As a firm believer that life in plastic is indeed fantastic, when I heard that Montreal was home to the largest permanent exhibition of Barbie dolls in the world, I had to go.
I didn’t actually grow up with the collection of Barbies that a lot of other young girls and boys did, so I didn’t realise how much I appreciate a good plastic figurine until I stepped into this underground oasis that is literally covered wall-to-wall in over 1,000 of the things. These are no ordinary Barbies, either. They are dressed head to tiny plastic toe in haute couture outfits that have been designed by some of the world’s most renowned fashion houses, such as Dior, Versace and Givenchy, to name a few.
As a household name since the ’60s, Mattel has done quite a fantastic thing. The creator of Barbie, Ruth Handler, had the idea to produce a 3D doll when she found her daughter playing with paper cutouts of smaller versions of herself. Her mission was to provide children with a doll that they could dress up and decorate as they please, and tell stories with. Children are filled with ideas and encouraging them to harness their imaginations can only be a great thing. As Aqua so poetically put it: imagination, life is your creation.
Nothing turns me on more than bright splashes of acid colours, especially in miniature, handmade form. I love seeing “inanimate” objects brought to life in loud, creative ways and the Barbie exhibition did not disappoint. Barbie, you’re my doll, rock ‘n roll, feel the glamour in pink, kiss me here… (and you know how the song goes).