Saturday, August 11, 2018

Montreal's Barbie Expo - Fabulous Fashion!

The Barbie Expo in Montreal is the largest permanent exhibit of Barbie dolls in the world.  My husband and I were in Montreal for a few days recently, exploring the city, eating good food, and visiting the Jardin Botanique (Botanical Garden).  When searching for things to do, I learned about the Barbie Expo, and knew I had to go.  I was a 7-year old when Barbie first came out, with her black and white striped bathing suit, and sparkly fitted black gown with a tulle bottom enhanced with a red flower.  My best friend and I were smitten, and played with our Barbies, and made clothes for them.  My grandmother knitted and crocheted beautiful clothes for the dolls, and my dad donated his old ties for me to cut off and make into lovely evening gowns.  So, when I told my husband about the Expo (and told him it was FREE), he agreed to spend an hour or two there before we left to drive home, and he actually seemed to quite enjoy it.  Here's a couple of Barbies with major attitude!
This is an exhibit that it would be hard to dislike.  These are not your everyday Barbie dolls.  Instead, they are Barbies dressed in haute couture, by designers such as Bob Mackie (the two Barbies at the top of this post are wearing Bob Mackie), Ralph Lauren, Faberge, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Bill Blass, Zac Posen, Kate Spade, and more, each with fabulous hair, makeup, and jewelry, and exquisite detailing.

 There are Barbies dressed as entertainment industry icons, from Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Audrey Hepburn, to modern icons like Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez, among many others. And there's Elvis and Priscilla Presley, and Rock Hudson and Doris Day. 
Yes, above that's Liz and Audrey, along with Grace Kelly, and below is Tipi Hedron in a scene from The Birds, along with James Dean and Heidi Klum.

And there are Barbies dressed as beloved characters from television and movies, from Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind to Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble from The Flintstones; from The Wizard of Oz characters to Katniss from The Hunger Games, Edward and Bella from Twilight, Agents Scully and Mulder from the X Files, characters from The Addams Family and The Munsters, and many more.  
I love this pair below: Scarlet O'Hara (Gone with the Wind) dressed to impress Rhett Butler in an outfit quickly pulled together from the drawing room drapes, and Carol Burnett's hilarious spoof of that outfit, compete with the curtain rod in the shoulders!  

And there are Barbies documenting eras of fashion, Barbies representing countries from around the world, Barbies dressed in couture wedding gowns, and still so much more! 
 Here's a few more that I really liked.  The two directly below are Byron Lars designs.  I wasn't familiar with his work, but there were many pieces by him, each amazing, from fabulous hair and hats to great shoes.
 These two below: slutty-looking Barbies?!
Believe it or not, these photos are just a fraction of the Barbie dolls there to see, just a fraction of the photos I took.  If you find yourself in Montreal, and you like fashion, this is an exhibit worth your time.  I'll be back.