BIRTHDAY GIRL: Up-and-coming British designer Matty Bovan has been focusing his efforts to dressing a very special celebrity client for her birthday celebration this month: Barbie.
Mattel tapped the young designer to create outfits for the famous doll, as well as an accompanying film, to mark the 58th anniversary of the launch of Barbie.
Bovan unveiled the results of the collaboration at Mayfair’s The Women’s Space, to an intimate crowd of family and friends which included the designers Stephen Jones, Charles Jeffrey and Ryan Lo.
Bovan painted Barbie’s face with the bright, glitter eye shadows he favors for himself and dressed her in pieces from his spring 2017 collection, from chunky pink knitted sweaters, to crystal-embellished tasseled skirts and a velvet green printed dress.
“I’ve loved Barbie since childhood because for me it provided a blank canvas to be creative, plus Barbie is such a recognizable brand, so it was an immediate yes for me when Mattel got in touch,” Bovan said.
Guests gathered around the Barbies all smiles, taking pictures on their phones. Jones couldn’t resist taking a white rose and placing it upside down on one of the dolls’ heads as a hat. “Do you approve?” he asked Bovan.
Bovan, who previously worked for the likes of Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, showed his latest fall 2017 collection as part of Fashion East in February, styled by Katie Grand. His work is recognized as a bright, optimistic riot of color and texture.
“The woman I design for is an elevated version of my personality,” the designer said.
The accompanying film for the collaboration, called “Girlness” and shot in Bovan’s hometown of York, celebrates women with a diverse set of characters who talk about what it means to be a woman for them and their desire to dress up.
“We have taken Barbie’s values and attitude to showcase what female identity means to us in 2017,” said the designer, adding that working across different mediums came natural to him.
The Barbie dolls, as well as unisex T-shirts and badges featuring Bovan’s illustrations of Barbie, will be sold at the Fashion East pop-up space, located in Selfridges’ Designer Studio.