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Barbie Gets a Fashion Tribute in Moscow

An exhibition of Barbie dolls in designer duds opened in Moscow to mark the toy’s 50th anniversary.

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Barbie by Junko Shimada

Barbie by Junko Shimada

Photo By Courtesy Photo

DOLL FACE: Russia is often thought of as a country of life-size, catwalk-ready Barbies - and their ranks swelled Thursday night when an exhibition of Barbie dolls in designer duds opened in Moscow to mark the toy’s 50th anniversary. "We didn’t know anything about Barbie in the U.S.S.R.," noted Roza Kamenev, owner of the Cara&Co. concept store, where the show is taking place. Kamenev only heard of the doll when she immigrated with her family to Sydney in the late Eighties. To complement the 50 Barbie outfits by foreign accessory designers already in the show, Kamenev commissioned outfits by Russians and the brands she sells in her shop. Flamboyant artist Andrei Bartenev contributed a black-and-white dress that looks like a full-body Elizabethan ruff. Junko Shimada put Barbie in a headscarf and leggings made of electric-blue cellophane. Slava Zaitsev, a stalwart who gained fame during the Soviet era, dressed his doll in a black, flamenco-inspired ballgown embroidered with gold flowers. At the party, a pouting blonde wandered around proffering boxed dolls, and designer Vika Gazinskaya said the miniature American import was her original muse. "The first dress I ever made was for my Barbie doll," she said. The exhibition runs till June 14.