Generation Girls – Barbie Does Very Smart, Very Casually

24 Mar

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This is one of those dolls I remember really well from when she was released. She was in the shops around the time when I had made myself stop collecting (see my first ever post in May last year for details). This GG Barbie was a serious test of my willpower – I won, but I wasn`t happy about it. I should have bought her. I loved her. I thought this outfit was as good as it could possibly get in playline Barbieland – and actually, I still do.

GG Barbie is a significant departure from what has gone before. She is wearing a full-length evening gown, no surprises there. Also, it isn`t quite what it seems, as it you can take off the long overskirt to leave her in a swimsuit. Well, thats a Barbie trick as old as the hills (nearly as old as me, actually, as my first Barbie, Pretty Changes, could pull a similar trick). The interesting bit is, this doll was also sold with the tote bag you see on the pictures. Not an evening clutch, a tote bag. And a denim jacket. Its not like she was working some day-to-night cliche either, as the other dress that came with this doll was a blue sparkly cocktails-at-six number.

We live in a post Sex-and-The-City world. Most people now are completely familiar with the opening credits – Carrie Bradshaw walking down a traffic-packed street at midday wearing a strikingly odd little dress with a fluffy tutu skirt. Its easy to forget how innovative this kind of wear-it-and-be-damned attitude was at the time. We were just moving away from the nineties, when a certain degree of conformism was expected. In “Jitterbug Perfume”, Tom Robbins writes about a perfume that is obviously meant to be CK1, the signature scent of the nineties. He described it as “the scent of fascism”; although this is a massive overstatement made by a fanciful old hippie, there is a nugget of truth in it, fashion-wise anyway. You wouldn`t have seen Rachel from Friends wandering down to Central Perk in a full-length tulle-skirted gown and a denim jacket just because she felt like it, now would you?

Now, remember that GG Barbie was released in the very late nineties, and purposely suggests exactly that kind of scenario. Her dress is a clever juxaposition, with its strictly formal floaty skirt and its casual tee-shirt material bodice. Its cute, and quirky, and glamorous, and sophisticated, and strangest of all, its NOT saying “I`m a po-faced, serious grown up in an evening gown”.

I`ve said before (er, probably) that Generation Girls were obviously a flagship range designed specifically to showcase Barbie`s updated look, and to emphasise how Mattel were moving away from some of the old cliches. I also like the fact that this GG Barbie has an unbelievable gothic pallor (which I love) – another way of distancing herself from the Barbies before her. Yes, she`s still blonde, and yes, she`s still smiling. But at least now she has a sense of fashion humour to go with the smile …

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4 Responses to “Generation Girls – Barbie Does Very Smart, Very Casually”

  1. timelesslady March 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Great photos…especially the last one.

  2. barbielea March 25, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Thanks very much 🙂

    • bat6660 March 26, 2012 at 11:25 am #

      A bit of sun and you cannot move in the garden for barbies.

  3. barbielea March 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    Yes, even the very pale ones seem to be attracted to the sun …. Must be all that time they have spent in attics

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