ver since the joyful first look photo of Margot Robbie in the Barbie movie was released last April, the sartorial sensation dubbed Barbiecore has been bubbling up. Now with the movie’s July 21 release date on the horizon it’s at a full boil. At its best, the look is bold, bright with big-big-big hair, heels and accessories, keeping in line with the tribute to the iconic Mattel toy and the underlying satirical tone of director Greta Gerwig’s production.
Header image features Emily P. Wheeler jewelry
All the Barbie’s wear jewelry because (obviously) jewelry is joy.Emily P. Wheeler
Like the movie, or at least what we have seen of it in the pictures and trailers, there is nothing understated in Barbiecore. Barbie’s favorite color is pink—every single shade of the hue from neon to a very soft pastel. The style phenomena also includes bright blues, greens, yellows and purple. The looks align with life in Barbieland and the vibrant and brilliant Barbies who have various professions including a doctor, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, a Supreme Court justice and a mermaid played by Dua Lipa. The style is closely aligned with Mermaidcore.
All the Barbie’s wear jewelry because (obviously) jewelry is joy. The jewels in the movie, run mainly along the lines of costume hearts, flowers and shells. In the real Real World—as opposed to the one in the movie—there is a wide array of Barbiecore fine jewels with motifs beyond the ones in Barbieland. Some of the most imaginative styles are being made by COUTURE designers BEA BONGIASCA, EÉRA, EMILY P. WHEELER, TEN THOUSAND THINGS.
Emily P. Wheeler
In an Architectural Digest tour of Barbie’s Dreamhouse on YouTube, Margot Robbie takes the publication into her dressing area where she describes how Cher’s closet in Clueless was the inspiration. Designer Emily P. Wheeler was on the exact same page. If Emily were in Barbie, I feel like she would have to be her favorite fashion designer.
One day at the 2023 COUTURE show Emily adorably wore the same yellow plaid suit Cher famously sports in the opening scene of Clueless. The attire was Emily’s tribute to the iconic character and the 1990s mode of her new collection.
Designs include colorful gem-set and enamel huggies, huge hearts with pink gems and turquoise and sweet pink sapphire and gold chokers.
The color palette of the Barbie movie is all over everything, and I mean everything, Bea Bongiasca creates. It’s just who she is. When you see Bea, her personal style is as bright as her jewels. Ditto her design philosophy.
The Italian sensation describes her jewelry as, “At once playful and intricate; it functions as a miniature fantasy world for the wearers to immerse themselves in and evade reality, even if just for a minute!” Colorful gems and enamel light up the squiggly lines—a hat tip to the Memphis art movement—that define the playful jewels.
If Bea was in Barbie, I feel like she would maybe be the art dealer in the crowd who finds the Barbie’s paintings to decorate their Dreamhomes.
I envision the roles of the Italian co-founders of EÉRA, Chiara Capitani and Romy Blanga, in Barbie to be founders of a dating app like Bumble where women make the first move. Because Ken, well, he needs help.
They wear their empowered pink pieces with clothes on the edgier side of Barbieland, but still filled with Barbie joy. They pair the pieces with the single signature Snap Hook earrings or a single baby butterfly wing. Perhaps they have multiples of the new armor style rings on their fingers. Their Barbie palette is shiny with the metallic of the PVD coating the jewels. Diamonds light up the designs.
Ten Thousand Things
If you know Ten Thousand Things, the beloved label located in New York City, you might be surprised to see them in my Barbiecore roundup. Afterall they are known for the chic city style, not the Malibu Barbie situation depicted in the movie. But alas, they fell into the trend too with their latest hand-cut stone jewels which fit right into the color palette.
For these pieces the designers of Ten Thousand Things, Ron Anderson and David Rees, chose from an amazing array of pink opal, pink quartz, rhodochrosite, amethyst, green chalcedony and other gems.
If Ron and David, lived in Barbieland, they would be Kens cut from a different cloth. In other words, smart. They would run a gallery where the Barbies would go for artistic sculptures and hangout to consult on life, work and love.
The Founder and Editorial director of the online fine jewelry magazine The Adventurine, Marion Fasel is as well known for trend forecasting as her comprehensive knowledge of jewelry history. Her tenth book on 20th century jewelry design B is for Bvlgari: Celebrating 50 Years in America was published on December 16, 2022.