Chanel unveiled its 2023/24 Cruise Show in Los Angeles at nightfall merging the worlds of fashion and cinema. The studio was transformed into a dreamlike atmosphere inviting attendees to step out onto the dance floor. Fusing the glamour of the 1920s and 30s with the rhythm of the 1970s and 80s, the collection was giving Disco Barbie which can only mean one thing: the Barbiecore trend is going to be major.
Artistic director Virginie Viard describes the collection as a balance between paying tribute to the glamour of film stars and evoking the fun and energetic world of activities like aerobics, sports, and roller skating.
There were rhinestone-covered mini-shorts and jumpsuits, embroidered bustiers, 1960s-inspired suits, bathrobes, casual pyjamas, 1930s-style shoes, disco variations, swimsuits, wrap-around tops, legwarmers, and evening dresses.
Chanel’s house colours were present, along with pastel shades and new flamboyant tones that resonate with women who grew up with Barbie dolls. In addition to the emblematic white and black, nuances of pink dear to Viard, there was also a swathe of gold, reminiscent of cinema’s golden age and eternal Californian sunshine.
After a minimalist-loving decade, it seems that fashion is due to voyage into a light-hearted and happy fantasy, offering a playful juxtaposition to other significant trends in motion like the easy elegance of quiet luxury.
So, what is Barbiecore?
Barbiecore is a fashion trend that celebrates the iconic and playful style of the famous doll, Barbie. Inspired by the vibrant and girly aesthetic of Barbie, this trend embraces all things pink, feminine, and whimsical. Barbiecore fashion often features exaggerated silhouettes, such as puffed sleeves, ruffled skirts, and babydoll dresses, reminiscent of Barbie’s classic outfits. Many elements of which were seen in Chanel’s Cruise Show. Pastel colours, particularly shades of pink, dominate the colour palette, creating a dreamy and candy-coloured vibe. Accessories play a key role in Barbiecore, with oversized bows, glittery handbags, and platform heels adding a touch of glamour and fun. The trend also embraces kitschy and nostalgic elements, incorporating motifs like hearts, unicorns, and retro prints. Barbiecore fashion is all about embracing your inner child and celebrating unabashed femininity in a playful and joyful way.
Why is Barbiecore is having a moment?
Greta Gerwig, acclaimed director known for her work on films like Lady Bird and Little Women, is set to helm an exciting new Barbie film. With Gerwig’s distinct storytelling style and ability to capture complex female characters, audiences can anticipate a fresh and empowering take on the iconic toy. Her involvement promises to infuse the Barbie film with depth, authenticity, and a contemporary perspective, creating a cinematic experience that goes beyond the surface and resonates with viewers of all ages. And with a star-studded cast featuring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Emma Mackey, Michael Cera and Will Ferrell – to name a few – it’s going to be a substantial moment in pop culture.
How can you embrace Barbiecore?
There are several designers that have always adopted a playful, almost tongue-in-cheek approach (think: Valentino, Molly Goddard or Moschino) however we expect key Barbiecore pieces to trickle down into high street stores in no time making it increasigly accessible for everyone to dip their toes in Barbie’s world. If you’re serious about riding the Barbiecore wave, these are the pieces you should be incorporating into your wardrobes:
A babydoll dress is a must-have for Barbiecore. Look for dresses with a loose and flowy silhouette, often featuring ruffles, lace trims, or bows. Opt for pastel colours or vibrant shades of pink to capture the whimsical and feminine essence.
Try: Emilia Wickstead Gayla satin checkerboard minidress, $1,050 from My Theresa
Puffed sleeves add a touch of romance and playfulness to any outfit. Choose tops or blouses with exaggerated puffed sleeves, whether short or long, to channel the Barbiecore aesthetic. Look for tops in soft, pastel colours or bold, vibrant tones.
Try: Valentina strapless bow top, $375 from Aje
Barbie’s iconic style often includes mini skirts that showcase her long legs. Embrace this element by incorporating mini skirts into your Barbiecore-inspired outfits. Look for skirts with flared or pleated details in bright colours, pastels, or fun patterns.
Try: Kyla double-wool wrap mini skirt, $985 from Nanushka
Sparkling and glittery accessories are essential to complete the Barbiecore look. Opt for oversized bows, rhinestone-encrusted hair clips, glittery handbags, and statement jewellery pieces. These accessories add a touch of glamour and fun, capturing the essence of Barbie’s world.
Try: Staud crystal-embellished cord and satin minibag, $760 from Net-a-porter
Barbie is known for her sky-high heels, so consider adding platform heels to your Barbiecore outfits. Look for heels with bold colours, playful prints, or metallic finishes. The added height and statement style will elevate your overall look.
Try: Monaco Platform Heel in vintage cream, $300 from Mi Piaci
Incorporate a pastel-coloured blazer into your wardrobe to add a touch of sophistication to your Barbiecore ensembles. Choose blazers in light shades of pink, blue, or lavender and pair them with other Barbie-inspired pieces for a balanced and fashion-forward look.
Try: Jacquemus woven blaze, $1,185 from Net-a-porter
Remember, the key to embracing the Barbiecore trend is to have fun, experiment with vibrant colours, feminine silhouettes, and playful details. Mix and match these key pieces to create outfits that capture the joyful and dreamy essence of Barbie’s iconic style. There’s no age limit on having fun with fashion!