barbie loves oscar
I was first introduced to Oscar de la Renta through Barbie. For the 1985 holiday season, Mattel released a collection of four prepackaged outfits designed by de a Renta, three red carpet dresses and one pant suit. They were majestic, ‘Dynasty’-worthy creations in a range of jewel-tones and metallics. This was the first time a famous designer’s name was stamped onto a Barbie box (Bob Mackie didn’t come along until 1990) but it did set the standard for Barbie’s designer wardrobe. To this day, fashion’s top labels are still angling to dress the plastic muse, who has since been outfitted by everyone from Anna Sui and Ralph Lauren to Givenchy and Reem Acra.
But back in 1985, all I wanted were those four spectacular outfits. I mean, comon’… they had capes! And fur stoles! I actually would have settled for one, especially if it was my favorite — the hot pink and gold number with those ridonkulous puff sleeves. But they were rather pricey, more expensive than the average Barbie outfit, so my dolls never got to experience what it was like to wear an original Oscar de la Renta. He would go on to design a second set of outfits the following year and in 1998, blessed this Barbie doll with a brown lace and gold brocade ball gown. My childhood tastes for princess dresses and ruffle trims eventually waned, but I never outgrew my admiration for the genius of de la Renta. And though I am rarely wowed by red carpet fashion (and yes, I know he also did ready-to-wear, even championing it early in his career, but the gowns are what he is known for), during award season, de la Renta’s dresses were usually amongst the most beautiful. Always timeless, but with a nod to the past (often the 1950s and 60s), his work was elegant, exceptional, and sometimes even ethereal. Respect.
Buy these original Oscar de la Renta for Barbie looks via eBay (quick, before I do!)