Proprietor of pink and paragon of all things girly, Barbie is back on the fashion scene. Mattel’s crown jewel is the subject of “Playing with Fashion,” a two-story installation at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, which opened Thursday night.
FIT seniors in the fashion design, interior design, jewelry design, photography and visual presentation programs were challenged to create clothes, accessories, photos, storefront windows and model-size rooms (for Barbie’s Dream House, of course) inspired by the doll, with the top five submissions in each category showcased in the exhibition. The winners were unveiled in a ceremony following the opening and rewarded cash prizes. “I haven’t taken out a Barbie since I was 10, so it was so fun to get my hands on one again,” said Elyse Falato, who won first place, $5,000, in visual presentation for her storefront design, a hot pink and sparkly jewelry box, Barbie twirling in its center.
Along with Mattel executives Peter Helenek and Jim Holmes, Joe Zee, Elle’s creative director and an FIT alum, judged.
“I always say Barbie was my first styling client,” Zee said. “She was the first woman who let me dress her up any way that I wanted.”