Art Gowns does Schiaparelli on Barbie

Did you ever notice how one thing can lead to another?

Yes! Well, that’s exactly how my old Barbie got an Art gown.

 In Art Gowns spirit, nothing new was purchased for this project. Barbie’s Art Gown is made from a circa 1970 Schiaparelli tie, from my stash. The print size is perfect.

It all began on a visit to The Vintage Toy Advertiser blog. Ford had done a Barbie post, and Barbie has some fab gowns.

 Solo in the Spotlight & Enchanted Evening are my 2 faves. I would only change the fur stole, to a velvet stole.

Ford agreed I could do an Art Gowns/Barbie post. I’d make a gown, and he would supply photos from his collection. That was awhile ago, but once I found the Schiaparelli tie, it was a go.  

That led to, who is Schiaparelli?

Elsa Schiaparelli  was an Haute Couture designer. She collaborated creatively with Salvador Dali & Jean Cocteau. She was Coco Chanel’s direct competition between the 2 wars.

Elsa Schiaparelli was the first woman Fashion Designer on the cover of Time Magazine. Click on the pic of the cover to read about her insanely fascinating life, on the official site!

 Both ends of the tie were lined in Schiaparelli’ embossed “shocking pink”. The colour is Schiaparelli’s inspiration & instigation. She became famous for it.

Here’s the tie!  It was deconstructed, and pressed flat. Barbie was then draped in the bias cut fabric.

I used the “shocking pink” tie lining to line the tail of Barbie’s Art Gown.

I also made Barbie’s necklace, bracelet and earrings. Her shoes were lime green, so they got painted blue. Her hair was a disaster. I did a braided top knot with curly crown burst.

Here are more fab photos Ford took from Barbie’s catalogues.

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Again, one thing leads to another! The gowns are all very beautiful, and no one can say they are “Fast Fashion”. “Fast Fashion” has become a major pollutant, along with its best friend plastic.

Rene Rosso got into the her best Barbie torch gown look, with “shocking pink” accents. She’d like to share her favourite version of  “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, a standard she’s been working on.

Our point is, don’t let the lust for “Fast Fashion”, be a smoke that gets in your eyes.  Choose “Sustainable Fashion”!


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Having an official Art Gown of her own has gone to Barbie’s head. She has decided to throw a dinner party for all of the Art Gowns.

Photos from Barbie’s Catalogue © Ford, TVTA

Art Gowns and all Art Gowns pics & stories © Resa McConaghy

Rene Rosso character © Resa McConaghy (w/ Holly Rene Hunter)

One of Ford’s posts was on California Barbie. I was impressed with the opening beauty shots, as much care had been taken with the lighting.

Click on the above beauty shot, and go to TVTA’s Barbie category, and see all the Barbie posts.

Of course, one beauty shot leads to another!

151 thoughts on “Art Gowns does Schiaparelli on Barbie

  1. Timothy Price

    Ms. Schiaparelli led a fantastically fascinating life. She mingled with many of my favorite artists. She was quite something. Even being the first to come out with designer sunglasses. So cool. And you have taken one of her designs and made a wonderful art gown for Barbie. The drawings from the old catalogs are really cool, but I have to say, your drawings are super — I really love your drawing style. Nice music video.

    1. Yay! It’s always fun trying to fill in between Art Gowns. This Barbie idea was on the back burner for a long time. The Schiaparelli tie was the inspiration that pulled it all together. She may be gone, but her force lingers on!
      Thank you, Timothy, for commenting that you like my drawing style. I only ever had basic fashion illustration, which is what I’ve been building on. When I see some of the amazing art and talent out there, it can be intimidating. Nonetheless, I sally forth!

    1. Lonely!!! I found you in the SPAM folder. We’ve got to stop meeting there. Someone will notice!
      Anyway, thank you for the lovely comment! Ken’s not around, right now. My Barbie wants to stay independent.

    1. Thank you, dear Holly! There was just enough fabric in that wide ass 70’s tie to make the gown.
      That was a bit of fun. Now, back to the Tango Art Gown! xx

      1. It’s amazing what you have done with the Schiaparelli tie Resa….a knock out! I love the articles top, the mag with Schiaparelli on the cover. wow! I just love all of this post ! Brava! xx

          1. We have all had fun with Art Gowns, you of course have all the work and believe me we love it! Between you and Gi, the artwork is amazing, your art gowns are knockouts ( I don’t know how you do it, just gathering the materials would cause a meltdown for me). It’s fun, lets keep having it! xx

            1. Wait until you see the Tango Art Gown!
              Oh… I did some Crazy Free Art to Music last week. The musicians are supposedly coming back tomorrow night. I’ve been thinking of PBH!

