Barbiecore is the official aesthetic of summer 2022
Barbie may be 63-years-old but she’s not definitely retiring and checking into Shady Pines anytime soon. In fact, Barbie is hotter than ever and you need look no further than red carpets, runways, ad campaigns, and your own Instagram feed for proof. It’s a Barbie world right now and we’re all just living in it.
When the first on-set photos of the upcoming Greta Gerwig-directed Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling started turning up online in June proving that life in plastic truly is fantastic, Barbiecore really began to take off. Since then, the aesthetic has blown up with pink becoming the official colour of summer. As Mugatu from Zoolander would say, “Pink. It’s so hot right now.” Come on Barbie, let’s go party!
Kim Kardashian first set the scene for the 2022 Barbie invasion that was to come back in October of 2021 when she hosted Saturday Night Live and performed her monologue in head-to-toe hot pink Balenciaga. Kim was also spotted around NYC during that time in other hot pink ensembles. Cut to March of this year and Valentino went all hot pink everything on the Paris runway promoting the brand’s Fall/Winter 2022/2023 collection which Zendaya attended fully embracing the theme. Zendaya and Lewis Hamilton have since starred in an all-pink Valentino ad campaign, which dropped last week.
At Coachella in April, both Harry Styles and special guest Lizzo took to the stage pretty in pink. Lizzo took the trend next level in June when she showed up to the premiere of her Amazon series “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrls” in a Valentino gown, tights, and opera gloves. Barbie. Barbie is nothing, if not, a deft accessorizer. Also in June, both Lana Condor and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne were thinking pink. Proving the trend has no gender or age limit, both Sebastian Stan and Glenn Close rolled up to the 2022 Met Gala in May clad in hot pink Valentino.
Kim isn’t the only Kardashian embracing Barbiecore. Not only did the famous fam throw a Barbe-themed fifth birthday party for Rob Kardashians’ daughter Dream back in November of 2021, Khloe went tight pink latex for her own birthday in June. Khloe also went with hot pink when she appeared on the viral online show, Hot Ones. Megan Fox is another celeb who has embraced Barbiecore on more than one occasion, first in 2021 at the iHeart Radio Awards in a skin tight corset and matching pants from Mach & Mach’s Fall ’21 collection. She returned to the colour in March of this year at Lollapalooza and was spotted in New York City in June in a hot pink metallic two-piece. Megan went one step further by dying her hair blonde with pink lowlights and turning up appropriately attired to fiance Machine Gun Kelly’s premiere for his aptly-titled Life in Pink documentary.
And the devil may wear Prada but Anne Hathaway went into full Mattel mode at the Valentino haute couture fashion show in Rome in June in a sparkly hot pink mini dress paired with sky high pink platforms. Reese Witherspoon, once nearly as synonymous with the colour pink as Barbie herself thanks to her iconic turn as Elle Woods in the Legally Blonde movies, returned to her former signature colour at the premiere of “Where The Crawdads Sing” in July in an Emilia Wickstead cocktail dress.
Not only is Barbiecore being celebrated in clothes and on film, a traveling World of Barbie exhibit will make its way to New York, Chicago, and Dallas after its recent debut in Toronto. The massive immersive experience includes a life size Barbie fan, a Barbie slide leading into a giant pink ball pit, a celebration of Barbie’s various cars over the years, a display of the many Barbie Dream Houses over the years, tributes to her many careers over the years and of course an ode to her fashion.
So why is Barbie enjoying such a renaissance right now? Well, first of all, it’s just fun. And after two years of isolation, closures, and weeks on end spent in sweatpants, embracing colour just feels good. Also, after years of justified criticism for offering extremely narrow and exclusionary beauty ideals, over the past several years, Barbie has begun to diversify, offering dolls with more realistic and representative body types and more diversity including differently-abled Barbies. Actress and trans activist Laverne Cox got the Barbie treatment in 2022. Simply put, it feels a lot better supporting Barbie these days now that she’s caught up with the times.
“Imagination, life is your creation.”