Thursday, September 17, 2009
Barbie fever bites at SA Fashion Week
Twenty-five year old Capetonian Marize Malan is on the verge of national recognition after scooping the ELLE New Talent Awards 2009
My week didn't start off so well ... when I arrived the organisers told me that they only had tickets for me for the next day instead of for the shows which I had wanted to see (Elle New Talent and the 50 Years of Barbie show). Which was weird because I could distinctly remember emailing the shows I wanted to go to. They were full, I was told, and I would have to wait on standby. I went home instead to my dressing gown and a nice plate of pasta. After five fashion weeks this year one gets a little weary. I did miss Marlize Malan's designs, however ...
What Marlize produced ...
Then I got a call ... it was a big mix up and they had had my tickets in my hand when we were talking. So I got dressed again and drove back. Lucilla Booyzens managed to squeeze me into the tail end of the Black Coffee show where 3 Sudanese girls with names which sounded like like Nok and Grrr were among the models. Jacques of Black Coffee had made them look like tribal masks with beaded headdresses and phosphorescent lipstick. You couldn't see their eyes which was scary. The other models wore beekeepers' veils in bright colours. Don't know how they negotiated their way down the ramp!
Black Coffee's techno beekeeping veils .. they put on another mini fashion show at the 10th birthday of Bamboo Centre in Melville last weekend
I managed to squeeze in an exclusive interview after the 50 Years of Barbie show with Michele Reid of Blue Horizon Licensing who handles two divisions of Mattal in South Africa, the toys and a range of clothing and toys for kids. Barbie is as big as ever, she told me, and now has a following of not just 8-year-olds but a resurgence of interest at around 18 or 19. Move over, Bratz doll!
Barbie is a fashion icon and it makes sense that New York Fashion Week would celebrate 50 years of Barbiedom on the catwalk. It was the turn of SA Fashion Week and the show drew a huge crowd. There will be a repeat performance next year, Michele told me, promising big things on the Barbie front. And Ken turns 50 next year. Fancy that, a 50-year-old, grey-haired Ken? When we remember him as so young and handsome!
My favourite take on the Barbie theme was the Barbie hair skirt from Guillotine and Malcolm Kluk's living doll princess dresses.
Princess Barbie ... Malcolm Kluk's take on the Barbie theme
Some of the designers missed the whole point - David Tlale's Barbie was, as usual, all about David Tlale!
The Tlale Barbie
A Stone Cherrie Barbie could have worked on the whole 50s theme with their trademark little gloves. After Barbie was all about accessories, wasn't she? From that plastic blonde hair that felt like nylon, to the heart-shaped pink sunglasses and the little plastic shoes that you could buy in packets from the CNA when I was growing up.