Director Greta Gerwig's upcoming live-action homage to Barbie is set to hit theaters on July 21. Drawing inspiration from the midcentury modernism of Palm Springs and the iconic Barbie Dreamhouses, the movie aims to bring Barbie's "unreal world to life in a real way.
Production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer collaborated on the film, constructing the set at Warner Bros. Studios lot outside London. They reimagined Richard Neutra's architectural style as a fluorescent pink fantasy, complete with a slide and a kidney-shaped pool.
From Architectural Digest:
Neither she nor Spencer had ever owned a Barbie before, so they ordered a Dreamhouse off Amazon to study. "The scale was quite strange," recalls Spencer, explaining how they adjusted its rooms' quirky proportions to 23 percent smaller than human size for the set. Says Gerwig: "The ceiling is actually quite close to one's head, and it only takes a few paces to cross the room. It has the odd effect of making the actors seem big in the space but small overall."
In her pursuit of authentic artificiality, Gerwig opted for hand-painted backdrops instead of CGI for the sky and mountains, further enhancing the film's nostalgic and playful atmosphere. The movie's bright pink color palette, emphasizes the iconic hue associated with Barbie. Interestingly, the construction of the set caused a worldwide shortage of the fluorescent shade of Rosco pink paint. "The world," said Greenwood, "ran out of pink."