An effervescent trend doused in pop culture nostalgia and dappled with hues of hot pink is spreading its rosy tendrils from coast to coast in Canada.
According to trend oracle Pinterest, searches for "Barbiecore" and "Barbie mood board" have exploded around 1000% since last year. Even the "pinners" are on a pink parade, showcasing their bubblegum-coloured plans to 460M monthly users.
From "Barbie bridal showers" to "Barbie disco parties," Canadians are using the Mattel dolls as a motif, catapulting "Barbie party" board popularity by over 200%. There's even a buzz around "Malibu Barbie bachelorette party" and "Barbie rave outfit," but nothing screams Barbie more than a soundtrack featuring Dua Lipa — the singer is Pinterest's top trending Barbie-related search term.
Barbiecore is also being donned, driven, and even dined upon. The fashion scene is ablaze with "Barbie theme outfits" and "hot pink cowboy boots," while motor enthusiasts search for "pink broncos" and "hot pink Jeep Wranglers." Foodies are finding their pink-spiration too, with "Barbie pasta" and "Barbie cocktails" seeing their share of clicks.
Here are some ways you can jump on the Barbiecore trend in Montreal:
Feast your eyes on fuchsia
Where: 2121, boul. St Laurent
Reason to go: Atelier Marjorie provides an afternoon tea experience that's steeped in deliciousness and splashed with glamour. For $35 per person, you can pick from an array of tea blends, from the exotic fusion of hibiscus, pineapple and honey to the refreshing simplicity of mint and lemon. Each session is paired with an assortment of delectable treats that could satisfy even the most insatiable sweet tooth, like fluffy cream puffs, fresh macarons, rich eclairs, and layered jar cake.
Swing on a flamingo-coloured fairway
Where: Corner of Sainte-Catherine Est and Atateken
Reason to go: Montreal's Village is morphing into a pink, black and white playground this summer with free mini-golf and other games. You can walk down a mile-long interactive trail, which in true Barbiecore fashion, will be embellished with glistening disco balls, and monochromatic sculptures, including a zebra unicorn, spotted bear, and starry deer. Sun sets bathe the installations in a warm pink glow, amplifying the Barbie vibes.
Take in a pink mystery
Where: 5022, rue Saint Ambroise
Reason to go: In Montreal's Saint-Henri neighbourhood, a seemingly innocuous urban mystery is prompting double-takes and smirks. Towering above the former Canada Malting plant site since 2019, a peculiar pink house has been rivalling the iconic Barbie Dreamhouse in scale if not style.
Painted a vibrant pink, the unexpected installation is a playful anomaly with green curtains and a flower box. Perhaps Barbie traded her Malibu mansion for a more urban, if not quite so glamorous, Canadian dwelling. Still, the ultimate tenant and creator of the high-rise haven remains a mystery.
Sip a bubblegum brew
Where: 1188, rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Reason to go: Montreal is full of options to grab a rainbow coffee or get your morning caffeine fix in a pink café. But when it comes to a Barbiecore café experience, Améa hits all the right hues. The downtown destination brings a dash of pigment with its creatively crafted, lightly spiced beet latte. Topped with a delightful swirl of pink foam, the pastel concoction is perfectly suited to a day of Barbie-inspired escapades around the city. But the colour wheel doesn't stop there. In keeping with the Barbie palette, Améa also offers pastel blue, green, and yellow lattes, each matching their range of soft-hued pastries. The café interior has picture-perfect décor and cosy, colourful nooks that serve as the ideal setting a fairy-tale coffee break.
Get dolled up, Barbie style
Where: Les Cours Mont-Royal,1455, rue Peel, Suite 206
Note: At the time of this article's most recent update on July 24, 2023, the Barbie Expo organizers advised that the exhibit was "temporarily closed," so we advise checking ahead of any planned attendance.
Reason to go: Montreal's free Barbie Expo is a dazzling journey through time featuring over 1,000 dolls. For the fashion-savvy, the exhibit is also a treasure trove of haute couture miniatures. Barbies don creations by illustrious designers, including Christian Dior, Versace, Givenchy and Donna Karan.
But the true stars of the show are the "famous" Barbies. From silver screen legends Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor, to music divas like Beyonce, Cher, and Jennifer Lopez, the miniature divas steal the spotlight. Historical figures like Marie Antoinette and Cleopatra are there too, painting a vivid panorama of influential women through the ages. Just be sure to check the expo site before you head over, as the space is sometimes temporarily closed.
Look pretty in pink
Where: 4000, rue Saint-Ambroise, Suite 278 (Montreal); 2376, A. Chomedey (Laval)
Reason to go: Montreal's Le Saint Motel selfie studio now has a pop-up on the North Shore, offering a fantastically kitsch paradise for photography enthusiasts and Instagram aficionados alike. Over two dozen captivating and eccentric themed rooms await, each designed to infuse your photos with creativity. Step into the dreamy Barbie-themed walk-in closet, brimming with an array of pink-hued garments, dive into an iconic rose-coloured ball pit for a playful shot, or flaunt your angelic side with the blush-coloured wing set — an ideal backdrop to inspire the most divine poses.
This dazzling spot ensures your selfies shine as bright as possible, including ring lights as part of the package when you secure your hour-long visit. At a reasonable $30 or $37, depending on location, you can spend an enchanting hour immersed in a Barbiecore fantasyland of your making.
Step into a pastel dream
Where: 75, ave Fairmont
Reason to go: At the crossroads of retail and whimsy, you'll find Montreal's Chez Pinkita. This pink paradise, dreamt up by Rocky Lo and Station Montréal Design Bureau, infuses the laundromat with an outburst of pink-tinted creativity. It's a retail haven offering a curated selection of goods, from refreshing beverages and delightful sweets to pink surprise bags, all of which you can enjoy while your clothes spin.
That's right, Chez Pinkita is a fully operational laundromat. As your garments tumble, you can indulge in their unique drinks, like the fruity "La Pinkinta," which fans say is especially refreshing on a hot summer day. Adding to the aesthetic is a mural by artist Kayla Buium, also known as Milkbox, which makes the perfect backdrop for a photo.
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