While trolling eBay, I found this vintage Barbie ensemble and let out a, “Hey! I had that!”
Hubby probably would have ignored me (I exclaim a lot of things while sitting at the computer, and if he paid attention to every one, he’d never get to enjoy his parts of the interwebs), but then I followed it up with a, “Whoa, $474.99…” to which he responded, “Still have it?”
Every collector has a price, and if I did have this particular vintage doll outfit for Babs, I might be tempted…
But my outfit was played with — well loved — first by my aunt, then by me.
I love-love–loved this outfit. The metallic gold threads gleamed, making Barbie appear to wiggle in that wiggle dress, even when she wasn’t even moving. The coat had those elegant cuffs of fur set against that gold and then -BAM!- you opened up that coat, and there was that unexpected (or at least thrilling) gleaming aqua lining. And, believe it or not, that aqua corduroy handbag was paired with nearly as many other outfits as the pearl necklace and basic black shoes.
I played with them all, but tenderly. Even still, I’m sure they wouldn’t approach the conditions of this one. And I don’t recall the fur and pearl headband.
However, I don’t think a few hundred dollars would be worth parting with the set if I still had it — no matter the condition. A few grand? Mmmaybe. It’s hard to put a price on memories. Harder still to put a price on the hypothetical ownership retained — because right now, all I want to do it have it back and dress-up Barbie.
For collectors who are interested, the seller of this vintage Barbie ensemble (modwoman of Retro-stop) offers information on Evening Splendor, one of the few original outfits manufactured in 1959:
Although the outfit itself remained in production through 1964, only the outfits marked TM were manufactured the first year. These outfits came with the #1 shoes with the hole in the bottom to accommodate the stand!
The TM version appears to be “more gold” than the more common R version. The gold glistens and sparkles and provides a stunning contrast to the aqua satin lining!
PS I obviously can’t recall if my outfit had the original, old, TM tag; but since Babs #1 was among the items given to my by my aunt, I’m pretty certain it was.