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Barbie Movie Costume Designer Interview

Why Barbie Trades Chanel For Birkenstock, According to the Movie's Costume Designer

Watch out! This post contains spoilers.

Barbie Movie Costume Designer Interview
Image Source: Warner Bros.

The anticipation for the "Barbie" movie wardrobe has been at an all-time high, cinematically speaking. The movie has become a jumping-off point for the Barbiecore fashion trend and plenty of merch from designer collaborations. For costume designer Jacqueline Durran (2017's "Beauty and the Beast" and 2019's "Little Women"), that could feel like serious pressure. The workload was an impressive feat to take on, especially since her team only had 11 weeks to make the looks — and they continued creating while filming progressed.

Durran drew inspiration from a range of sources, including iconic Barbie dolls from the '80s and pastels that nod to the French Riviera in the '50s and '60s. She also tapped Chanel to loan extra pieces for Margot Robbie's Stereotypical Barbie character. "It was one of my main intentions in the costuming of the movie to reference as many Mattel historic Barbie costumes as I could," Durran tells POPSUGAR.

"One of the things about Barbie is that she's always accessorised, and Chanel makes fantastic accessories."

Alongside Robbie, Durran had plenty of actors to dress, including Ryan Gosling, who came up with his own idea for Ken's logofied underwear; Simu Liu, who represents the confident "Kenergy" Gosling's up against; Issa Rae, whose sets are purposefully presidential-turned-leisurely; and Kate McKinnon, who looks like every doll you've ever destroyed as the eccentric Weird Barbie.

The "Barbie" movie outfits are visually stunning, but they also serve as a plot device. The dichotomy between Robbie's Barbie heels and her Birkenstocks, for example, speaks to the contrast between the idyllic Barbieland and the real world. Her yellow dress in the last scene also points to her transformation from a Barbie doll to a human. "For Barbie Margot, at that moment, she's really becoming human, so the idea was that her dress was much softer than her previous looks," Durran says. "It's a bias-cut dress, which means that it drapes, and none of Barbie's previous clothes have ever draped."

Ahead, Durran takes POPSUGAR through her experience costuming the "Barbie" movie cast and shares the symbolism behind key outfits.

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