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Over Nine Month’s Since Barbie’s Blockbuster Release, Why Isn’t her Plastic Pink Reign Slowing Down?

by Iasmina Ionescu

A movie that not only made us obsess over everything pink, but simultaneously appreciate the heartwarming (and sometimes gut-wrenching) moments of femininity; the Barbie obsession doesn’t seem to be shifting, and we’re here for it.

Oriana Capaldi Ciudad’s new AW24 collection, Photographer: Ciáran Christopher

Released to cinemas on July 21st, a whopping 264 days ago (not including the near year of anticipation), the fad doesn’t seem to be dwindling - despite regular speculation that it will. 

Not only achieving several box office milestones, the Barbie movie saw even the least likely of allies bring their finest pink shirts to the local cinema. 

Yet, the Mattel creation known as every little girl’s favourite doll, has infiltrated high fashion, interior design, beauty trends, and so much more.

You may wonder, why continue the hype for a doll months after the movie’s release?

Because the movie and everything it ignited in its audience is exactly what our society needed.

As women, we were told to pack away our prized, well-dressed plastic possessions and ‘grow up.’ 

At the same time, decades later, our male partners and colleagues continued to play video games until ungodly hours and were never challenged about why this norm existed.

Seems quite unfair, doesn’t it?

Barbie empowered femininity, and suddenly, what was once looked at as an unrealistic, childish figure, became the epitome of a woman’s struggles; insecurities, double standards, work-life balance, motherhood, relationship challenges, workplace inequalities - you name it, Barbie faced it. 

Or at least, a female associated with Barbie did.

So, Barbie has continued to revolutionise more industries than imaginable. From the newly released coffee table book by Mattel and Rizzoli featuring unforgettable looks that will go down in history as being deliciously stylish, to pastel pink colour-drenched rooms being the interior design highlight of the spring season - this seems to be less of a short-lived fad and more of a never-ending ad.

The Mattel and Rizzoli home-staple book will possibly go down in fashion history as an iconic must-have, featuring some of the vintage-inspired outfits styled by Andrew Mukamai and a foreword from Vogue’s Edward Enninful and China Margaret Zheng, as well as Barbie’s own brilliant Director, Greta Gerwig.

Pink hues have been prominent throughout this year’s fashion trends, with every shade from bubblegum to fuchsia making an appearance on both runways and high streets, regardless of gender or style. Valentino’s Pink PP Collection will go down in history, creating a knock-on effect in trends and unintentionally becoming synonymous with the wave of feminine fashion that came with Barbie’s pre-release hype. 

Oriana Capaldi Ciudad’s new AW24 collection is something Barbie would no doubt love, as it’s inspired by the sugary sweet style that Barbie popularised. 

Oriana Capaldi Ciudad’s new AW24 collection, Photographer: Ciáran Christopher

Oriana Capaldi Ciudad is a London-based brand that designs Prêt-à-porter de Luxe and Couture pieces. Sustainability is important to the brand they bear in mind by making mostly unique pieces, buying local as much as possible, having 100% recyclable and compostable packaging, and recycled mailer.

Oriana Capaldi Ciudad’s new AW24 collection, Photographer: Ciáran Christopher

It’s easy to see why the brand won the MAD Award (Mode and Design) in 2018, and has only continued to go from strength to strength ever since; with daring cuts and interesting designs woven throughout their garments.

Barbie’s grip on us doesn’t seem to be loosening anytime soon. Doll-inspired editorials, pop hits by Dua Lipa and Lizzo, eclectic home decor items - this trend might’ve sparked a whole new vibrant future that accepts female interests as inspiring and creative.

Beyond the pink, Barbie has reminded women that their creativity, inner beauty and humanity shouldn’t be put on the shelf. She has become a representative of everything that makes women wonderful, while also shining a light on the not-so-glam yet very real issues that come with womanhood.

Barbie for Prime Minister, anyone?

Edited by Emily Duff

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