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Sep 07, 2022

I'm a Barbiecore girl, in the Barbie world

It was impossible to log on to Twitter in June without being flooded with hundreds of on-set pictures of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling dressed as Barbie and Ken. Tweet after tweet depicted the couple running on a beach in LA, dressed in bright pink clothes, with shiny, platinum-blond hair. The Barbie movie had everyone talking, and with good reason. With the release of various on-set pictures of Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie, we have seen a rise of the so-called “barbie-aesthetic” that has been bubbling up to the surface of the fashion world since mid-2022.

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling on the set of Barbie, wearing bright rollerskating outfits

The Barbie movie is just one of the many examples of “Barbiecore,” an aesthetic that encompasses bright pink shades, micro-skirts, sky-high platforms, and bling. The high-fashion world is embracing pink with open arms, with Valentino’s fall 2022 show by Pierpaolo Piccioli introducing its own shade of ‘camp’ pink- Pink PP. Florence Pugh recently went viral in a sheer pink Valentino dress as well.

Valentino Fall-Winter 2022 by Pierpaolo Piccioli

At the Cannes festival in France, Anne Hathaway flaunted a mini-skirt and top, with cat eye sunglasses and a beehive hairstyle, looking like a doll herself. Pink was everywhere at the MET gala, with Sebastian Stan wearing an oversized pink outfit, once again by Piccioli’s Valentino.

The rise of this bright aesthetic is partly due to TikTok and the speed of the fashion trend cycle. Gen-Z seems to have a certain nostalgia for the early 2000s (even if they barely remember it) with their Y2K look of low-rise jeans, flip phones, sleeked-back hairstyles, and tiny sunglasses. The Barbie looks we have always seen from movie sets are all retro-inspired, with an all-pink cowboy look and a 90s rollerblading outfit invading everyone’s feeds.

Icons of Y2K fashion: Paris Hilton, Destiny's Child and Britney Spears

This aesthetic is also fuelled by the resurgence of camp and a love – ironic or not – of the tacky. People are embracing individual, personalised looks and turning away from the minimalism of the 2010s. Gen-Z is a fan of accessorising and dressing however they like. In doing so, they adopt the aspect that made the early 2000s unique: personalised accessories and mixing and matching following one’s guts, rather than copying the mannequins from retail stores.

No one does this better than user @the.navarose, whose GRWMs (‘Get ready with me’) has been going viral on TikTok. She has been tagging her videos with “barbiecore” since before the term went popular mid-this year.

Tiktoker @the.navarose

Barbiecore, although popularised this year, has been seen in bits and pieces since the early 2010s. It’s undeniable that Moschino has been doing barbiecore since its inception, with many of their looks seeming to come off the doll herself. Reese Witherspoon, in Legally Blonde, is practically Barbie as a lawyer, and even Nicki Minaj was seen as a ‘black barbie’ in the beginning stages of her career. 

As a whole, barbiecore is the fashion trend to keep an eye out for the summer. So, if you want to join in, make sure to wear lots of pink, go out in a mini skirt or two, and definitely bling up all of your possessions.

Paris Hilton's iconic 'Don't be Desperate' look

I'm a Barbie(core) girl, in the Barbie world,
Life in plastic, it's fantastic.



Constanza Coscia
Visual Design and Communications alumna, Milan