Summer fashion’s unexpected muse? Well, that would be Barbie, and her knock-your-eyes-out colorful wardrobe (particularly, that brilliant shade of Barbie pink).
The catalyst for the trend, according to many, was the announcement of the Great Gerwig film “Barbie,” due out July 2023, starring Margot Robbie as the real-life doll and Ryan Gosling as Ken. However, despite the long lead for the film’s debut, photos from the set have captured the imagination and interest of the style world.
Now, the whole vibe, universally dubbed “Barbiecore,” seems to have inspired a league of luminaries such as Kim Kardashian, Anne Hathaway, Lizzo and Arianna Grande, along with many others, who have turned Barbie pink into a red carpet staple. Designers too, have caught Barbie fever, most prominently Pierpaolo Piccioli, whose Valentino Fall 2022 runway included 48 looks in the smoldering pink hue. And it has transfixed the general public too, as evidenced by the multitude of social media #Barbiecore posts on TikTok and Instagram.
Bottom line, it seems that this season, it’s a Barbie world and we are living in it.
While the embrace of color is regularly a summer go-to, there’s more to it this time around, says Phillip Bloch, a designer and Hollywood stylist from Seaford. “It’s the comfort of a childhood memory especially in these difficult times, combined with the fact that this particular pink is extraordinary on dark skin and a great summer color on tan skin too. It’s an accentuating color and it feels like lately, women want to be empowered with a blast of color,” he says, adding that it’s almost like an app filter.
Bloch is no stranger to the Mattel Barbie dynasty. In 2006, during her troubling break up with love interest Ken, he was tapped to do a makeover for the doll. “I went for part Jim Carey, part Pierce Brosnan and part Lenny Kravitz. He had a man purse and skinny jeans.”
At Mystique stores in Levittown, Manhasset, Rockville Center and Huntington, general manager Tal Kashi says that pink, “is definitely on-trend, especially fuchsia. It’s always there but since people are talking about it it’s become more prominent and you’re going to see even more hot pink next year when the movie actually comes out.”
POWER OF PINK
Afshin Haghani, the co-owner of Gallery Couture in Manhasset also believes that the power of pink will be amped up even further come fall. “I think the trend is really going to get going then. Now, we’re seeing people who formerly would not think about wearing it getting into the color — and it’s not a baby pink, some of it can be so deep it’s almost red — and depending on how you wear it, it can be edgy.”
Prescient Mia Chmela, 17, of Douglaston, was standout at the Half Hollow Hill High School East senior prom last month, wearing a hot pink gown purchased at Camille La Vie in Carle Place.
“Even though I didn’t realize that pink was really in this year, now I know that I’m in with the trend and it’s cool,” she says. At the prom, “People were coming up to me and saying, ‘Oh my God, you’re literally Barbie.’ I was like ‘thank you. I think that’s a compliment.’”
Her date, Vincent Aloe, 18, of Dix Hills, unabashedly matched the moment with a bold pink tie and pocket square. “I like bright colors and I was excited to wear it. I didn’t think twice about the pink,” says Aloe. “I didn’t want to be wearing a boring black tux with a black tie.”
His attitude may be just the thing that male celebs like Justin Bieber and Nick Cannon, who have donned vibrant head-to-toe pink, might be thinking. As for the Barbiecore influence? “I never heard anything about Barbiecore,” he says. “But all the girls liked it.”