Blackest of Blacks

by United Blogs of Benetton on: July 1st, 2010

Mattel has had a bit of a rough time producing Barbies from different ethnicities from the Colored Francie doll in 1967 to the current So In Style range which is supposed to create a more realistic depiction of black people. I therefore wonder what would Mattel think about this particular interpretation of a Black Barbie. Quite literally, these dolls have been plunged in noir, totally immersed in order to create amazing silhouettes.

These are the work of four 13 year old girls; Jana, Jozefien, Marie and Astrid.

The MOMU Fashion Museum in Antwerp has currently dedicated an exhibition to the colour black entitled Masters of Black in Fashion and Costume. It tracks the history and symbolism of the colour black in fashion from the 16th century to present day, with designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Comme des Garcons, Ann Demeulemeester and Givenchy on display.
To coincide with the exhibition, MOMU organised a young persons workshop which gave way to inspiring the four girls to creating these Black Barbie dolls. They focused on silhouettes, the outline of the silhouette, where the volumes are concentrated as well as the different tones of black which are achieved with different materials; feathers, velvet and wool etc. It’s quite a fairly young age to be thinking about fashion at a conceptual level but then again, we are in an age where 12 year old are memorising fashion shows off by heart so I guess I’m feeling the generation gap a little.

You can definitely see hints of Viktor & Rolf, Gareth Pugh, Givenchy etc in the silhouettes but I’m definitely suitably impressed when in comparison, I was having trouble tie dying a tshirt when I was their age…


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