Ever since it was announced that Greta Gerwig would be taking on the world of Barbie in a film about the Mattel character, (and tapped real-life doll Margot Robbie for the title role,) the Internet has been devouring every piece of content and news around the project. Photos from the set, featuring Robbie in a hot pink Western-esque getup went viral quicker than you can say “let’s go party,” and now it seems like the color and aesthetic of the doll of the moment are taking over fashion. Lately, every red carpet features a Barbie-pink look, and it’s hard to scroll through Instagram without feeling like you’re walking the aisles of FAO Schwartz. If the summer of 2021 was a time for Goth, emo, and punk aesthetics to reign supreme, it’s become clear that 2022 is all about Barbiecore.
We shouldn’t be too surprised about this hot-pink takeover. Nicki Minaj has been embracing the aesthetic since the beginning of her career, affectionately calling her fans “Barbz” for long over a decade now. The color has been ubiquitous recently, however, ever since Pierpaolo Piccioli showed 48 looks in a hue that has been dubbed Valentino Pink PP for the brand’s fall 2022 collection. Following the presentation, everyone from Ariana Grande to Glenn Close managed to get their hands on the pieces, bringing the collection to Cannes, Coachella, and even the Met Gala. While all the looks are depicted in the same bright pink, they range from excessively girly—like the A-line minidress Lizzo wore to a screening of her series Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls earlier this month—to incredibly romantic, like the free-flowing piece Conan Gray twirled around in during his April performance in Palm Springs, California. With this collection, Piccioli proved that pink can be used for many events, moods, and styles—but in the end, it will always stand out.
Valentino Fall 2022 in the Wild
That revelation, it seems, has set off a wave of Barbie pink—and now, the hue is practically ubiquitous. Megan Fox officially submitted her application to be the ambassador of the hue after she showed up to two events in the past week, not only in pink looks, but with hair to match. Last Monday night, the actress supported her fiancé, Machine Gun Kelly, at the premiere of his movie, Life in Pink. Of course, she dressed in theme for the event, wearing a Nensi Dojaka minidress and pink strappy heels from Femme LA, her subtly pink hair cascading down her back. A few days later, she went even further into the aesthetic with the help of her stylist, Maeve Riley, wearing a two-piece set from The Andamane featuring a cropped asymmetric halter top and a ruched skirt, both in a metallic hot pink.
Riley’s former client, Hailey Bieber, seems to still be on the same wavelength as the stylist, because just a day later, she too was rocking her own Barbie girl look. The model shared a set of photos on Instagram wearing Versace’s fall 2022 ready-to-wear collection—a hot pink, corseted piece, which her current stylist, Karla Welch, paired with white platform Naked Wolf boots and Tiffany & Co. necklaces. “Paging the Barbie movie,” Welch captioned her Instagram of the look, ending the assumption that anything else could have inspired it.
It seems like, at this point, every designer has provided pieces that allow their customers to embrace their inner Barbie. The most obvious example is the collaboration between Balmain and Barbie, which debuted at the beginning of this year, allowing the Mattel-obsessed to truly live out their high-end fashion-doll fantasies. Even Diesel, which Glenn Martens has imbued with what he calls an “I don’t give a shit attitude” during his brief tenure there, had an arguably Barbiecore look in its fall 2022 collection—turning the wearer into the doll who most definitely does give a shit. The piece was recently snatched up by burgeoning fashion world plate, Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn, who looked like a Miami Barbie modeling the sleeveless minidress and matching Diesel-branded bag on Instagram.
Whether you call it hot pink, Barbie pink, or Valentino pink, the color is a welcome addition to this summer’s trend list. In a time of intense darkness, it’s nice to see brightness and beauty, even in something as seemingly trivial as a dress. It’s hard to look at this vivid hue without smiling—perhaps because it reminds you of the dolls you used to play with as a kid, or it builds anticipation for the upcoming film. Either way, it’s simply eye candy in its truest form; which is nice, because Barbiecore likely isn’t going anywhere. As we know from Miranda Priestly’s famous cerulean speech, trends start on the runway, head to the magazines and red carpets, before they finally get to the retailer, meaning any day now, Shein and Zara will be advertising Barbie-pink minidresses and sets. Margot Robbie may be playing the titular character, but this summer, we’re all Barbie girls.