Barbiecore: why pink is set to be the breakout trend of summer

Barbie-style bubblegum, fuchsia and flamingo hues are coming to a wardrobe near you

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If the Barbie film and Google search trends are anything to go by, pink is set to be the colour of the summer.

Since the first images of Margot Robbie as Barbie appeared, online searches for the colour pink have soared 255 per cent, according to Google trends analysed by clothing brand Pour Moi.

Despite the live action film being set for release only in July 2023, Barbie fever seems to already be taking over, with #Barbiecore racking up more than 8.1 million views on TikTok.

The spring/summer 2015 Moschino collection was inspired by Barbie, and created as her dream wardrobe. Photo: Moschino

As a colour, pink has a noble fashion history, from Marilyn Monroe’s dress singing Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, to the pale pink Ralph Lauren gown Gwyneth Paltrow wore to collect her Oscar in 1999.

Kanye West wore a pink shirt and starred alongside Pamela Anderson in his 2005 video for Touch the Sky, while Bruno Mars and his band arrived at the 2011 MTV European Music Awards dressed in matching pink tuxedos. Designer Jeremy Scott went one better for his spring/summer 2015 Moschino collection, citing Barbie as his muse and declaring the entire collection as her “dream wardrobe".

Yet, just wearing pink to emulate Barbie is not enough. Her style is all about being preppy, as seen in recent paparazzi pictures from the Barbie film set, with both Robbie and her co-star Ryan Gosling dressed in pink and neon lycra garb, complete with knee pads, bumbags and head bands. While the swimsuit-over-leggings look might be a little much, there are still plenty of ways of wearing Barbie Pink without looking child-like.

Blink-182 drummer, and new husband of Kourtney Kardashian, Travis Barker enhanced an all-black look for the 2022 Grammy Awards by throwing a punchy pink Givenchy coat on top, while comedian Nicole Byer wore a bubblegum gown at the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards in March. Anne Hathaway arrived at the autumn/winter 2022 Valentino haute couture show last Friday in a sparkly pink mini dress with matching shoes and bag.

As for the film, while few details about the plot have been released, it is clear director Greta Gerwig is using Barbie Pink heavily throughout.

We have seen Robbie sitting in a pink Cadillac while Gosling leans on pink pillars wearing stone-washed denim jacket and jeans.

Ryan Gosling as Ken in 'Barbie'. Photo: Warner Bros Pictures

While stonewashed denim brings a welcome respite from the pink, it also serves as a more subtle retro signal. The squared-off shoulders of Ken’s boy band jacket is a tidy nod to the infamous Earring Magic Ken doll of 1993.

Created after surveying young children on how Ken should dress, the resulting outfit, a lilac mesh shirt and matching lavender pleather jacket and trousers, was the result of the requested mash-up of Madonna and Michael Jackson's on-stage looks. Withdrawn after just six months, it remains one of the bestselling Ken dolls of all time.

Of course, it is almost impossible to talk about Barbie Pink (the doll's official colour is Pantone #e0218a) without mentioning Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, who despite heading a label famous for it use of red, created the entire autumn/winter 2021 ready-to-wear collection in a vibrant shade of fuchsia.

Balmain went one better in a February 2022 collaboration with Barbie maker Mattel. In addition to a small range of clothes, Balmain released a series of NFTs all in Barbie Pink.

Updated: July 12, 2022, 8:03 AM
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