Barbie puts on pink glasses at Fashion Sphere

The upcoming summer release of the Barbie movie has intensified the fashion world’s taste for the iconic doll’s girly style and her favourite colour, pink… Let’s take a look at the #Barbiecore phenomenon.


Fashion often changes. Are we witnessing a backlash against the gender-neutral trend ? Without going that far, it’s clear that pink, the colour of little girls and young women in yesterday’s world, is making a strong comeback in the fashion sphere. And it’s doing so through the vehicle of a muse who could not be more gendered: the very girly Barbie !



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Une publication partagée par Barbie (@barbie)


It hasn’t escaped the fashion press: interest in the famous Mattel doll and her signature colour, pink, is exploding on the Internet and social networks in the run-up to the release this summer (19 July in France) of Greta Gerwig’s film Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, transformed into Barbie and Ken.




Several hypotheses can already be put forward to explain this phenomenon.


One possibility is that it is an antidote to the excesses of desexualisation and/or the blurring of genders, or even to a feminism seen as aggressive. Even if the famous pink colour has also been seen on the singer Harry Style, whose highly studied looks borrow readily from the feminine wardrobe.


And even though Kim Culmone, senior vice-president of design for Barbie, has declared that “pink”, Barbie’s favourite colour, “represents unlimited potential and is a symbol of female emancipation”!


Life in pink


But, according to some, pink could also be a remedy for the prevailing pessimism and aggression. According to “chromopsychology” specializers, pink reduces violent impulses and exalts joie de vivre. In short, it’s a great way to see ‘la vie en rose’, as Edith Piaf so aptly put it.


But while the causes of the current Barbiecore trend (an aesthetic inspired by the doll icon, editor’s note) may still be debatable, the facts are indisputable.



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The fashion press, from Vanity Fair to Business of Fashion to Vogue, has largely identified them in recent months.


Most agree that interest in Barbie has been shown in the fashion world before. They cite in particular the Spring 1995 Chanel collection, nicknamed “Barbie”, by Karl Lagerfeld and the Spring 2015 Moschino collection by Jeremy Scott, inspired by the star doll.


Buying frenzy


The arrival of the Barbie film, however, turned this low-key trend into a “near tsunami”, which began to take off last year.


“Barbie has become the style muse of the past year,” Morgane Speed, chief content editor at Lyst, told Insider.


The specialist fashion search platform has seen a frenzy of Barbie-related fashion items, such as hot pink outfits”, following the release of a new trailer for the Barbie movie in early April.


Searches for items in the famous girly colour increased by 78% in the week that followed. The models shown by Margot Robbie in the trailer are also said to have caused a stir, with a 45% jump for her gingham dress and 115% for her mules !



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Barbiecore tidal wave


The backdrop to this real-life craze is a Barbiecore tidal wave on social networks, particularly Tiktok.


Videos linked to this trend have been viewed around 590 million times on TikTok, while the hashtags #barbiecore and #barbiecoreaesthetic have reached 36.9 and 2.7 million views respectively.


Barbiemania and its signature colour have also been sweeping the catwalks and red carpets since last year, according to The Business of Fashion.


The tone was set in March 2022 with the presentation of Valentino’s autumn-winter 2022-23 collection by creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. Called Pink PP, the collection featured the same bright monochrome pink in all its looks, for both men and women. This gave rise to a patented Pantone PMS 219 shade, but purists pointed out that it was a different shade from Barbie’s (“Barbie Pink”)…


Nonetheless, pink has since been taken up as a must-have for 2022 and 2023 by high-profile celebrities such as the aforementioned Harry Styles, as well as Kim Kardashian, American actresses Anne Hathaway, Megan Fox, Anya Taylor-Joy Zendaya, singers Dua Lippa and Lizzo and model Hailey Bieber.


Balenciaga lycra boots were spotted on Kim Kardashian, while Megan Fox’s figure in a Nensi Dojaka minidress to match the colour of her hair, and that of buxom Lizzo in a Valentino dress, also caused a stir.


Decoration too


But the pink craze didn’t just re-enchant fashion victims.


It also crept into the fashion houses.


Searches for Barbie have taken off on Pinterest, the social network for decorating trends…


The Rosco paint company said it had delivered many pots of the colour pink for the Barbie film sets. This is said to have caused a worldwide shortage of the colour (also fuelled, it’s true, by the post-pandemic breakdown of supply chains)!


And let’s bet that after the summer release of the Barbie film, life in pink will gain even more fans !




Featured photo : © Barbie

Sophie Michentef a évolué plus de 30 ans dans la presse professionnelle. Pendant une quinzaine d’années, elle a encadré la rédaction France et international du Journal du Textile. Elle met désormais son expertise presse, textile, mode et luxe au service de journaux, organisations professionnelles et entreprises.


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