What Barbiecore Looked Like Before Barbiecore

What Barbiecore Looked Like Before Barbiecore


Brigitte Bardot in a promotion for Naughty Girl, 1956.

Photo: LMPC / Getty Images

An original Barbie, launched in March 1959.

Photo: Yvonne Hemsey / Getty Images

God might have created woman—if the title of Roger Vadim’s 1956 film is to be believed—but Mattel created Barbie. Would the fantastical plastic doll have been possible without the popularity of real-life sex kitten Brigitte Bardot? There might not be a definitive answer to that question, but it’s certain that both the woman and the plaything represented unattainable beauty ideals.

Over the years Barbie has expanded her repertoire, and her wardrobe. The filming of Greta Gerwig’s forthcoming movie has made Barbiecore—which mostly translates into skimpy looks in bright pink—the trend of this summer. It’s not the first time, and won’t be the last, that this überfeminine aesthetic has peaked.

Below, some throwback Barbie moments.

Karen Mulder in Valentino Couture, fall 1992.

Photo: Daniel Simon / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Chanel, spring 1994 ready-to-wear.

Photo: Condé Nast Archive

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