Stephen Burrows Pazette Barbie Doll Rises and Shines
Trail-blazing African-American fashion designer Stephen Burrows has dressed quite the glamour squad during his 40+ years in the industry, with a clientele that has included Iman, Cher, Beverly Johnson, Liza Minnelli, Hilary Duff, Lauren Hutton, Barbra Streisand, Sofia Vergara, Jerry Hall, and Pat Cleveland. Now, the 68-year-old designer has concocted a deliciously flashy concotion for Miss Plastic Fantastic herself: Barbie.
The newly unveiled Stephen Burrows Pazette Barbie Doll ($100 at BarbieCollector.com), a collaboration between doll maker Linda Kyaw and Burrows, conjures up images of the decadent hedonism, high-octane drama, and unabashed sexiness of Studio 54 era fashions, then infuses that aesthetic with a showgirl vibe that channels Josephine Baker in her signature feather costumes and sprinkles a touch of ’80s Jazzercise style into the mix.
It should go without saying that this isn’t the type of Barbie doll you’d gift to a toddler — unless, of course, you want said tot to bang this collector’s item on the floor or take a pair of miniature scissors and a jar of glitter to the doll’s couture ensemble. The $100 price tag says it all: this is a doll to be kept on a shelf or inside a display box and simply admired.
As for the Stephen Burrows Pazette Barbie’s ensemble, the look cleverly combines numerous materials and aesthetics. First, there’s the nude mesh material that serves as the foundation of her skin-hugging, long-sleeved jumpsuit, automatically creating a peek-a-boo effect and toying with ideas of nudity. A nude knit material is then layered cleverly along the bustline to create a subtle bustier-like effect while still maintaining the bare skin feel of the original mesh and embellished with clear stones and silver sequins for a cabaret-worthy dose of flash. Silver strips placed diagonally along the bodice and hip region, meanwhile, create a starburst effect while also toying with a more futuristic Mad Max-ian aesthetic. These silver bands even wrap around the arms of the mesh top, again adding a degree of toughness to the design. These techniques are again utilized for the pant section of the catsuit, but the concentration of mirrored round silver sequins is particularly high along the hips and upper thighs, while wide bands of a two-toned silver knit material wrap around the thighs and legs ike strips of ribbon. The very bottom section of the pants legs meanwhile, right above the ankles, incorporates a wheat-colored ribbed knit material that’s reminiscent of ’80s workout gear. The entire ensemble is then topped off with a nearly sheer, silvery white vest that drapes down past the hip area, its open side flaps sprinkled with silver glitter and its hemline embellished with airy feathers. Last, of course, there’s the shoes: cream-and-silver sandals with three tubuluar straps running across the vamp, another three straps hugging the ankle, and a sky-high heel with a zippered closure along the back.
Audacious and unexpected, the fashions donned by the Stephen Burrows Pazette Barbie Doll remind us of why the designer became a worldwide phenom.