Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Valley of the Doll: In a Gloriously Kitschy New Picture Book, Barbie Finally Gets the Hollywood Glamour Treatment She Deserves

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Valley of the Doll: In a Gloriously Kitschy New Picture Book, Barbie Finally Gets the Hollywood Glamour Treatment She Deserves

Article excerpt

Her white cat-eye sunglasses set off her snug Pucci sundress. She pauses next to her convertible, soaking up the SoCal sun as the world-famous Hollywood sign beckons in the background. It is a classic Los Angeles moment, even if the model is just shy of a foot tall. Just in time for her 45th anniversary, Barbie Loves L.A., a charming photo book by costume designer Greg LaVoi, captures the uberdoll and fashionista extraordinaire at all her favorite Los Angeles landmarks. Painstakingly shot by LaVoi as if Barbie were life-size, the tableaux draw almost entirely from his collection of over 100 mint-condition Barbie, Ken, and Midge dolls, countless vintage outfits, and fleet of Barbie dream cars. (There are even a few celebrity cameos.)

LaVoi first decided to put Barbie before the camera after inspiration came during his day job as an Emmy-nominated costume designer (he's currently working on ABC's upcoming drama The D.A.). "We'd be [shooting] at a fabulous location like the Ambassador Hotel," he says, "and I thought, Oh, gosh, it would be great to have a picture of Barbie outside of here!" LaVoi estimates that over the last two years he's taken over 1,000 photographs of Barbie at iconic Los Angeles locales like the Hollywood Bowl, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Santa Monica Pier, and Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall. …

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