A wealth of artisanal techniques have been incorporated into the costume for his intricately constructed Barbie: hand-padded and sewn into her dress with golden Japanese yarn, she is the miniature embodiment of his magpie eclecticism. “It’s kind of like Barbie couture,” Bovan reflects. “I wanted her to have the same energy that my runway clothes have... She’s epic.”
Her Barbie is dressed in a miniature evolution of Mowalola’s spring/summer 2020 collection, with backcombed hair by Virginie P Moreira and make-up created by Daniel Sallstrom (using a miniature paintbrush), “she is a Mowalola superhero,” Ogunlesi grins. “She’s strong and captivating and ready to have a really good time. I want to be wherever she’s going.”
“Barbie is a businesswoman – and a lot of the women I work with are too, but they don’t dress like men in suits; fashion is a part of their identity. I wanted to show that Barbie could wear a runway look but still live her everyday life and remain the boss that she truly is.”
Eden Loweth & Tom Barratt’s “non-binary Barbie” offers a perfect example of their take on figure-skimming glamour. “Art School is about making clothes that are really tolerant, that will stand with someone throughout their life, and as they evolve as in their own identity.”
Charles Jeffrey Loverboy
His Barbie (“Let’s call her ‘Wee Hen’,” he decrees in a Glaswegian drawl) exemplifies that spirit: dressed in a replica of the closing look from his spring/summer 2018 collection, which drew upon the history of cross-dressing through the ages, she is, in his words, “wearing the most fabulous piece ever.” “It took a whole week – but just looks like the actual dress!” he exclaims. “I’m really proud of her.”
Growing up besotted by Barbie (“I was an only child, so I had about 40”), Lele’s first venture into design was creating custom wardrobes for her – now things have come full circle, as she precisely scaled the measurements of one of her autumn/winter 2019 looks to suit Barbie’s size. In fact, so perfectly is her neon outfit reconfigured that even the pockets are fully operational. “I felt like a child again,” she grins. “But now I have an incredible pattern-cutter to help.”
Photographer: Stas Komarovski. Stylist: Poppy Kain. Art Direction: Dom Kelly. Hair: Yumi Nakada-Dingle. Make-Up: Thomasin Waite. Nails: Lauren Michelle Pires. Set Design:Andrew Clarkson. Production: Verity Cousins.
Photos and text courtesy of British Vogue and Mattel.