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Design Museum Celebrates a Cultural Phenomenon

The Design Museum in London is gearing up for an additional well-liked summer time attraction: a Barbie exhibition! This showcase dives into the enduring doll’s historical past, exploring how her design has advanced over time. Guests can anticipate to see vogue, structure, furnishings, and even how Barbie’s physique picture has been portrayed all through the years.

“Barbie: The Exhibition” runs till February 23, 2025, marking the sixty fifth anniversary of the Barbie model. It delves into the doll’s expansive universe, that includes every thing from the uncommon first-edition Barbie from 1959, wearing a black-and-white bathing swimsuit, to one-of-a-kind Speaking Barbie prototypes. Moreover, The exhibition explores how Barbie’s look has advanced resulting from cultural shifts round range and illustration.

Barbie Exhibition at Design Museum
Barbie Exhibition on the Design Museum Picture Supply <a href=httpsdesignmuseumorgexhibitionsbarbie the exhibition>Design Museum<a>

Danielle Thom, curator of ‘Barbie: The Exhibition’ on the Design Museum, mentioned, “The Barbie universe is expansive and thrilling, due to the meticulous work of proficient designers over the previous 65 years. Barbie is arguably one of the crucial globally acknowledged examples of world-building via product and graphic design. She has impressed many designers and artists to answer her historical past. The design story of Barbie is a wealthy matter for our museum to place beneath the highlight.”

The exhibition places vogue entrance and centre. Dozens of authentic Barbie outfits are displayed, showcasing her roots as a vogue icon and the way her look has mirrored mainstream vogue developments for over six a long time.

Guests can see how designers, from vogue legends like Claire McCardell and Christian Dior to modern names like Nolan Miller and Zac Posen, have influenced Barbie’s wardrobe. As well as, the exhibit additionally options iconic items just like the “Poodle Parade” outfit (1965), not too long ago reimagined in a life-size model worn by Billie Eilish on the 2024 Grammy Awards, and a shocking 1985 creation by Oscar de la Renta.

Barbie Exhibition at Design Museum
Barbie Exhibition on the Design Museum Picture Supply Design Museum

Over 250 objects, together with 180 iconic Barbies, fill the exhibition area. Guests can see among the doll’s most recognisable bestsellers, just like the trendsetting “Sundown Malibu Barbie” (1971), a surfer woman who captured the last decade’s spirit.  Not solely that, one other spotlight is the groundbreaking “Day to Night time Barbie” (1985), symbolising the Eighties working lady.

This revolutionary doll featured a pink work swimsuit that remodeled into an elegant night robe, reflecting the altering office for girls.

The exhibition doesn’t cease there! It additionally options two must-see Barbies: the ever-popular ‘Completely Hair’ Barbie (1992), the best-selling Barbie ever, with over 10 million dolls offered worldwide, and a real rarity—the very first Speaking Barbie from 1968.

On mortgage from the Mattel archives in Los Angeles, this distinctive prototype boasts a clear torso, showcasing its pull-string voice mechanism, positive to impress toy consumers again within the day.

Barbie Exhibition at Design Museum
Barbie Exhibition on the Design Museum Picture Supply Design Museum

The exhibition celebrates Barbie’s evolution right into a extra inclusive icon. On show are the primary Black, Hispanic, and Asian dolls, representing a multicultural society. Moreover, guests also can see the primary Barbie with Down syndrome, the primary to make use of a wheelchair, and the primary with a “curvy” physique form, all reflecting the variety of right now’s world.

Step past the fashions and into Barbie’s world! The exhibition contains a part devoted to her expansive universe, showcasing playsets, automobiles, and homes. A real collector’s merchandise: the very first Barbie Dreamhouse (1962) is on show, an enthralling cardboard creation reflecting the modernist type of its period. Furthermore, the exhibit additionally charts Barbie’s travels, from her first automobile in 1962 to her groovy campervan in 1971.

Tim Marlow, director and chief government of the Design Museum, added: “Design has been on the coronary heart of Barbie’s story since her creation 65 years in the past. As we’ve seen not too long ago, her impression has continued to evolve with every new era.”

“Guests to our well timed exhibition will come face-to-face with among the most essential and recognisable iterations of Barbie from the previous six-and-a-half a long time. We hope it is going to be a joyful, fascinating, inspiring, illuminating, and maybe even nostalgic expertise for generations of Barbie followers.”

Barbie Exhibition at Design Museum

With “Barbie: The Exhibition,” the Design Museum invitations guests of all ages to discover the wealthy historical past and cultural significance of one of many world’s most iconic dolls. Whether or not you’re a lifelong fan or new to Barbie’s world, this exhibition presents a singular alternative to understand the artistry and innovation which have stored Barbie related and beloved for 65 years. Don’t miss this opportunity to expertise the magic and evolution of Barbie on show till February 23, 2025.



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