Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.
Author: Massimiliano Capella
“A must-have for every
Barbie aficionado, here is a trip down memory lane, an encyclopedia
of possibility, and a wonderful resource,” the inside jacket
announces in Massimiliano Capella’s book, Barbie: The
This two-hundred-and-eight-page hardbound targets those interested in the Barbie doll that still sells worldwide every three seconds and has been around for over fifty years. The 13-by-10.5-by-.75-inch coffee table book is divided into five sections, ending with a bibliography and photograph credits but no index.
With full color, large
photographs of almost every doll design of Barbie, the five
categories cover the doll’s fashion, family, worldwide features,
careers, and global impact regarding celebrities. Listing the
fashions of the years, one-hundred-and-fifty careers, forty different
nationalities, and seventy-five various fashion designers, Barbie’s
well-known status is shown and discussed.
Being in my late fifties, I enjoyed noting the Barbies I had collected and the dresses I was familiar with in reviewing this book. It is an engaging collection of not only the changes to the doll’s features, body styles, and clothing, but also it shows how famous people and designers contributed to her development. One can learn how names such as Jackie Kennedy, Farah Fawcett, and Madonna to name a few changed and molded Barbie. The chapter on the making of the doll was also interesting.
Those who never owned a Barbie doll or do not care about the iconic figure that has enamored girls for decades and will probably continue to do so will not appreciate this book. However, it does show the progression of culture, events, and celebrities by decades that may catch the readers’ attention.
An art and fashion historian, Capella is the director and curator at an Italian national monument and fashion museum. He has written several books focusing on theater, fashion, and costumes.
With so much historical content in the book, I wish there were an index so one could look up a designer, celebrity, or specific highlight or timeframe regarding the doll instead of searching through the pages.
If you love the iconic Barbie doll and are looking for a beautiful tabletop book, this would make an excellent choice. It would be an ideal gift for the Barbie collector too.
Thanks to Bookpleasures and Glitterati for offering this book to review for my honest opinion.