Where to get it + Gareth Pugh talks about the collab + Henri Holland's Hitchcock version of Barbie after the jump...
I never had a Barbie or a Ken when I was little, but I've always admired how the dolls have adapted and evolved. Ken has never really had a chance to come out of his shell; his style is the antithesis of mine so I tried to remake him in an image that was very specifically me. Inspiration came from my menswear collection, which debuted in Paris earlier this year. We had this naked plastic body, but that terrible preppy hairdo was still there, and it informed everything we did. It didn't work with my look at all. We tried shaving his head, and unpicking the hair with a needle, but in the end Mattel very kindly sourced some plastic, bald heads from the factory stage before the hair is attached that we could use instead. And then we gave Ken his mohican. Also, it was tricky working with a body shape I'm not used to. My aesthetic is tailored to quite a scrawny, indie physique ? basically what I know would work on me, and I've never been to a gym in my life. So it's strange to see what my designs look like on this hunky, beefcake bod. It's great on the doll ? very Edward Scissorhands meets Calvin Klein model ? but I'm not sure how it would translate to real life!
Gareth Pugh designed 50 limited edition Ken dolls at £179.99 each.
My first Barbie memory is of my step-sister and I buying one between us, sitting her on the roof of my mum's car and then shooting at her with a bow and arrow. Curating the temporary boutique at Dover Street has been slightly different! I loved seeing the huge range of products, from the kitschy Stila beauty range to the black diamond necklace. But it has been looking back through all the archives of dolls and products which has been the most enjoyable part for me. I wasn't aware of some of the amazing limited editions, and this Hitchcock Barbie featuring Tippi Hedren from 'The Birds' (right, £75) is so cool. I studied the film at college ? this is such a striking moment in it, and the way Barbie has brought it to life is just great. My other personal favourite has to be the Cher 'Turn Back Time' doll ? complete with microphone, leather jacket and bodystocking!
My Barbie dolls were such a big part of my growing-up that I can't bear to part with any of them, and they're all still in the loft at home. I was still being bought a Barbie every year for my birthday until I was about 16! At 50, she's now the same age as Prince, Michael Jackson and Madonna, globally recognisable icons who have constantly re-invented themselves to fit in with current trends and popular movements, and like them, I can't see her ever going out of fashion. She has such a great history, and there were such endless possibilities in dressing her. She's the perfect woman to wear my spring/summer 09 collection ? it was based on the work of pop artist Richard Hamilton, who is considered both good and bad taste likewise, there's a bit of controversy in Barbie . She's the type of forward-thinking, contemporary woman that would wear and suit my previous collections too. I did a lot of research with collectors' dolls and the history of the brand, and started building a Barbie profile that reflected my own personal style as well as hers.
Via The Independent