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Home Articles News & Notes News&Notes Barbie "Rétro-Chic" Exhibit February 11 - September 13, 2014
Barbie "Rétro-Chic" Exhibit February 11 - September 13, 2014
Written by DOLLS Staff   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:50

Barbie Retro Chic is the exciting new special exhibition at Musée de la Poupée-Paris. It looks at the 1960s fashion style for the most legendary doll in the world – Barbie! Since its inception in 1994, Musée de la Poupée-Paris has been a keen follower of Barbie and over the years has held seven special exhibitions celebrating the unique history of the Barbie doll.

Timeless fashion icon and inveterate trendsetter, Barbie has been mirroring her times and inspiring numerous artists for over 50 years. Generation after generation, this 29 cm doll continues to captivate girls and adults alike with amazing fun. Fact:

  • 1 billion dolls sold since 1959
  • 6 dolls on average owned by 3 to 6 year-old girls
  • 3 dolls bought every second in the world

So why is the Barbie doll so popular? What is behind her popularity? What is it that appeals to both children and adults alike around the world? In this new exhibition, the museum has invited the Italian designers from the Magia2000 studios to suggest some possible answers. Barbie's wardrobe from the first decade (1959-1967) is renowned and continues to inspire fashion designers of today.

Barbie's style from the 1960s endures; it nourishes the imagination of current professionals in

the fashion industry, who keep creating contemporary looks for Barbie with hints of the 1960s

"flavor." The "Barbie Silkstone Fashion Model Collection" from Mattel, designed by Robert Best, is

an example of dolls who, through their features and fashion, capture the look and feel of the 1960s.

The Silkstone doll collection uses materials that combine the luxury fabrics and elaborate details that

evoke the style of the original 1960s dolls.

Barbie also inspires One-Of-A-Kind (OOAK) creations by contemporary designers, such as Magia2000. This studio is renowned in the doll community for the exquisite miniature garments they create; hand embroidered, cut to the highest Haute Couture standards and highly appreciated by discerning collectors.

Specially created dolls will be unveiled as part of this exhibition. They all pay tribute to those fashion
designers who are inspired by the look and style of the 1960s. A large selection of vintage authentic dolls from two prestigious French private collections will also be on display in the 24 showcases that comprise this special exhibition. These Barbie dolls, with their recognizable look and style of the 1960's capture the feel of the era with names like "Gay Parisienne," "Suburban Shopper," "Solo in the Spotlight," "Evening Splendor," and "Golden Glamour." They are displayed together with contemporary Mattel creations and the Magia2000 OOAK in order to create a dialogue between past and present.

Who were Carol Spencer and Anne-Marie Crivelli? 

Carol Spencer started her career as a designer for Barbie in 1963. She created Couturier and Mod-style fashions as well as the Color Magic and Sew Free sets for Barbie and her friends for more than 35 years. Anne-Marie Crivelli is a French fashion designer who, in 1966, created three models distributed by Mattel in Europe: "Le Bal des Petits Lits Blancs," "Roseraie" and "Quartier Latin."

Who is Robert Best?

Best has been fashion designer for Mattel since the mid-1990s. He created many collections of beautiful, glamorous Barbie dolls collected by numerous fans around the world. His creations are famous; they stand out for their sophistication, elegance and references to the heritage of Barbie's vintage style, which can most notably be seen in the Barbie Silkstone Fashion Model Collection.

Who is Magia2000?

An artistic Italian duo formed in 1999 with Mario Paglino and Gianni Grossi, two doll and fashion aficionados. They rapidly specialized in OOAK dolls and took part in many Italian fairs and conventions, as well as some in the USA.

Their style, largely inspired by Italian haute couture, has from the beginning been elegant, rich and displayed a great sense of detail. Their creations today are very sought after by collectors throughout the world; Mattel has commissioned them twice for US convention
souvenir dolls.

Beginning in 2009, they worked with Mattel Italy as visual designers for events related to Paris and Milan celebrations of the Barbie 50th anniversary. They are now the official designers for Barbie events in Europe.

Where do the vintage Barbie exhibited come from?

Sylvie Dantec has been collecting Barbie for more than 30 years. Her collection specializes in the first two decades of the Barbie doll and includes dolls as well as outfits and accessories in mint condition. The importance and quality of her collection explain her participation in all the major Barbie events in France.

Eric Chatillon discovered Barbie in 1995 upon visiting the first Barbie doll exhibition held at Musée de la Poupée-Paris. His passion for the doll of his childhood lead him to accumulate a unique and recognized collection. He is author of "Barbie en France," a 2004 publication by Dollexpo Editions, in which he analyses the 1963-1969 period, during which Mattel products were distributed in France by Jouets Rationnels.

Who is Mattel, Inc.?

(NASDAQ:MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products.

The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Monster High®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends®, Fisher-Price® brands, including, Little People®, Power Wheels®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the sixth year in a row.

Mattel also is ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." With
worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 30,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play.

For more information on the exhibit, visit

Visit us at, or ©2013 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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