A childhood favourite for many, Barbie has become somewhat of a cultural icon across the globe. As she celebrates her 60th birthday, British Vogue has celebrated her milestone in collaboration with six designers. Now offering a truly diverse range of dolls, Vogue invited each designer to dress the icon in their own signature style.
Eclectic in every sense of the word, designer Matty Bovan founded his namesake brand with the goal of making fabric truly personal. Working with skilled artisans across the world, he often trawls the internet in search of hidden talent. His designs for Barbie are signature Bovan; think hand-padding, intricate knitwear and delicate sequin embroidery with golden Japanese yarn.
Lagos-born, London-based designer Mowalola Ogunlesi has dressed Barbie in a miniature version of her SS20 collection, in an acid green two piece complete with backcombed hair by Virginie P Moreira and make=up by Daniel Sallstrom, achieved using the most miniature of paintbrushes. The result? Strong, captivating and thoroughly Mowalola in spirit.
Sustainability champion Richard Malone has revolutionised eco-fashion, using everything from recycled ocean waste to material off-cuts to craft his collections. Malone has dressed Barbie in a suit, complete with a stole crafted from a repurposed dog bed. ‘Barbie is a businesswoman … I wanted to show that Barbie could wear a runway look but still live her everyday life and remain the boss that she is.”
Art School founders Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt are dedicated to promoting and celebrating the queer community and celebrate non-binary bodies throughout their collections. They have created a non-binary Barbie, with a figure-flattering dress in classic black. Meanwhile, Glaswegian born designer Charles Jeffery dressed his Barbie in an exact replica of his closing look from SS18. Inspired by the history of cross-dressing through the ages, the multi-coloured gown is complete with mutton-sleeves and crinoline; truly fabulous.
Supriya Lele has been a life-long Barbie fan and chose a sari blouse to transform into a luminous satin dress for her own model. Having made her first foray into design creating clothes for her Barbies from a young age, the process has come full circle as she has precisely scaled the measurements for a replica of her AW19 neon green look, with fully-functional pockets. See the complete looks online now at https://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/barbie-60th-anniversary .