    1. 1959… that doll would be worth a pretty penny $$$$.
      It was neat making the Art Gown for Barbie. It’s much better quality than off the rack Barbie clothes. LOL!

      1. Thanks for letting me know! For some reason, I had to approve your comment, even though we comment on each other’s blogs fairly often…. I don’t know what’s going on. Thanks for coming by for a visit and for commenting!

  2. Well maybe I should try to find my GI Joe, but I think he’s long gone… you have a way to take something ordinary or that could be discarded and make a beautiful piece of art. Your imagination is boundless, nice work Resa!

    1. Thank you, JMR!
      That is a philosophy behind Art Gowns. I reuse, recycle, up-cycle, repurpose and use up old fabric that no one wants and sits on the sidewalk in a dollar bin.
      I’ve taken an old red velvet coat apart for my next At Gown!
      It’s very exciting!

  3. Pingback: Art Gowns does Schiaparelli on Barbie — Art Gowns (Resa made a gown for a Barbie doll) | Rethinking Life

          1. I did have a doll I made dresses for. It wasn’t Barbie.. or like a Barbie. She was … 16 ” tall, young teen figure, LONG hair and I made many clothes for her.

    1. Barbie’s Art Gown says, “to heck with Ken. Where’s the tux?”
      I suggest all tuxes be locked in closets. It’s for their own safety.
      Ken’s tux has no idea what he is he is getting into. 😀

  4. Schiaparelli would be overjoyed and very proud seeing what a wonderful Art Gown her tie made! Chapeau, my friend! 🙂 …and you’re so right on “Fast Fashion”, or “Fast …Everything” [music – painting etc] Much love to the beautiful and extra talented lady, from Hera too!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    1. I like to think Schiaparelli would approve.
      The gown is quite well made for a Barbie. The actual Barbie clothes are not very nice.
      So glad you and Hera like the miniature Art Gown.
      Yeah… the “Faster” fast gets, the more I like slow.
      Sending love! ❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦❦x❦

  5. Bravo Resa!
    Love it so much! As you know I’ve been excited to see your Barbie Art Gown, and now I’m totally floored by the wonderful job you’ve made. Yep, that tie is perfect with its small print, and also the little touches like the jewellery you made, the hair-do, and changing the shoe colour 🙂
    Added to all this (and I make a lot of toy photography so know how hard it is to sometimes get the right shot) you’ve captured Barbie in some terrific poses! Nice touch with the fabric over the candelabra, and the mini disc ball.
    She looks perfect in her perfect gown, and complimented nicely by my 60s catalogue pages of her.
    Excellent, excellent work :)Xx

    1. Thank you so very much, Ford! It was a lots of fun making Barbie’s Art Gown, and pulling it together with the right accessories. I’ve always thought accessories can make or break an outfit.

      Yes, it is difficult to capture a miniature world. I did a lot of test shots first. As you know, Barbie doesn’t stand too, well on her own. The candelabra was born of necessity. It looked weird just propping her against the wall. Then she looked propped against the candelabra, so the fabric was needed to confuse the issue.
      Thank you very much for letting me use your photos. Our collaboration did come out quite nicely! 😀 xox

  6. Hello Resa, I’ve just been redirected here from Ford’s website. What brilliant creativity to use a tie for a ballgown! And that shocking pink flash for the dress’ tail was inspired.
    It is also quite apt you posted this now as there have been two new Barbie dolls released, one of the famous civil rights activist Rosa Parks and a second doll depicting American astronaut Sally Ride! But your Barbie is dressed much nicer!

    1. Tyeth!
      Thank you for coming and visiting this post! It’s taking me forever to work down the comments.
      Who knew there would be so many!
      Also, thank you for your lovely comment!
      I did hear about the 2 Barbie’s you mention, but I didn’t realize I was posting in the time vicinity of their release.
      Barbie’s clothes are not well made, in general. This Art Gown is stitched by hand, and is a couturier work.
      Again, thank you, and talk soon!

  7. Resa, your gown for Barbie is gorgeous. I love the picture of Schiaparelli’s tie and the information about her. I remember her name and the shocking pink color from years ago. Here you have presented a feast of art, fashion and your own wonderful imagination. Brava!

    1. That is so weird….. about the reblog button.

      Thank you so much, Holly! You can do screen shots with your VIA’s if you want.

      I’ll go into settings, and turn it (reblog setting) off and then on again.
      That can work sometimes! xxxx

        1. Yay! It’s not your PC! I didn’t think it was. It’s happened to me, too. WP can be glitchy. Everything out here can be glitchy. We are at their mercy. …. but they can’t make Art Gowns like I do, or write poems like you do. So there!
          Actually, I did see a show on how AI is learning to be creative, by studying the output of creative people. Not glitchy anymore; scary!!!!

