Wednesday, September 12, 2012

History Lesson // Barbies


For me, a childhood without Barbies would have been endlessly monotonous. I spent hours each day carefully crafting my ballerina-pink room into its own seemingly self-sufficient plastic paradise. There was the mall, the pet shop, a few cars and a grocery store. Plenty of glitter, too. I would line my dolls up in a neat line, brush their hair, change their clothes and begin my own childlike narrative. But what was Barbie's story?

As wife of Mattel co-founder and mother to Barbara and Kenneth (that's not a joke), Ruth Handler was one of the few who had insight to both sides of the toy business- production and consumption. As she watched her daughter play with flimsy paper dolls, she noticed a gap in the market-- dolls that looked like adults as opposed to the ever-so-common baby doll. 

Ruth's husband Elliot initially rejected the idea, not willing to make such a bold maneuver into unknown toy territory. Upon visiting Germany shortly after her proposal, Ruth saw exactly what she was looking for: a successful doll for young girls modeled after an adult called Bild Lilli. She purchased a few and worked with a Mattel product developer to tweak the doll to appropriate American standards, and Barbie was born.

On March 9, 1959, Barbie made her debut at the American International Toy Fair. The date is also the official birthday of Barbie, whose full yet fictional name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. Her biography states that she hails from Willows, Wisconsin and has younger sisters Skipper, Kelly and Krissy. It appears that Barbie has lived a well-experienced life, with over 40 different pets including dogs, horses and a zebra, and that she has dabbled in more than 100 occupations. She has a rocky romantic relationship with cutie Ken Carson with their last big break up released as a press report by Mattel in 2004. 

Barbie has become a cultural icon over the years, needless to say. She represents so much more than a childhood plaything and has served as a muse to a number of professionals across industries. Pop Art prince Andy Warhol added Barbie to his list of clients in 1985, creating yet another version of his signature multicolored portraits. Interior and graphic designer Jonathan Adler debuted his 3,500 square foot Barbie Malibu Dream House in 2009 complete with plenty of pink, velvet and "B" monograms. Project Runway mentor and author Tim Gunn created a small collection for Barbie earlier this summer with stylish separates and smart accessories (but who could expect less?). 



Oh, to walk in Barbie's shoes. She certainly gets the elite treatments. 

I'll admit- I still enjoy walking down the pastel pink Barbie aisle at stores, always amazed and slightly envious at what Mattel keeps coming up with. It undoubtedly brings back a multitude of memories. 

Sources: Original Barbie imageBarbie by Andy WarholJonathan Adler Malibu Barbie Dream House, Barbie Styled by Tim Gunn

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Returning


I am so embarrassed to have left so suddenly and for such a long prolonged period of time without any warning. How very rude and thoughtless of me! I hope you can all forgive my absence.

It's been nearly three weeks since my last little blurb, and what a whirlwind it has been. I have successfully moved back to school and into a new apartment, participated in yet another year of sorority recruitment madness, got a new job, started school, and searched all corners of my little college town for the perfect bedroom decor (we're almost there!).

Despite all of my new semester busyness, The Corner Apartment shall carry on. And what can you expect? More culture, art, history, less fashion. A lot of pretty pictures, a lot of happy inspiration.

So, shall I see you tomorrow?

Source: photo

Thursday, August 2, 2012

For the Love of // Tees


Does anyone else find it unbelievably difficult to find a decent cotton tee? It seems as if they're either mom-fit crew necks from Target or a perfect LNA dream costing a little less than $100. Ridiculous, yes?

If I had my choice, I would have a nice drawer full of loose and soft Splendid tees- the perfect piece to undermine a dressy blazer or throw on with a pair of jeans. Such a drawer, though, does not exist (at least not in my closet).

It's hot here in the South. I can hardly think about being outside without shivering (oddly enough) with disgust at the idea of my face melting off and my clothes sticking to me. Thus, I have been quite the t shirt aficionado this summer (note: not the XL sorority version).

My collection, though, is rather sparse. I have maybe two tees that I actually like to (and regularly) wear.

So here are two lessons for you: the usual cue from some of the best-dressed style bloggers on how to translate the tee look to your own daily wear, and a nice little compilation from myself on where to get them.

As essential as they may seem, the t shirt is, after all, just a t shirt. There's really no reason to break the bank, is there?




Top shirt: Madewell

Sources:
The Pink Peonies//Wendy's Lookbook//Harper's Bazaar Australia//See Jane//Kendi Everyday//Hi I'm Anna//Penny Pincher Fashion//Gal Meets Glam
Quote: Vogue