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Dress like a living doll for the new millennium

Coming to a store near you, Barbie clothes for big girls. No, not doll clothes but togs for living, breathing women who grew up dressing the buxom plastic princess.

Mattel Inc. -- Barbie's home since, like, forever -- showed off T-shirts, cocktail dresses, shoes and coats at a New York show earlier this month. A similar line in Japan has done smashingly, say company reps. Look for Barbie-brand fragrances and cosmetics to come.

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(Sales of Barbies have been, well, flat, lately. Mattel is hoping this could reignite interest in the legendary brand.)

Just think of it: Garanimals for adults, because, depending on what a woman's going to do all day, she can coordinate her outfits as:

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* Executive Barbie -- Red power suit, fluffy scarf with cell phone, Palm Pilot, briefcase and a crumpled brown bag with a boring lunch. Plus, three quarters and two pennies, the amount she makes for every $1 Ken makes doing exactly the same job.

* Minivan Barbie -- Hand-me-down sweat shirt, ratty shorts and Barbie's Dream Van revamped with sticky handprints on the windows, the detritus of a month's worth of drive-through meals on the floor and a suspicious, viscous goo way back, where the golden retriever rides.

* Stepford / Surrendered / Total Barbie -- Just the regular old Barbie (naked) with an apron and a sword suitable for laying down in the battle between the sexes. Plus a jar for her brain, since she's not using it any more.

* Feminist Barbie -- Instead of a foot molded to fit into impossibly high heels, this Barbie, dressed in sensible denim, has her right hand molded into a little plastic fist.

* Divorcee Barbie -- Teensy skirt, push-up bra, daring new hairstyle and a loaded pistol. And a teensy modem for enrolling in eharmony and match.com.

* PMS Barbie -- Ratty bathrobe and 5 pounds of chocolate. And a loaded pistol.

The Hartford Courant is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.


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