            1. Oh man, I could never survive with only a phone! I need to sit at my desk, with a larger screen. I’m happy you got it back, too!
              It must cost a lot to raise a kid with all this technology. We weren’t allowed to use pens until grade 7! It was all pencils.
              I think they don’t even teach kids to write anymore.

              1. Google wants to build a “Sidewalk Lab” in Toronto. It’s very controversial. It would be a mini Google city within a city. Everything would have sensors, even your garbage cans. They will know everything you throw away, what you buy, driverless vehicles, your life & world all monitored by Google.
                If you qualify to live there, your rent will be 40% below market.

  8. Pingback: Art Gowns does Schiaparelli on Barbie – House of Heart

  9. Hyperion

    Now this was cool and fun. Barbie and I go way way back, almost to the beginning with my two sisters then my two daughters, and with my two grand daughters. I have about 30 Barbies and several boxes of fashion from a long span of Barbiedom kept safe for all those lovely ladies to gather and remember three generations of dress up and hair mangling. I must say, your Barbie looks marvelous and in a fashion art gown that no other could match.

    1. Hahahaha…. hair mangling! That’s why I had to give my Barbie an up-do! Her hair was out of control. I found a toothbrush, and some hair conditioner can help tame the mangled locks.
      I bet some of the oldest Barbie’s you’re hanging onto are worth some $$$$.
      Well, my Barbie is on the mantle, now, with my ducks. 😀

      1. Hyperion

        LOL! I’ll share your Barbie beauty secrets if you don’t mind, Resa. Some of the Barbies got hair cuts while my daughter was a six year old budding beauty consultant. She was definitely into avant-garde. Who would have thought to experiment with acrylic paints and brightly colored markers for beauty hacks. Van Gogh and S. Dali had nothing on her. Barbie was her canvas and every one a masterpiece. I think your Barbie is safe on the mantle with the ducks, just don’t trust her alone with anyone sporting sewing scissors and a handful of magic markers.

        1. LOL! Fab memories! I knew girls who cut Barbies hair, and used pens to decorate her. I would never cut Barbie’s hair. I’m a long hair lover, so that’s that!
          Do you still have the decorated Barbie’s?

          1. Hyperion

            I’m glad to hear other girls also like to decorate Barbie. I do have them all and ocassionally the grand daughters redecorate some of them. I used to play Barbies with the two grand daughters and make all kinds of funny voices and they would giggle and ask for more. We had a great time. Now they like to play by themselves without all of grandpa’s hysterics. 😂

      1. The first time I heard about Schiaparelli was at Braemer Castle. That is a another story full of ghosts, bagpipes, Jacobites and a women who loved Schiaparelli. I must look back for those photos. Hugs!!!

        1. I read the bio bit for the book! It sounds like a fab book. The bio bit was quite informative!!
          I do feel honoured that I got to use the Schiaparelli tie!

    1. Hahaha! Could bee! He stopped haunting me when I told him to “bug off!” Literally, and figuratively.
      Seriously, bugs never bugged me. I think it’s my BO!

    1. Aww, dear Charlie, thank you for this complimentary comment!
      Well, my area of art is unusual… gowns made from trash… throw aways…
      Yet, I know I am ahead of the curve, as are you, dear poet friend.
      I’m looking forward to my next painted door, and the words you will write for it! 😀 o

      1. Art can be turned and created into anything our heart and visions sees fit. That is the beauty of creation art. Us artists thrive on passion and creativity to create and help others heal and bring joy to their hearts. 🙂

        You’re art gowns are amazing and beautifully well designed. 🙂

        I’m working on something good. I will send you soon my next write. 🙂

  10. Fabulous! I love that you made that wonderful gown from a tie. My grown daughters still have their Barbies–older daughter was just saying she will have to get her Barbie box now that she has a house.

    1. So… you have to give up her Barbie!
      Lol! Well, I’m kidding around, but not kidding when I say “thank you” for your lovely comment about the tie gown.
      Best! – Resa

  11. Barbie looks great. Did this post ever bring up memories. I actually have some of those vintage Barbie outfits from the catalog. And all my Barbies have abysmal haircuts. Ha ha. A fun post, Resa. I love your creativity. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Diana! I’m always intrigued by how many gave their Barbie’s haircuts.
      Do you still have your Barbie to go with those outfits? That could be worth$$$…. of course…mmm…the haircuts?
      Memories are fun, once in awhile. They are lessons from the past, just as history/herstory are lessons from the past for all mankind. I’m rambling! TY for the visit! may “The Barbie Force” be with you! xo

  12. WOW—AN ART GOWN FROM A NECKTIE! AND ON BARBIE! Barbie must have been an earlier model, since certain features have been,,,ah…reduced! I’m still waiting hopeful (but probably in vain) for you to convince a live model—like Holly Rene Hunter— ❤ –to pose for one or more (!) of your posts. Now SHE'S…A MODEL! maybe let her try on several gowns??? Please??? 😀

