Welcome back to the Melrose blog, where we always have something interesting to share with you. This week, this author shows her skills by tackling a challenge; dressing models in all pink to present another fashion subculture inspired by pop culture icon Barbie. That's right, hot pink, sophistication, and heels rule the Barbiecore world. Represent the Barbie brand and build a wardrobe of feminity and perfectly arched feet. This is part of the new Barbie movie's message starring Margot Robbie. Greta Gerwig's vision of Barbie showcases diversity while preserving the Barbie brand's legacy and authenticity. Take some fashion inspiration from your friends at My Melrose by checking out the creations below.
A Brief History of Barbie
Let's get down with a bit of history; Barbie was introduced to the world in 1959 by Mattel, Inc., a toy company co-founded by husband and wife duo Ruth and Elliot Handler and Harold "Matt" Matson. The current owner, chairman, and CEO is Ynon Kreiz. In the early years of Barbie, she was edited by ladies in a Mattel-sponsored market study; she had "too much of a figure," according to responses. Barbie was initially modeled after the German Bild Lilli doll. In the 60s, Barbie gained her personal "accessory," her boyfriend, Ken. She was also given her best friend, Midge, her sister Skipper and dolls of color.
The Barbie brand has been criticized for its focus on materialism; if you look back to a large part of the 70s counter culture, it was the opposite. Another huge issue was her body proportions which were hyper-unrealistic. Mattel has worked to change Barbie's proportions, abandoning the idealism of the 50s and embracing the reality of how women want to be portrayed; by listening to real women. Barbie's figure isn't the only thing that has evolved over time, from the Barbie Diversity page, you can see that in 2023, Barbie has a doll with Down Syndrome made with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and a collection of dolls with 35 skin tones, 97 hairstyles, and nine body types. Perfect for kids to see how the world is as they grow up. This isn't just a statement, it's science: read a 2020 study funded by Mattel on the benefits of playing with dolls. Even when I was little (I'm 26 right now), I remember loving my Barbie toys and them being a positive part of my life of learning to be myself and be happy by myself.
What is Barbiecore?
Pink isn't only for Wednesdays; with Barbiecore, pink is part of a lifestyle. Barbiecore features bright and bold all-pink outfits that are over-the-top with fun silhouette combinations. Typically the looks are more feminine with glitter, sparkles, and noticeable accessories. With over 505 million views on TikTok, #barbiecore is here to inspire fun with a mix of nostalgia and modern fashion ideas. TikTok creator @the.navarose has plenty of cute examples of Barbiecore outfits, with maximalism and a blend of other fashion subcultures to make each look unique. With femininity and pink as core themes to follow, pieces that would best fit in mini skirts and mini dresses with the maximalist fashion subculture as a gallery of inspiration.
Since Barbie's creation, not only has she been an iconic influence in the world of fashion, she celebrates femininity, freedom, and female power. Despite the overly feminine aesthetic, Barbie symbolizes positivity and intelligence; dolls in different career attire show young girls and ladies alike that women can pursue anything they wish.
Our Barbiecore dresses are similar in style and silhouette, with their shoe pairings near exact copies. These looks are chic with their short cuts and flattering deep v-necklines. Our first modern Barbiecore look featuring a dress is our pink "Profile" 34" 3/4" Sleeve Button Down Open Back Tie Dress and pink patent pleather spiral snake-up heels. The other look we created showcases the "Profile" 34" 3/4" Long Sleeve Front Tie Dress, the "Legend" 4" Pleather Snake-Up Spiral Ankle Strap Heels, and the white "Tops" Envelope Flap Pleather Purse with Gold Tone Chain.
Barbiecore Tops and Bottoms Looks
These cute Barbiecore outfits are well-evolved from the styles in previous years with the right amount of feminine energy that would undoubtedly be Barbie approved. Each look is near monochromatic, with various silhouettes, shapes, and textures. Look above at our slideshow for inspiration, and continue reading for what we used and where our inspiration came from.
The first look is playful and a little flirty; the "Chocolate" Feather Lined Spaghetti Strap Satin Tube Tank Top does well with the beetroot "Blue Spice" 1-Button Shorts and the pink "Top" 4" Patent Thong Strappy Ankle Strap Heels and finishes with the fuchsia "Pink" Geometric Stitch Pattern Pleather Gold Tone Chain Handbag. We use a set of gold hoop earrings and a layered gold necklace to accessorize. Our secret Pinterest collection of inspiration showcases various fur or feather-lined tops. We picked one that looked closest to our "Chocolate" top, hypothesized what type of bottoms were used, and started creating our own Barbie look.
Our second and third styles feature the same "Chocolate" Bright Hook-and-Eye Cropped Tank Top in white (pictured second) and fuchsia (pictured third). We took inspiration from the "boned" corset-esque top from a tube-style one found here. The photo shows pink bottoms; we opted for pants for both outfits. The white-topped look showcases our magenta "Chocolate" Bright Paper Bag Tie Belt Pants, "Top Guy" Satin Bow Tie Slide-on Flats, and sizeable pink gold chained handbag. Our fuchsia-topped outfit has our beetroot "Blue Spice" 1-Button Colorful Denim Jeans, fuchsia "Soda" 3 1/2" Chunky Slip-on Mule Heels, and a clear satchel jelly bag to make a complete over-the-top casual look.
The fourth look mixes retro and modern pieces with the white "Golden Bridge" Plastic Retro Circular Sunglasses as the retro item that brings to life the blend of the trending idea of the blazer and pant combination along with a dainty piece of clothing to marry power and feminity all in one look. The "power" part of this creation is the combination of our fuschia "NY Invasion" Long Sleeve Blazer and "Iberia" Fuchsia Ponte Pants to mimic the pantsuit idea. The "dainty feminine" element here is our white "New Mix" Lace Spaghetti Strap Bralette. We finish this beautiful ensemble with the white "Top" 4" Patent Thong Strappy Ankle Strap Heels and a matching "Deluxity" Small V Hardware Satchel Crossbody Bag.
The next look aimed for a night-out style; therefore, we needed inspiration for a crop top and bottoms that fit tight in the right places. Go out wearing our glossy magenta "Papermoon" 17" Satin Spaghetti Strap Crop Top, white "Blue Spice" 10.5" 1-Button Shorts, white "Top" 3 1/2" Thick X-Strap Peep Toe Heels, and fuchsia "Pink" Geometric Stitch Pattern Pleather Gold Tone Chain Handbag.
The final look you saw in our last blog introduced our first set of contemporary apparel. Professional, mature women can follow trends too and do it better. Here we feature our fuschia "Papermoon" Cowl Neck Spaghetti Strap Tank, "Chocolate" Bright Pull-On Flare Pants and white "Top" 4" Patent Thong Strappy Ankle Strap Heels, and white "Deluxity" Small V Hardware Satchel Crossbody Bag. This look did not have a photo reference for inspiration, our "Chocolate" pants are a new addition to the collection, and needed to be showcased. Switching to first person a moment, I took inspiration from how much I enjoy wearing my palazzo pants (that are tailored for 28" inch legs, btw) with a more fitted deep v-neck top (since my body is pear-shaped) and platforms to work. All these elements contributed to the thought behind one of the first contemporary looks for My Melrose.