those red shoes. Where do they come from?


The models, each wearing specially dyed Barbie Pantone 219 Christian Louboutin stilettos, were grouped into three acts in the 28-minute show: Barbie past, present and future. Top designers, including Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Michael Kors, showed their take on Barbie fashion. Rag and Bone’s Barbie was school-girl preppy. Vena Cava’s Barbie slithered down the runway in a long gown with jeweled shoulders. Marchesa’s Barbie floated in a long sea of purple chiffon, and Vera Wang’s wedding Barbie looked white-gown ready for ‘‘I do.’’

From a USAToday article.


OK, I grew up on 70's (and early 80's) Barbies, and collected mid-60's and earlier Barbie as an adult, and still wander "The Pink Aisle" at toy stores on occassion so I asked myself ...

Did these designers deign for Barbie or themselves?

Diane von Furstenberg
- Yes!

Michael Kors
- uh, no.

Catherine Malandrino
- eh, No.

Betsey Johnson
- Yes! YES! YES!!! (one of my Barbies fell off the shelf diving to the laptop trying to tear it off the screen for herself)

Rachel Roy, Marchesa
Yes, Yes

Nanette Lepore, Monique Lhuillier
No, Yes

Vera Wang, Reem Acra
Yes, Yes (blah and pretty, but definitely Barbie-ific)

Nicole Miller,Anna Sui
No (which is weired, he's done great Barbie before), isn't that the design for her doll?

Baby Phat, Derek Lam
again, isn't that the design for her doll?, No

Costello Tagliapietra, Koi Suwannagate
No, Yes

Alexander Wang, Tory Burch
Yes, Maybe (if the idea is an update of a vintage picnic outfit)

Three as Four, Twinkle
Tacky Barbie, slutty Barbie

Kenneth Cole, Rosa Cha
Barbie as Sandy from Grease?, NO.

Tuleh, The Blonds
Yes, no

Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan
No, No (looks like they both threw a throw-away design at the project)

Brian Reyes, House of Field

Bob Mackie, Tracy Reese
One of his Cher Barbies, yes (updated vintage look I gather)

Badgley Mischka, Rebecca Taylor
Yes, Yes

Erin Fetherson, Chris Benz
more updated vintage?, Yes

Yeohlee, Peter Som
No, yes-ish

And I agree with StylistaKate, was all excited, but more designers didn't treat this as a Barbie-homage so much as another avenue to get their name in print.

Where can I get one of those TShirts? DH is a Ken (and I don't spend all my time shopping for clothes, Gotham).

I squee'd when I saw this.. It was fabulous. I really adore DVF's and Betsey Johnson's, which I'm surprised about. I also like the Koi Suwannagate and Rebecca Taylor.

I absolutely love the DVF one, the model is fierce. I love her attitude, her hair, the luggage...I LOVE IT!! Thanks for the great post, Tlo, I can't wait for more.

I actually think the Malandrino more "Barbie-like" than Michael Kors...what is on the Kors' models face, caterpillars ?

What is most interesting about this collection, much like PRS2's episode, is that each designer has a different idea of what Barbie means and represents. Some have really taken her status as an American icon and run with that sort of patriotic feel (occasionally in a literal sense), whereas others simply used her as an opportunity to inject their own aesthetic into the Barbie mold (some more successfully than others). I guess in the end that's what Barbie is all about.

Who doesn't love a dress you can wear a crinoline with? Love Betsey pushing it - so it's more like wearing a crinoline.. dress is a side note! ;)

Some of these are tacky tacky tacky. I do like Catherine Malendrino's remake though. And 3as4's too.

Diane von Furstenberg hands down

I am in a meta fugue state, because I am hearing TLo's Heidi calling Catherine Malandrino and several other designers lazy cows for not designing specifically for Barbie.

Also, why are some of these models styled like Captain Kirk's ex-girlfriends? I am not getting Barbie connection at all with that group.

Wouldn't you know. Twinkle's Barbie dress was one of those "just throw anything on and call it Barbie". It actually came from her Vogue Knitting, 2005 design.

I want a DVF Barbie!!!!

Was the model wearing Brian Reyes on Project Runway? She looks really familiar.

Notice no one could find a live model with the proportions of the doll?


They got it.


I loved Tracy Reese's dress, for me!

For me as a kid, Barbie outfits were all about the accessories and especially the outfits with several coordinating pieces - clutch, coat, beach towel, whatever. That was what made them special and different from clothes in my real life.

Extrapolate from there and you'll know which ones scream Barbie to me.

That Rosa Cha or whatever - huh? Barbie is wearing gothic/S&Mish inspired swimwear what?

i looooooooooove the michael kors, the plastic can go, besides that its georgeous!!!!!!!!!!

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