The "BarbieCore" trend has been hitting both the high-fashion runways and the everyday sidewalks of cities for the past two years. It's a trend that is here to stay. What exactly is "BarbieCore?" It's a targeted aesthetic embracing the use of pink in everyday wardrobes, meant to symbolize Barbie attributes, with all things pink, glitter, hearts and bows. Its the energy and style attributed to the actual Barbie doll.
Where did the rise of Barbiecore come from? Let's take a look at the history of the doll to understand it a bit more.
On March 9th, 1959 a toy fair in New York City saw the advent of one of the greatest fashion icons of all time. She was 11 inches tall, with a luscious curled ponytail, and her name was Barbie. Her creator, Ruth Handler co-owner of Mattel toys, drew inspiration from the adult toy "Bild Lillie" from Germany to create this fashion icon.
Barbie started out in an iconic outfit, a black and white striped one piece swim garment that is still as in-style today as it was then. Early Barbie clothes were meant to teach young girls how to dress like a lady, with matching accessories and lovely fabrics. Her clothes had real snaps and zippers, and were as much of a hit as the doll herself. By 1961 the demand for the fashionista was so high that Mattel produced Ken, her boyfriend, and Midge, her best friend to add to the imaginative fun.
Barbie has not been without her challenges, mainly promoting a one-dimensional image of how woman should look and act, both in terms of skin color and what was thought to be the role of woman at the time. Read more about skin tone and Barbie here
. By the mid 1960's, with the rise of the feminist movement, some women were asking themselves if the Barbie doll, who only seemed to care for fashion, was really what they wanted girls to aspire to. Mattel responded by sending Barbie to the moon as a fabulously chic astronaut clad in a silver spacesuit in 1965. After that, there wasn't any glass ceiling Barbie couldn't break. From winning the Olympics, to learning computer science, to becoming a vet AND a doctor, and all done in the most exciting looks and accessories.
Barbie actually wore all sorts of colors until the brand decided to take the color of the logo, a shocking hot pink, into many of her looks. In 1969, a gorgeous prom look for Barbie came out in a lovely pink shade. In the 1970's one of Barbie's most iconic looks, inspired by Woodstock, came to shelves wearing a fabulous psychedelic pink jumpsuit with tan fringe. In 1980, we had CEO Barbie, who stormed boardrooms in a strong shouldered business skirt suit, and the 1990's saw Barbie in everything from a bright pink birthday dress to t-shirts and jeans.
Even though Barbie's had some scandals over the years, she's been a toy meant to inspire.
And that it has! Barbie has inspired fashion throughout the decades, from household fashions to the big screen (think Elle Woods in Legally Blonde), Barbie has taken definitely influenced fashion. With the new "Barbie" movie being released in 2023, we know her styles are still just as influential today as they've always been. Fast fashion brands have been pushing the trend as they see celebrities wear it; however, you can embrace it by pulling sustainable vintage pieces into your look. Every single decade has embraced pink as a powerful fashion color since Elsa Schiaparelli dommed the color in 1937. Read more about her influence here.
You truly can create your own Barbiecore look from vintage fashion! The great thing about this trend is that you can pull one or two pink pieces in to give a splash of color to your look, or go all-in and embrace it head to toe! There truly is no wrong way to rock Barbiecore style.
We've been curating a collection of Barbie inspired clothing and accessories from throughout the decades that can be found at Bloomers and Frocks. Want to incorporate the trend using vintage into your look? Shop more BarbieCore on our website
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