Embracing Archival Couture in The Age of Conscious Fashion… The Barbie Way

Embracing Archival Couture in The Age of Conscious Fashion… The Barbie Way

Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated Barbie movie officially hit theaters July 21, following weeks of red carpet premieres and press tour events where leading star Margot Robbie and her stylist Andrew Mukamal added a green appeal to Barbie’s pink world of play. Check out Harper’s Bazaar article featuring every look from Robbie’s press tour wardrobe. 

Paying homage to the world’s most famous doll, Robbie dove into the archives and recreated iconic outfits Barbie wore throughout different eras. It’s not unusual for a cast to pay tribute to their character through red carpet fashion. Although we fully expected pink perfection, we were pleasantly surprised to see the commitment between Robbie and Mukamal to deliver looks where sustainability and style are perfectly aligned. 

Barbie has left an indelible mark on popular culture, and her fashion influence has especially inspired the real world. Rooted in using fashion as expression, Barbie has been a longtime muse for high-end designers, street style trends, and in recent years, inclusive representation. Recognizing the power of Barbie and what she represents to society, Robbie and Mukamal used their platforms to make a sustainable statement amongst all ages of Barbie fans. 

In a fashion culture where the pressure of overconsumption is at an all-time high, archival fashion stands apart from fleeting trends and exemplifies timeless style and cultural significance. Without neglecting the long way fashion houses need to go to normalize transparency, we want to recognize their archival past that inspires rewearing, high-quality materials, timeless designs, and reduced production. 

The first standout archival outfit on the list for time-tested beauty is Robbie’s vintage Moschino 1964 Sparkling Pink Barbie look. She wore a Moschino skirt suit from the brand’s spring/summer 2015 collection inspired by the doll's sparkling pink sheath dress, matching jacket, and pillbox hat. What does this archival look mean for fashion sustainability? Nothing new was created therefore reducing production and the overall negative environmental impact. 

Next on the list is none other than vintage Versace. The 1994 autumn/winter collection stepped out from the archives for the day and perfectly captured the Barbie spirit. The look included a metallic pink pleated skirt, high neck knit, purple socks, and white heels, all from the 1994 collection worn previously by model Christy Turlington and Kate Moss. The look is rewearing at its finest. The outfit had a moment with three influential celebrities while seamlessly compelling a different story, each bringing a sense of freshness and newness. 

No one does archival fashion quite like Chanel, and Robbie pulled off the chicest airport fit in a Chanel checked pink blazer that has been seen on Claudia Schiffer for the spring/summer 1996 catwalk. “There were some incredible outfits that I actually got to wear that Claudia Schiffer herself, who’s kind of like a real-life Barbie, wore,” said Robbie in a video. This look represents timeless designs that transcend seasonal trends. What looked good in 1996 can still hold relevance today due to enduring styles consumers are investing in and are less likely to discard. 

Her final archival look to embark on the Barbie journey was a Valentino spring/summer 1993 flirty polka dot outfit to embody the 2015 Pink and Fabulous Barbie. The craftsmanship of luxury fashion is unmatched, and its ability to uphold its condition through decades of its lifespan continues to make an impression. 

Barbie will undoubtedly continue to be a cultural phenomenon, and hopefully, her legacy will see further developments in the space of conscious fashion thanks to Robbie’s archival revival.

For those admiring the red carpet fashion from afar, there are ways for you to be conscious participants in the movement. Slow Fashion Movement has a breakdown of the contributions high-end fashion consumers, non-designer fashion enthusiasts, and designers can make for a more sustainable future. 

-As always, elevate your wardrobe with respected fashion and embrace the shift in stylE