Allow me to pose this question to you all: When thinking of the month of February, what comes to mind?
...Nada? Nothing? Well, for me, it's a couple of things.
Namely, the love and corniness which surrounds the much sought-after and extremely profitable holiday, Valentine's day, the lovely Monday holiday we are granted as we pay homage to our wonderful presidents, and the mere fact that February is the shortest month of the year -- yippee!
However, in the past year or so, I've noticed that February has one other extremely important and rewarding thing to offer. The holiday season, aka Fashion Week, aka truly the most wonderful time of the year. But I guess that depends on who you're asking. For the seemingly tireless designers who slave endlessly on their upcoming collections, comparing this wondrous week to the holiday season may be a bit far-fetched, but at the same time, when this week rolls around they may be able to sigh a breath of relief.
For the rest of us (and by us I mean bloggers, editors, stylists, photographers, ecstatic bystanders -- you name it, the list goes on), New York Fashion Week is a unifying time of working, socializing and ultimately celebrating the outcome of the immense amount of work we all put in, for the sake of the divine art we call fashion. Don't get me wrong, I'm no expert here as this was my first full season of attending shows so I guess I'm biased in the sense that I am extra enthusiastic, since I'm still a Fashion Week rookie.
But what I will say is after attending over 10 shows and presentations, I got the invite of a lifetime. The invite that any young girl would covet, the invite of all invites...
A chance to tour Barbie's closet.
... Yeah I'm serious. I mean, it's not everyday that an iconic and veteran fashionista such as Barbie herself asks to hang out with you -- and to tour her dream house, no less. The fact that this also occurred during Fashion Week simply proves my theory -- it is the equivalent of the holiday season, thus making dreams come true. And luckily for all of you, I documented this pink palace in all its glory.
Yet as it turns out, the invite wasn't as exclusive as I had hoped. I was greeted by a sea of people, among them, Barbie's seemingly closest friends in all of their plastic fantastic glory, and I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with childhood memories. So in order to rid myself of the super-downer feeling of nostalgia, I decided to snap some photos of these best-dressed Barbs.
Among flocks of pink and blonde it was pretty amazing to find myself in the presence of the top Barbies as well... And I mean that literally. Looking up, Barbie and her besties sat perched atop the second level of the dream house, where they smiled graciously to their onlookers and fellow plastics, and playfully nudged and giggled one another, acting as true best friends do. It was a sight to see from an onlooker's perspective... Their smiles really did seem to sparkle and shine.
However, the TRUE sight to see was... you guessed it... the dream closet. So without further a-due...
Not that much explanation needed here, as a picture's worth a thousand words (see the slideshow below). But what I will say is that being in the midst of ruffles, feathers, pink, pink and more pink reassured me that these Barbie classics seem to lay the foundation for opulent dress. I'm not saying that all designers ultimately look to Barbie as a source of inspiration, but it seems to me that the glamorous lifestyle that the Barbie empire has created has carried on throughout its existence. Take some of the Fall 2009 Barbie 50th Anniversary RTW Collection as an example.
Also, while we're on the subject, I can definitely think of at least one woman in virtually every decade who reenforces this idea of glamour and prestige -- Jackie O, Twiggy, Iman, Bianca Jagger, Madonna, Alicia Silverstone, Cindy Crawford and Nicki Minaj, just to name a few. These ladies are true individuals and can almost be thought of as real-life Barbies as they have served as true influential icons socially and fashion-wise.
I'll slow down before I get too philosophical in terms of the lifestyle and purpose of Barbie, as both a figure and a doll, yet having been a Barbie fanatic all throughout my childhood I can definitely vouch for the fact that while girls may love glamour, they also like the idea of Barbie being a blank canvas -- dolls ultimately create a world of fantasy and opportunity.
But to wrap up, my night at the Pink Palace reminded me of the small worlds I used to create with all of my Barbie dolls. I remember these instances as fond memories of child's play and opportunity that ultimately laid the foundation for my love and appreciation of fashion and generally all that is girly. And even though I'm older and I'm not exactly a Barbie girl living in a Barbie world anymore, like many others, I am still pretty lucky to have had the Barbie experience, if I do say so myself.