The global premiere of the Barbie movie has taken the world by storm, enchanting audiences of all ages with its nostalgic fashion and empowering message. Directed by Greta Gerwig, “Barbie” delivers a resonant message that urges women to stand up against limiting expectations and celebrate the diverse and multifaceted nature of womanhood. And it’s just plain fun.
While reminiscing about our own days spent playing with dolls, we didn’t have to go all the way back to childhood—only to 2007! To mark the movie we can’t stop talking about, we’re throwing it back to ZOOT’s print days and our Rich Bitch editorial.
Photography Emmanuel Honold
Special thanks to Tonner Dolls NY
Words by Kelly Bernardo
Our opulent editorial (Volume 1 #8, autumn 2007) showcased Barbie lookalikes adorned with exquisite haute jewellery from prestigious brands like Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari, Chanel, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and more. Photographed by Emmanuel Honold, with hairstyling by the renowned Cristophe Nicholas Biot and art direction and styling by our Paris-based fashion editor and long-time ZOOT contributor Véronique Droulez, the dolls served as models dripping in gemstones and precious metal.
This tribute to Barbie’s influence wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Tonner Dolls NY, the company that created the taller, bendier, bigger “sister” of Barbie. Whereas Barbie was created in 1959 by Ruth Handler, the co-founder of Mattel, Inc., Tonner Dolls were launched in 1991 by American fashion designer Robert Tonner, with features like bendable joints, hand-painted faces and couture-cut fashions. As Tonner explained of his creations, “Put together fashion design and sculpture and you basically have a doll.” Plus, the Tonner Dolls’ 40-centimeters to Barbie’s 29 offered a larger canvas for Veronique to create the haute jewellery fashions of her dreams.
In honor of the Barbie movie-inspired throwback, we caught up with our friend Veronique Droulez, who shared some behind-the-scenes stories from the original “Rich Bitch” photoshoot and talked to us about her creative work as art director of Guess.
I won an award of best stylist and art director in 2000 and then moved to New York, started to work again with Gilles Bensimon, Patrick Demarchelier, Ellen von Unwerth, Antoine Verglas and did an amazing book for Salvatore Parasuco, a Canadian denim brand, with Raphael Mazzucco in India. Paul Marciano from Guess saw it and made me come to LA to work there—until September 11th happened. Then I moved back to Paris. I was working for Paul Marciano from Guess for almost 20 years. I loved that my work was free, unique and creative; I did travel the world and made so many friends everywhere. And I could do editorials in between for ZOOT.
I did a window with [Tonner Dolls] with Guess accessories, watches earrings, necklaces, etc. I was doing a lot of different things at Guess and loved it. For the Printemps, a big store here in Paris that I loved, it was very crazy: [Tonner Dolls] on the beach in Beverly Hills, you name it. What a big success! So, it was like, I did it already, and easily…but why not also for a magazine like ZOOT?
I met the photographer Emmanuel Honold—such a nice guy—and we decided to do a story for ZOOT magazine, where I was already working as fashion editor. The same idea that I did for the Printemps window with Guess, but in the studio with [Tonner Dolls]—only this time with their own outfits: I could choose the fashion looks at Tonner’s office and decided to combine the dolls with real jewellery that I could choose, too. But yes, photographed in the studio of course for security reasons!
So I took pictures of the [Tonner Dolls] and their fashion look to be able to choose the haute jewllery, which was easy—an easy time back then. I think today it would be impossible but we had so much fun and it turned out really nice, and the editorial became a great souvenir among others and thanks to ZOOT I could do anything creative with them.
Regarding my job as a stylist, I follow my instinct. I like a lot of things, too: From denim to punk to rock to simple to naked to couture. Name it. No routine. And of course, the trends. Unfortunately nowadays we are less free, I could say, than before. We can’t mix the big brands anymore, so luckily we can play more with young creators. I can also follow a movie, and it gives me a mood for art direction. Also life in general and the news, bad or good. But in this Barbie case I was “avant garde”!
Veronique on playing with Barbie as a child…
Yes, I had a Barbie…plus three real brothers to play with!
Veronique on her career path…
I got my baccalauréat of philosophy at 18 years old, and then to make money I worked in a clothes store, very fashionable, doing the windows, the merch, dressing the customers. A famous stylist was shopping there, and I didn’t have a clue what a stylist was (Even though I did some modeling when I was younger.) All that was to pay my vacations to go to Morocco. I was thinking of working in a Club Med! But destiny made it that I saw that stylist again in Marrakech, and she introduced me to a photographer. Then I did my first catalogue shoot, and that was the key! It was easy for me, like I had it in me in my blood.
Veronique on her advice for new stylists…
The advice, honestly:
– Follow your instincts.
– If you can make it, trust yourself.
– Be creative.
– Never give up.
– Be organized.
– Be strong.
– Art direction is part of our job.
Ritch Bitch, an editorial from ZOOT #8
Edited by Michaela Doyle.