by Saxon Henry
Before voluptuous breasts and shapely bottoms were the norm, Barbie’s curvaceous figure made many of us green with jealousy. Now, I find out that I have something else to envy: her house in Malibu. Not the small, plastic digs with a handle we filled with her frilly clothes and pointy shoes as children, but real live interiors, 3,500 square feet of them, designed by Jonathan Adler.
The home, you see, is a life-sized interpretation of that fussed over pint-sized Dream House, bringing to life all the fantasy and fashion that personifies the shapely doll: elements such as skirted, corseted, lace-up “dress” chairs; a chandelier made of Barbie hair; a closet filled with thousands of pink shoes; a sunburst mirror made from 65 Barbie dolls (above the fireplace); pieces from the Barbie Loves Jonathan Adler™ home décor collection (launching nationwide in September 2009); and a garage that includes a real Barbie Volkswagen New Beetle (all pink with a motorized, pop up vanity in the trunk).
The house also features a Barbie Museum, which houses dozens of dolls and art pieces such as Barbie paintings by Andy Warhol. “Of all my work, bringing to life Barbie’s famous Malibu Dream House has been one of the most fun design projects yet,” says Adler. “Barbie was a dream client because she doesn’t have a husband to rein in the fantasy or tone down the glamour.”
Barbie’s outrageously pink birthday party, a star-studded soiree that showcased the residence for the first time, was designed by event-planner-to-the-stars Colin Cowie. It included more than 45 celebrities walking the pink carpet (get a load of Heidi Klum fondling Barbie’s stash of pink stilettos), music by DJ AM, specialty cocktails such as the Barbie “Doll-icious” and “Strawberry Blonde,” custom floral centerpieces shaped as stilettos heels and a “plastic fantastic” theme infused throughout the night. Other details: 1,800 pairs of Barbie sized sunglasses, 3,500 pairs of Barbie shoes and 3,500 Barbie handbags filled custom designed Lucite tables. Along with centerpieces made up of 3,000 pink roses were 146 pounds of pink candy and 1,030 pounds of ice, which were used to create an ice sculpture of a birthday cake.
“We’re bringing the entire idea of Barbie alive – how she eats, how she decorates, how she lives, and certainly how she entertains,” says Cowie. “Barbie is a great client – she has great style, she loves the details, she enjoys her bling and she has tons of amazing imagery for inspiration – you’ll see lots of pink, shine, her famed black-and-white zebra print and always a few Barbie surprises.”