    1. I would love to have Holly model my Art Gowns. Unfortunately, we live 1485 miles away from each other. LOL!
      Anyway, stay tuned… my next actual Art Gown will be dedicated to her! 😀

  13. As a Grandmother whose Granddaughter happens to love Barbies, I have to admire any one who taylor makes Barbie dresses, this was a brilliant design, and I may well be ‘shussssh’ pinching your idea of making a dress out of a redundant tie.. Hubby has a draw full.. 🙂
    I loved the detail of the cross over back and the lining and such good poses for the photo shoot..
    Well done again Resa..
    I so loved what you have done. I have made Barbie several outfits over the years for my daughter and our granddaughter, Here is a link to my garden blog where i shared my knitting a crocheting a skirt and top and sweater for Ken.. but nothing as professional as your own design..

    Loved it Resa… have a brilliant week my friend ❤ 🙂

    1. Sue!
      Fab comment! Make that tie dress! Tip: Use a wide tie!
      It’s great to hear some kids still play with Barbie, or any actual toys, of our dimension.
      I know many couples with children. It seems they are on that IPad, or whatever device, playing in the virtual world, before 3 years old. I see something gained, but something lost. I wonder if we are losing our humanity?
      I’m off to see your link.
      Have a great weekend, and I’m sending positive vibes into … the universe for our friends in Florida! 😀 ❤

    1. Dear Belén,

      It took me a long time to get back here! Thank you so much, dear friend! The Art Gowns are turning trash into treasure! Schiaparelli is a very interesting woman! xoxoxo

    1. Thank you, Christy!
      It was a fun post to make, and great to visit the life of Schiaparelli, again.
      Lol! In some ways it was more difficult to make this miniature gown, than the regular size!
      Good ol’ Barbie. xo

  14. Pingback: Art Gowns does Schiaparelli on Barbie — Art Gowns – VSJSMARKETING

  15. Most beautiful gown.if i am in USA or other countries then i buy your all gowns.wonderful desigine having most lovely imagination.really you are mosr brillient and creative minded,dear Rosa!!

  16. I love, love, love this 💕 I’m a big Barrie fan, fab idea to use the gorgeous tie fabric and I actually noticed the matching shoes before you said you painted them! The details are fabulous 👍🏻. Your design is gorgeous I’d wear it big size.

    I wonder if Mums still got all my Barbies I’m going to check.

    1. Yay!!!
      OMG! Does your Mum still have your Barbies?
      The one I have is from the 1980’s.
      You would look fab in this dress, real size. Your youth and figure are spot on! 💕💕

  17. What a beauty your Barbie is now. I love the gown, only wish my hubby had been a tie wearing man. I might have to check out a few thrift stores now for some vintage ties so I can dress my two Barbies as elegantly as this. I made clothes for my youngest sister and then for my daughter’s Barbies including one gown I crocheted for my daughter. It was nice, but nothing like this. I might have to forego the baby doll clothes, the AG doll clothes, and the 15 inch doll clothes for a while so I can try something for my poor Barbies, completely neglected for some time now. Just hope I can find them among the rest.
    Thanks for sharing this post with me Resa. When I make my Barbies pretty again I’ll try to share some of them with you, even though I seldom blog any longer.
    Do you use a sewing machine for the Barbie clothes or is it done by hand. I find the smaller baby doll clothes are much easier by hand stitching that trying to get them under the needle of the sewing machine — three or four stitches before ending the seam! Hand stitching can be smaller and I seldom jam my finger while using a needle and thread!


    1. I look forward to seeing your Barbie couture!
      I sewed Barbie’s gown by hand. I agree too, tiny for a sewing machine.
      Also, I sew all of my Art Gowns completely by hand. I find it relaxing.

      1. That is why I quilt, Resa. I know the clothes for the baby dolls will be tested by young children so use the sewing machine as much as possible for them. For the quilts though, I do it the way my grandmothers taught me — by hand. It is very relaxing to sit back and let all thoughts rest while I put in stitches on my favorite art form. Granted my stitches are much larger than they were 50 years ago, but the pleasure is still the same. I also get to be the first one to sleep under each quilt, an old tradition that promises peace to the person who sleeps under a new quilt first. Not sure about the peace part, but I’m usually very happy with my choices.

          1. I depends on the size. I mainly make wall quilts at the moment for my grandson, but am also making lap quilts for family members and a memory quilt of photos for my brother-in-law. It takes an average of two months for these, sometimes less and occasionally more. Fpr a bed quilt it can take 6 to 8 months, depending on the size. It can also depend on whether my MS is acting up or not. At the moment it is, but when it calms down I can do a lot more.

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