By Lane Gwinn
The Times 

Barbie fashion is coming to WAG


August 24, 2023

Gail Gwinn

The attention to detail seen in this fedora is a big part of Barbie's street cred.

WAITSBURG - There is more to Barbie than just the new movie, though it is a must-see. There is Fashion. Since the doll came onto the market in 1959, Barbie and her friends have gone through decades of style trends in clothing, cars, houses, and accessories.

On Saturday, August 26, local artist Gail Gwinn will participate in the Waitsburg Happening with a display of Barbie couture at The Waitsburg Art Garden (WAG.) There will be dolls wearing Mattel's original fashions and exceptionally well-made clothes created by Gwinn since moving to Waitsburg in 2012

Her first Barbie was a gift from her mother when she was eight. They went to the local toy store, where she picked out the brunette with the black and white striped bathing suit. She chose that doll because it resembled her mother, the most beautiful woman in the world, except for Barbie.

The first outfit she chose for her Barbie was the iconic black, sparkly "Solo in the Spotlight" gown, with long black gloves and shiny open-toed high heels. When asked, Gwinn admitted that the thing she first loved about Barbie was her tiny feet and the high heels, so many high heels. Gwinn said shoes were always the first things to be lost. She has collected a bucketful of the doll's shoes, just in case.

She received other outfits as gifts, including "Suburban Shopper," which she still has and will be at WAG.

When she was ten, Gwinn hand-sewed her first outfit for Barbie, a cocktail dress out of lace and pink fabric. She said it was easy because the doll's curves made it easy to drape fabric, unlike her tubular-shaped baby dolls.

Fast-forward and Gwinn's interest in Barbie fashion continued. She has added vintage, collectible, new, weird Barbies. Also in her collection are Ken, Midge, and Skipper to round out the entourage. Be sure to visit the WAG, meet the artist, check out the fashion, and share your Barbie stories.


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