The 70s were quite a decade, an eventful time, the struggles of the petroleum crisis were accused by the toy companies and in Mattel Ruth and Elliott Handler stepped aside...
The designers of Mattel were charged to design a new doll for a change, a best seller, one of the most iconic dolls of all time #barbiesuperstar. "Our directive was simple: in both the doll and fashion, we should strive for maximum sophistication" Carol Spencer -dressing Barbie-
To get the vibe one may have gone to a local in New York, Studio54. Roy Halston, regular Studio54 celebrity followed by his model entourage "the Halstonettes" put an end to the hippie fashion with his minimal and sophisticate style and simple knit dresses. People wanted joy, and Disco music was on and it was made for dance. The term Supermodel began to circulate around preparing the ground for the next decades, and actors and actresses traveled from the studios in L.A. to New York to have fun in the dancefloor, celebrate crazy birthday parties and mix with the wide range of artists, enterpreneurs and socialités.
The new Barbie was launched in 1977 and reflected this gaiety with a new sculpt, a toothy smile face, a frontal gaze and lots and lots of hair. Her body changed too with a twist waist and bent arms to adopt model poses worthy of a photo shoot. One more change a hole in the finger for a ring!
Charlotte Johnson was still the designer in chief and it seems that a design from Carol Spencer was the chosen one for the launchment:
"I designed a pink knit gown with a silver thread woven through it, toped by sequined strips and accessories with a feather boa and a glittering sequined evening hat" Carol Spencer -dressingBarbie-
The general image remembered Farrah Fawcet and, although in her book Dressing Barbie Carol Spencer says that just "Gold 'N Glamour" hair was inspired in her, "the Farrah" hairstyle was already circulating around with two hairdressers claiming its authorship, Allen Edwards and Jose Eber.
All of this culminated in an iconic doll for an entire generation, a doll whose facemold and bodytype was used for almost 20 years and marked the children of the end of the 20th century.