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Living Dolls

Living dolls: Fashion designers create glamorous wardrobes for real-life Barbies

Living dolls: Fashion designers create glam wardrobe for Barbie

Lindsay Vonn at Barbie party
Lindsay Vonn poses with her Barbie lookalike. Courtesy photo
models in Barbie designs at Barbie New York Fashion Week party
Real life Barbies models designs by noted fashion designers. Courtesy photo
WHIT designer Whitney Pozgay and Barbie design
WHIT designer Whitney Pozgay poses with her Barbie design. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Designers and models at Barbie New York fashion week party
Designers Tess Gilberson, second from left, Cynthia Vincent,  center, and Whitney Pozgay, second from right, pose with their Barbie creations and CFDA CEO Steven Kolb. Courtesy photo
Cynthia Vincent and Barbie design
Designer Cynthia Vincent poses with her Barbie design. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Lindsay Vonn at Barbie party
models in Barbie designs at Barbie New York Fashion Week party
WHIT designer Whitney Pozgay and Barbie design
Designers and models at Barbie New York fashion week party
Cynthia Vincent and Barbie design

NEW YORK — For one night, at least, Barbie was a real living doll.

To celebrate the new Barbie Fashion Design Maker app, which allows budding designers to create custom fashions for the iconic doll on software and print them out, the Council of Fashion Designers of America asked several top designers to create life-sized clothing for breathing Barbie-like models. The results were displayed in the center of the Meatpacking District under a tent that drew Olympic medalists Lindsay Vonn, Sasha Cohen and Nastia Lulkin, along with Dylan Lauren and The Leftover's Emily Meade.

The real-life Barbies posed behind glass, just as if they were in a store package, as designers excitedly explained their inspirations.

  "Barbie was a working girl. I would dress her up as a marine biologist and for the circus or as a ballerina. She had lots of jobs."

Cynthia Vincent, whose Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent collection features boho-inspired styles, created a sleeveless mini-dress for Barbie using a textile print from her spring collection and added vintage trim at the neckline. "For me Barbie always had accessories, so it's all in one, she's set to go," Vincent said.

WHIT designer Whitney Pozgay mixed and matched fabric from her spring 2015 collection for her Barbie dress and added a cutout at the waist "to give a little bit of flirtation but still be conservative for Barbie," she said.

"It's very springy," Pozgay said. "The florals are from our spring collection that we just showed. We wanted it to feel very new."

Texas women should be excited about the spring collections that are being unveiled this week because they are bold and colorful.  "I grew up in Arizona and went to the University of Texas so I'm a sun-loving girl," Pozgay said. "Women in Texas wear color so well. Texas women really know how to dress and accessorize and wear a lot of patterns. They are very confident and bold in their clothes. And I create really bold clothing."

For Pozgay, designing for Barbie for one night brought back a lot of good memories. "I had two or three favorite ones who were the important ones," she recalled about her childhood Barbies. "Barbie was a working girl. I would dress her up as a marine biologist and for the circus or as a ballerina. She had lots of jobs.

"I think Barbie is very glamorous and represents women but I think she also represents possibilities for young girls. It's the first time you are playing with what you want to be when you grow up. It's awesome for young girls to think about all the things they can be and feel like they can do anything. Barbie gives that to young girls. It's a right of passage."