The hottest lady in Paris these days is Barbie. That's right, the doll by Mattel. And she's wearing only the best clothing by the world's top couturiers.
Dressed in designs by Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin, Jean Paul Gaultier and Sonia Rykiel, among others, 400 to 500 Barbie dolls are on a train car traveling through France in a movable exhibition.
Billy Boy, an American jewelry designer living in Paris and collector of the dolls, came up with the idea in honor of Barbie's 25th anniversary.
"Barbie has always been a reflection of the times," says Kathy Thorpe, public relations manager for Mattel. "Her hairstyles and fashions were always up to date.
"In the 1960s, when the bubble cut was in, Barbie got one. Little girls could always fantasize about what they wanted to be with Barbie. She had a nurse's uniform, a doctor's ensemble and even an astronaut's outfit."
The doll has been a model, cheerleader, beatnik and career woman.
"What Barbie went through is what we went through," says Jim Fitzgerald of Doubleday, who will edit a historical book that Billy Boy is writing about Barbie and society.
And yes, Ken is also included in the exhibit, equally well-attired.