In honor of Barbie’s 50th Birthday/Anniversary – Mattel went all out with a very cool, VERY PINK birthday bash at the “Real” Life-Size Barbie Dream House in Malibu, CA.
Jonathan Adler was tapped to do the interior design of the “Dream House”, and celebrity event planner Colin Cowie (who also hosts’s Lifetime’s Get Married show) brought the ridiculously cool party to life with an overwhelming amount of Barbie-themed decor, sparkly pink things, and clever details.
As someone who loves both interior design and event planning – and can appreciate a good dose of “girlie girl” now and then – I definitely felt like a kid in a candy store at this party! Everywhere you turned there was something “happy” to look at – from Barbie’s luxe pink bedroom (which included a shoe closet filled with 50 pairs of Barbie® pink peep-toe Christian Louboutin heels)…
…to a fireplace flanked by pink plastic poodles… to cocktail serving trays filled with acrylic pink ice! (The toilets even had huge pink satin bows tied around the seat covers… talk about attention to detail!)
Since HWTM is all about party planning – we asked Cowie – the brains behind the bash – to share some of his favorite party details with us… as well as a few tips that we can use at home. Here goes:
HWTM: “Barbie Malibu Dream House” sounds like such a fun party theme! Can you give us some insight into your overall vision for this event?
CC: I WANTED TO CREATE AN EVENT THAT WAS COMPLETELY PERSONALIZED TO BARBIE. AS ALWAYS, I START WITH A THEME (POP ART), AND A COLOR PALETTE (BLACK WHITE AND PINK), AND GO FROM THERE. I WANTED ALL OF THE ELEMENTS TO BE VERY VIBRANT AND TO HAVE AN IMPACT BY USING A LOT OF REPETITON.
HWTM: When I plan parties, there are usually 1 or 2 ideas that I’m especially excited about – the ones that trigger those famous “Aha!” moments during the planning process. What ideas are you most excited about for this party?
CC: THE BAR AND THE DESSERT BAR INSTALLATIONS – THEY ARE TOTALLY OVER THE TOP AND GRAPHIC.
HWTM: What is the most over-the-top idea you have planned for the party?
CC: THE WALL BEHIND THE BAR – IT’S COMPRISED OF 750 ACTUAL BARBIE DOLLS AND FRAMED BY A PRECINIUM OF PINK UNDERLIT JEWELS.
HWTM: Keeping in mind that most at-home parties will be on a, er…slightly different budget than this particular event, what tips would you share with someone looking to host a similar theme at home?
CC: CHOOSE A THEME AND A COLOR PALLETE, THEN WRITE DOWN ALL OF YOUR IDEAS AND PROPOSED COSTS, AND THEN DECIDE WHICH IS GOING TO GIVE YOU THE MOST IMPACT WITHIN YOUR BUDGET. COLOR CREATES CONSISTENCY AND WILL HELP CREATE A UNIFIED THEME THROUGHOUT THE PARTY.
HWTM: Aside from Barbie herself, what other types of things should be present at any Barbie-themed party – from Malibu Beach House to Rock Star Barbie?
CC: PINK, PINK AND MORE PINK! BARBIE IS TIMELESS AND TRANSENDS SO MANY ERA’S. USE A LOT OF BLING AND A BIG DOSE OF GLAMOUR.
Thanks so much to Colin for providing us with all this inspiration! (Check out more tips from Colin over on GetMarried.com.)
Pictured above is one of my personal favorite ideas from the party – centerpieces created from pink roses in the shapes of handbags and heels… which were displayed on lucite tables filled with tons of miniature Barbie brushes, sunglasses, shoes & purses…GENIUS!
Another element that really stood out to me where the witty, cheeky phrases that were projected onto the house and printed on things like cocktail napkins and glow-in-the-dark drink stirrers. This idea really added to the FUN factor of the party, and the sayings included things like:
• “I wasn’t designed to do housework.”
• “A plastic tan never fades.”
• “Eat healthy but always have a decadent dessert.”
Mantras to live by, right? (At least in a DREAM house!) ;-)
In order to keep this from being the world’s longest post, I’m going to save the drink recipes and a few more details for Part 2. In the meantime, here are a few more pics from the party… and you can also view these at