Last week, I came to the conclusion that culture was experiencing a declining interest in Barbie. That is because most people have seen the film and most people have outlived its months-long marketing plan. But it was also because the SAG strike had ended and Margot Robbie had been seen wearing brown – a colour which feels spiritually opposed to pink – on the red carpet. For a brief moment, it seemed as though we had outlived the term “Barbiecore”… but I was mistaken.
Last weekend, Warner Bros held a special Q&A screening of the Barbie movie—for the few people on earth who had not yet encountered it—which meant Robbie wore pale-pink feathered pajamas and doll-like Manolo Blahnik heels. She then attended a panel discussion at the Director’s Guild of America – where, in a stunning turn of events, she discussed *Barbie—*dressed in a cherry-printed shirt and turned-up jeans from Bottega Veneta: itself a simulacrum of the Cherry Pie Picnic Barbie from 2015. I imagine it took some effort for Robbie to revisit the plastic optimism of Barbie after all these months.
I think this because Robbie is otherwise cloaking herself in sensible hues of brown—see: the Schiaparelli and the Fendi couture gowns she dressed in last week—which felt like a psychic reset from all the retina-popping pinks she has been confronted with since first making the film in in March 2022. Robbie was photographed in that Fendi dress alongside Dua Lipa in a siren-red satin gown and a siren-like hairdo. If brands are taking ownership of a particular Pantone (think Burberry Blue, Ferragamo Red, Valentino Pink), it would now seem celebrities are beginning to do the same, too.