We’re living in the age of “Barbie,” and nowhere has that been more evident than the custom fashions Margot Robbie and stylist Andrew Mukamal curated for the billion-dollar grossing movie’s press tour.
Since debuting the first look at “Barbie” at CinemaCon in April 2022, Robbie has rocked Barbiecore styles on nearly every red carpet and press appearance (most recently stunning in custom Armani inspired by 1977’s Superstar Barbie at the Golden Globes), all of which will now be commemorated in the fashion photo book “Barbie: The World Tour.”
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“This book was an idea I had in my living room when I started dreaming about Margot’s wardrobe for the ‘Barbie’ press tour in March 2023,” Mukamal wrote in an Instagram post revealing the book cover — which features a Barbie-fied Robbie clad in a pink Chanel suit. “I could have never imagined just a few months later we’d be in the studio shooting this project with the team of our dreams. … This book is a labor of love, dedicated to all the Barbie lovers and fashion fans around the world.”
The press tour for “Barbie” sent Robbie, writer-director Greta Gerwig, and the cast on a summer world tour, with stops in Toronto, Canada; Sydney, Australia (Robbie is from Queensland); Seoul, South Korea; Mexico City, Mexico; Los Angeles, California; and London, England. At each of these stops — and at the airports — Mukamal sourced or commissioned dozens of outfits that were a nod to a look worn by the original doll.
But when the “Barbie” press tour was cut short due to the onset of the SAG-AFTRA strike in July, a press release announcing the book explains, Robbie and Mukamal “worked with renowned fashion photographer Craig McDean to shoot her in the looks exactly as they were curated: Schiaparelli in Los Angeles, Vivienne Westwood in London, vintage Chanel with matching Streamline luggage at the airport, and beyond.”
Vogue recently touted Robbie’s “Barbie” wardrobe as confirmation that “method dressing is here to stay,” but, for Variety’s recent cover story saluting LuckyChap as 2023 showpeople of the year, Variety posited that, in some ways, the looks were an extension of her vision as a producer.
“I was a willing participant because it was in line with everything I wanted,” Robbie replied. “The ‘Barbie experience’ didn’t just begin when someone sat in their seat and watched the movie, and I didn’t want it to end when the movie finished.”
In her eyes, the “experience” began the moment paparazzi captured her and Ryan Gosling filming a scene on the Venice Boardwalk, roller blading in ‘80s-style multi-colored spandex and neon yellow kneepads. Onscreen, Barbie is wrestling with the discomfort of being perceived for the first time and Robbie, too, was aware that they were being watched.
“That’s when we started entertaining the audience,” she explained. “We started crafting the marketing campaign before shooting began. It needs to build to crescendo, to have mystery. All the things that you’d put into a narrative story, we should be looking at that holistically for the campaign too.”
And promoting the movie is part of that experience.
“Our vision of ‘Barbie,’ both as a character and the movie, is joyful and unapologetic,” Robbie concluded. “So, here are these big, bold, joyful looks. They also have a lot of craft in them, and they are rooted in history, and brilliant designers worked really hard.”
The book hits shelves on March 8, from Rizzoli publishing, and features a foreword by Edward Enninful, introduction by Margaret Zhang and an afterword by “Barbie” filmmaker Greta Gerwig.
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