LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Happy Birthday Barbie!


As fashion's favorite doll hits the big five-zero, we pay tribute to the cult of Barbie with Assouline's limited edition tome and an exclusive photo shoot with Karl Lagerfeld.

As fashion’s favorite doll hits 50, we pay tribute to the cult of Barbie, the world’s best loved blond, with Assouline’s limited edition tome and fashionable tributes fitting of a style icon.

With immaculately coiffed bouncy blond hair, striking blue eyes and a figure that defies nature, Barbie Millicent Roberts of Willows, Wisconsin is, undoubtedly, one of the world’s most famous women. Known simply as Barbie, Mattel’s iconic doll has become one of the most successful, not to mention controversial icons of the century.

Barbie’s career trajectory is as diverse as her outfit changes. Her resumé counts more than than 100 jobs, from Presidential candidate to Astronaut, although she has never made a secret of her affinity for fashion. Starting out as a teenage fashion model when she first came onto the market in 1959, she quickly climbed the ranks to become a fashion editor a year later, and even dabbled as a designer in the late 1960s. Fifty years later, the grand dame of fashion returns to the fold. This season the New York runway paid homage to the living doll, with a collection of life-sized outfits inspired by Barbie by 50 designers, from Diane Von Furstenberg and Anna Sui, to Alexander Wang and Baby Phat, accessorized with Louboutin heels (in Barbie Pantone 219 Pink, naturally).

Meanwhile, in Paris she is set to create quite a stir with an exhibition in the city’s leading fashion emporium, Colette, which will include every fan’s dream – a room, designed by American fashion designer Jeremy Scott, dedicated to specially created Barbie clothing and accessories. In celebration of her magnificent milestone birthday and, of course, her perpetual contribution to fashion, the plastic style icon and her long-term beau, Ken, were snapped by Karl Lagerfeld in a fittingly fabulous fashion collaboration. Outfitted in top-to-toe Chanel couture, she looks as resplendent as ever. And Barbie fever doesn’t end there. This month Assouline released the ultimate collector’s item for fans,

Barbie, a limited edition tome, charting the life and styles of an ambassador of Fifties American culture.

See Barbie at Colette from March 9-28, 2009.

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