5 Things To Know About Halpern’s Optimistic SS23 Show And Barbie Collab

5 Things To Know About Halpern’s Optimistic SS23 Show And Barbie Collab

From London’s key workers to the stars of the Royal Opera House’s ballet company, Michael Halpern’s muses are always eclectic. The London-based New Yorker’s latest leading light? Barbie. “I always played with them growing up, but I was more interested in their incredible hair than their clothes,” laughs the designer of the collaborative component to his spring/summer 2023 collection, which brought some ostentatious, optimistic oomph not only to a sombre city, but to Mattel’s Dreamhouse.

The opening look honored the Queen

A couple of years ago, Halpern was lucky enough to speak with Queen Elizabeth II, as part of an audience with London’s most exciting design talent. Halpern divulged his love of ostentation to Her Majesty – an aesthetic evocatively conveyed in the opening commemorative look of his spring/summer 2023 show. The first exit, presented in total silence, featured a breathtaking, floor-trailing cape in cornflower silk taffeta, paired with a mint headscarf. “It was our way of respectfully paying tribute,” Halpern explained.
Home comforts just got glamorous

Halpern is soon to gain his British citizenship and permanent residency in the UK, and he found the process of opening the final box of his belongings shipped to London particularly poignant. Inside, he discovered old photographs of his mother sporting outré house gowns, more suited to chic soirées than slouching on the sofa. A hooded gown in sumptuous leopard print velvet was inspired particularly by a kaftan Halpern’s mother owned, which to his horror, she did not hold on to. “Hosting at home is the most glam thing,” he said. “Growing up I felt completely safe to be creative in my house. There was no restriction.”
Halpern is embracing escapism

The designer has never been one for restriction. “When I see ruffles and texture, it brings me complete joy,” Halpern said with a smile. In idiosyncratic fashion, his spring/summer 2023 collection embraced escapist volumes and unabashed ostentation, from bustiers in pastel “jellyfish” flounces to gowns exploding with cloud-like sleeves, disco flares in hand-painted flocked tulle and minidresses in kaleidoscopic chevron sequins. A series of looks, imagined in blue velvet and embroidered with a sparkling nighttime sky, recalled the neon stars Halpern stuck to his bedroom walls as a child. “They’re about building these worlds, checking out and going to another planet,” he explained. “Fashion being harnessed to create fantasy.”
Accessories went XL

The collection featured super-sized accessories, like huge hoop earrings and “tacky gold” headbands dangling with Hellenic metal leaves. Like other embellishments in the collection – including huge bows swathed in crystals – they were dramatically scaled up. “Doll proportion is a thing!” Halpern laughed.

Barbie took to the catwalk

The Barbie Dreamhouse celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and its doll residents were keen to celebrate. Barbie has partnered with a host of fashion labels, including Comme des Garçons, Versace and Moschino, and as part of Halpern’s collaboration, a section of his show was inspired by the doll’s decade-spanning archival looks. Think ’80s power gowns and Barbie’s first swimsuit, which debuted in black and white stripes in 1959. Halpern first worked with Mattel in 2019, when he dressed a Barbie Role Model doll made in the likeness of Adwoa Aboah in a sequined minidress and turban. A cascading asymmetric gown in glittering orange polka dots will also be scaled down for the Dreamhouse’s most extravagant occupants.
Originally published in
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HH Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed and HE Noura Al Kaabi Attend Fashion Show Launching Istituto Marangoni Dubai

HH Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed and HE Noura Al Kaabi Attend Fashion Show Launching Istituto Marangoni Dubai

Photo: Wam
HH Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al-Maktoum, chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and member of the Dubai Council, and HE Noura Al Kaabi, minister of culture and youth were among the members who attended the fashion show at the Museum of the Future that marked the Middle Eastern launch of the Italian fashion and design school, Istituto Marangoni.
The event showcased a traditional, physical fashion show alongside a digital version. The models, besides their metaverse avatars walked the ramp creating a distinct event that exceptionally weaved traditional elements with technology and modernization.
Photo: Wam
The show featured the work of five top graduates of Istituto Marangoni’s fashion-design courses in Milan, Florence, Paris, London and Shanghai, while the grand finale featured designs by Rahul Mishra, a reputed alum who was the first Indian designer to showcase his work at the Paris Couture Week. During the event, Mishra featured creations that blended traditional Indian craft with contemporary fashion trends in an ecologically sound and ethical approach. The creations were a tribute to and acknowledgment of the designer’s alma mater.
Photo: WAM
HH Sheikha Latifa, who also graced the cover of Vogue Arabia’s September 2021 issue, explained how Dubai has established itself as a place of convergence for global designs and creativity, which was one of the main goals of Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum’s Dubai Creative Economy Strategy. The royal also talked about the city’s fast-growing cultural and artistic scene and how it’s necessary to provide the right tools to help its development. She said, “Istituto Marangoni’s Dubai branch is a valuable addition to the city’s rapidly developing creative and cultural landscape. Its diverse offering will provide creatives in Dubai and the region with the right tools to launch their design careers.|
Photo: WAM
While HH Sheikha Latifa expressed her excited anticipation to witness the talents that will graduate from the institution, Al Kaabi talked about her joy to welcome such an esteemed fashion school to the city, and how she envisions a great partnership between UAE and other Middle Eastern countries. “It gives me great joy to welcome a globally renowned fashion and design school to Dubai. I see a great partnership in the making, where the UAE and other MENA (Middle East and North Africa) countries will have the advantage of a world-class design school, while Istituto Marangoni will benefit from the untapped talent waiting to be harnessed.” She also added how fostering young talents is crucial to the development of the city’s cultural landscape as a whole and the significant role the institution will play in contributing to the same.
Read Next: UAE Declares a Three Day Mourning Period in Honor of Queen Elizabeth II

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