The Barbicore Trend Continues


Margot Robbie on the film set of Barbie

Margot Robbie attends the press junket and photo call for “Barbie” at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

If you have any questions whether the Barbicore trend is continuing, you just need to look to the eleven Academy Awards predictions for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie film (including Best Picture, Director, Actress and Costume Designer) and Assouline’s new oversized coffee table book with text by the uber-talented author Susan Shapiro.

Additionally, we are still in a phase where vibrant pink speaks to our need for happy, optimistic times as well as becoming an empowering color worn by celebrities at multiple red carpet events. In jewelry, pink remains the number one hue in the ongoing gemstone resurgence, particularly the vibrant pink sapphires, bubblegum tourmalines and rich spinels.

Scarlett Johansson attends the “Asteroid City” red carpet during the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival

Kim Kardashian attends the 2023 LACMA Art+Film Gala

I was a Barbie fan and was lucky enough to have an uncle who worked as a Senior V.P. for Mattel when I was a young girl and had a bevy of Barbies—during an earlier time not long after Ruth Handler created the doll which years later she wrote about in her memoir Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story.“Unlike play with a baby doll—in which a little girl is pretty much limited to assuming the role of Mommy—Barbie has always represented the fact that a woman has choices,” “Even in her early years, Barbie did not have to settle for being only Ken’s girlfriend or an inveterate shopper, She had the clothes, for example, to launch a career as a nurse, a stewardess, a nightclub singer.” Fashion was crucial to Handler’s creation of Barbie so that women could dream about becoming whatever they wanted to be and look great doing it as it often took place with a change of fashion and accessories.

Ruth Handler

While Handler’s motives were feminist, there was much controversy about girls having unreal expectations due to Barbie’s perfect proportions, beauty and body image. However it didn’t stop the doll from becoming an icon. The association with pink didn’t begin until the 1970s when Mattel switched their marketing to young girls instead of adolescents, making Barbie synonymous with the color. Mattel also copyrighted a Pantone shade called Barbie pink (219 C).

Gerwig’s feminist take was enough to revive Barbie as the “girl who could be anything she wanted to be,” and the costumes in the film by Jacqueline Durran made us ‘think pink’ for everything from home decor to jewelry.

Greta Gerwig at the world premiere of Barbie

The Assouline Coffee Table Book Cover of Barbie

But before we get more into the jewelry, let’s talk about Barbie (Assouline, November 2023), published in celebration of the iconic doll’s 65th anniversary. The oversized coffee table book takes us through the creation of Mattel founder Ruth Handler’s vision, which defied the conventions of the 1950s woman. This gorgeous tome also comprehensively explores the Barbie doll’s evolution from 1959 to today with fascinating facts, insights and never-before-seen imagery. Printed with a cover fabricated in signature silk Barbiecore pink—Assouline’s Barbie parallels sixty-five years of cultural, political, and sociological moments with the doll’s transformative progression. It features photos of Barbie throughout the decades, including celebrities, fashion design and the phenomenon of the Barbie movie. The text is written by Susan Shapiro, a bestselling author of numerous non fiction and fictional books, freelance journalist and award-winning writing professor who has taught at the New School, New York University and Columbia University and online classes.

In 2022, Barbie entered the metaverse, teaming up with Balmain to create a series of one-of-a-kind NFTs. ©Mattel

She explains, “I’ve always loved books, and as the only girl out of four kids growing up in suburban Michigan, I also loved Barbie and had 68 dolls. I kept my whole collection, including the plastic car and Dream House. I was the first to call Barbie a feminist and a mentor in a New York Times Magazine piece in 1994 (because she had many careers, her own pad and wheels at a time when women couldn’t even get a credit card in their own name without a husband or father co-signing.) I wound up on TV shows and in a Barbie anthology. I was thrilled when my former NYU student Joanna Douglas -a pop culture editor – recommended me to Assouline to write the text for their Barbie coffee table book. I think the doll’s amazing success is because, in the early stages, she’s a beautiful little toy that any girl could have for an accesible price, (especially compared to the big fat baby dolls like Betsy Wetsy, Tiny Tears and Chatty Cathy that she replaced). It feels poetic to make a beautiful book about her, especially after the movie made by a feminist, which was such an important cultural touchstone for girl power. The book makes a wonderful holiday present for Barbie, book and art lovers everywhere.”

As far as the jewelry goes, from 2023 red carpet events to designer studios, pink has been the ‘dream’ color that continues to evolve—it is bold, effervescent, joyful and can bring us back to a time less challenging than we are facing in the present day.

Jennifer Lopez at the the 2023 LACMA Art+Film Gala, Presented By Gucci , wearing a Gucci multi-tourmaline necklace with deep pink tourmaline center stone

Emily Blunt at the 2023 Oscar Awards

Le Sibille micro mosaic pendant with pink sapphires

Florence Pugh at the 2023 Academy Awards in Tiffany & Co pink tourmaline earrings.

Ark Fine Jewelry Awakenings ring with ombre effect pink and orange. sapphires

Melissa Kaye ruby and neon pink enamel Lennox collection ring

Emily P. Wheeler 18K gold and pink sapphire ear cuff

Ark Fine Jewelry 18K gold Stone Spark Studs with hand-cut pink topaz and white diamonds

Selim Mouzannar pink sapphire center with old cut pear-shaped and round diamond pendant necklace

Sauer Earrings with rubellite cabochons

Anita Ko emerald cut bezel set 18K gold sapphire bracelet

K8 Jewelry stack of rings with pink sapphires and diamonds



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