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Museum Note

Barbie® Comes To The Children's Museum With A New One-Of-A-Kind Exhibit

Come see Barbie™: The Fashion Experience

December 01, 2009
Every fashionista's dream come true: the art of fashion design is coming to The Children's Museum, and Barbie® is the inspiration! On December 19, the new exhibit, Barbie™: The Fashion Experience will debut at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. This unique exhibit, created by The Children's Museum in collaboration with Mattel, will allow children and families to immerse themselves in the art of fashion design and try their hands at becoming designers. Visitors will have a chance to try everything from putting a design concept on paper, to draping a form and fitting a model, to designing and participating in a runway show.

As a fashion icon, Barbie® doll is always a reflection of the latest fashion trends. Some of the top designers in the world have created looks especially for her and inspired by her. Through Barbie: The Fashion Experience, aspiring designers will be able to create their own fashions for Barbie® using inspiration from her wardrobe.

All fashionistas will also enjoy seeing styles created especially for the Barbie™ 50th Anniversary Runway Show held during the February 2009 Fashion Week in New York City. Top designers Betsey Johnson, Nicole Miller, Rachel Roy and Koi Suwannagate created special looks inspired by Barbie®, these designs will be displayed in the exhibit to inspire young designers.

Inside the exhibit's Design Center future designers will put together their own iconic looks using drawing tables, fabric swatches, inspiration boards and sketches. This area will let children and families experience the process of designing fashions while exploring the questions of what inspires a designer and how does he or she move from inspiration through final design? Dozens of fabrics and trims will serve as inspiration for building real garments on large or small dress forms. Visitors will also be able to trace at light tables, create virtual fashions on monitors and draw their own fashions freehand.

And of course, no exhibit on the world of fashion would be complete without a runway show! Children will be able to experience the unique process of planning and implementing their very own show including working as a lighting designer, DJ, fashion photographer or commentator, and go Backstage with Barbie™ and explore the work of stylists, starters, dressers and checkers. Kids can even style their own outfit using looks inspired by Barbie® and walk the runway in their creation.

Barbie® collectors will enjoy the Pink Vault where some of the rarest and most collectible Barbie® dolls, including the #1 1959 Barbie®, the 1961 brown-haired Ken® and the 1969 Talking Julia, will be displayed. Select dolls, outfits and accessories from all 50 years will be showcased. One of the most valuable items will be Andy Warhol's 1985 portrait of Barbie®—the ultimate status symbol of a pop-culture icon!

Before visitors leave the exhibit, they will have a chance to share favorite Barbie® memories. Grandparents, mothers, sons and daughters can share their own memories of Barbie® with others, or have fun seeing all the memories other Barbie® fans have to share.

Jaclyn Falkenstein is public relations coordinator at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

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