13 Mar

Barbie’s Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

In honor of Barbie’s 50th Birthday/Anniversary – Mattel went all out with a very cool, VERY PINK birthday bash at the “Real” Life-Size Barbie Dream House in Malibu, CA.

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

Jonathan Adler was tapped to do the interior design of the “Dream House”, and celebrity event planner Colin Cowie (who also hosts’s Lifetime’s Get Married show) brought the ridiculously cool party to life with an overwhelming amount of Barbie-themed decor, sparkly pink things, and clever details.

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

As someone who loves both interior design and event planning – and can appreciate a good dose of “girlie girl” now and then – I definitely felt like a kid in a candy store at this party! Everywhere you turned there was something “happy” to look at – from Barbie’s luxe pink bedroom (which included a shoe closet filled with 50 pairs of Barbie® pink peep-toe Christian Louboutin heels)…

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

…to a fireplace flanked by pink plastic poodles… to cocktail serving trays filled with acrylic pink ice! (The toilets even had huge pink satin bows tied around the seat covers… talk about attention to detail!)

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Since HWTM is all about party planning – we asked Cowie – the brains behind the bash – to share some of his favorite party details with us… as well as a few tips that we can use at home. Here goes:

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

HWTM: “Barbie Malibu Dream House” sounds like such a fun party theme! Can you give us some insight into your overall vision for this event?
CC:
I WANTED TO CREATE AN EVENT THAT WAS COMPLETELY PERSONALIZED TO BARBIE. AS ALWAYS, I START WITH A THEME (POP ART), AND A COLOR PALETTE (BLACK WHITE AND PINK), AND GO FROM THERE.  I WANTED ALL OF THE ELEMENTS TO BE VERY VIBRANT AND TO HAVE AN IMPACT BY USING A LOT OF REPETITON.

HWTM: When I plan parties, there are usually 1 or 2 ideas that I’m especially excited about – the ones that trigger those famous “Aha!” moments during the planning process. What ideas are you most excited about for this party?
CC: THE BAR AND THE DESSERT BAR INSTALLATIONS -  THEY ARE TOTALLY OVER THE TOP AND GRAPHIC.

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

HWTM: What is the most over-the-top idea you have planned for the party?
CC: THE WALL BEHIND THE BAR – IT’S COMPRISED OF 750 ACTUAL BARBIE DOLLS AND FRAMED BY A PRECINIUM OF PINK UNDERLIT JEWELS.

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

HWTM: Keeping in mind that most at-home parties will be on a, er…slightly different budget than this particular event, what tips would you share with someone looking to host a similar theme at home?
CC: CHOOSE A THEME AND A COLOR PALLETE, THEN WRITE DOWN ALL OF YOUR IDEAS AND PROPOSED COSTS, AND THEN DECIDE WHICH IS GOING TO GIVE YOU THE MOST IMPACT WITHIN YOUR BUDGET. COLOR CREATES CONSISTENCY AND WILL HELP CREATE A UNIFIED THEME THROUGHOUT THE PARTY.

HWTM: Aside from Barbie herself, what other types of things should be present at any Barbie-themed party – from Malibu Beach House to Rock Star Barbie?
CC: PINK, PINK AND MORE PINK! BARBIE IS TIMELESS AND TRANSENDS SO MANY ERA’S. USE A LOT OF BLING AND A BIG DOSE OF GLAMOUR.

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

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Thanks so much to Colin for providing us with all this inspiration! (Check out more tips from Colin over on GetMarried.com.)

Pictured above is one of my personal favorite ideas from the party – centerpieces created from pink roses in the shapes of handbags and heels… which were displayed on lucite tables filled with tons of miniature Barbie brushes, sunglasses, shoes & purses…GENIUS!

Another element that really stood out to me where the witty, cheeky phrases that were projected onto the house and printed on things like cocktail napkins and glow-in-the-dark drink stirrers. This idea really added to the FUN factor of the party, and the sayings included things like:
“I wasn’t designed to do housework.”
“A plastic tan never fades.”
“Doll-icious”
“Eat healthy but always have a decadent dessert.”

Mantras to live by, right? (At least in a DREAM house!) ;-)

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In order to keep this from being the world’s longest post, I’m going to save the drink recipes and a few more details for Part 2. In the meantime, here are a few more pics from the party… and you can also view these at a little larger size in the facebook album.

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The party really lit up after the sun went down…

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

No red carpet reception for this party… celebrities rocked the PINK carpet instead!

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

Barbie’s custom-made pink VW beetle – complete with a built-in, pop-up makeup vanity in the trunk (of course!) – greeted guests near the pink carpet.

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

Barbie’s kitchen was fully equipped for one thing… CUPCAKES!

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

Getting the PINK s’mores platters ready for guests to roast over the backyard’s built-in fire-pit!

Barbies Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

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Click here for pics of the Pink Carpet celebs… which included Supermodel/Project Runway host Heidi Klum, Ginnifer Goodwin (He’s Just Not That Into You), Lauren Conrad (The Hills), and cutie Madeline Carroll (Swing Vote).


Leave a Comment

50Comments

1
Chic Runner SAYS:

Wow! So glad you shared this with us. Such great ideas and what an amazing party to be a guest at. Great pictures too. Thanks Jenn!

Reply March 13, 2009 at 10:07 am

2
Danielle SAYS:

Fab ideas! My daugher is a Barbie doll collector and I’m planning a Barbie themed Hello Summer party. These ideas are wonderful! I love the pink smores!!!!

Reply March 13, 2009 at 10:27 am

3
Katrina Lynn SAYS:

LOVE this so much!!!! Thanks for sharing! What a treat!

Reply March 13, 2009 at 11:00 am

4
Erin SAYS:

Amazing! Every aspect of Barbie was truly captured. I feel like I went back in time :)

Reply March 13, 2009 at 11:30 am

5
Tiara SAYS:

wow every picture in this post made me gasp! Thanks for sharing…. it looks like it was so much fun. Cowie’s detail is fantastic and wow what i wouldnt give for that hot pink VW beetle.

Barbie is the ultimate celebrity/diva!

Reply March 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm

6
Linda SAYS:

He is a genius and seems to push the design ideas to the limit. He paid attention to all the details. Suprised he didn’t make the DJ wear pink! :)

Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait for part deux….

Reply March 13, 2009 at 1:53 pm

7
Michelle SAYS:

Intimidatingly AMAZING for us intern party planners out there!

Reply March 13, 2009 at 3:58 pm

8
noel culbertson SAYS:

absolutely amazing. thanks so much for sharing. what a fabulous party!

Reply March 13, 2009 at 9:19 pm

9
by lynn 333 SAYS:

I was trying find the recipe for the pink drinks in part 2; when and where will it be available for viewing? I want to see the rest of colin cowies creations and how tos/ We are having a big party for my friennd’s 50th. it will be a barbie event. Can you send me update and how to find this info?

Reply March 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm

10
Annette SAYS:

Thank you for sharing this party! What an amazing event. Love it!

Reply March 15, 2009 at 5:46 am

11
jessie SAYS:

amazing!

Reply March 15, 2009 at 8:18 am

12
Ani SAYS:

This life would be fantastic. What a fantastic attention to details.

Reply March 15, 2009 at 9:19 am

13
jenn s. SAYS:

by lynn 333 – The drink recipes will be up tomorrow! :)

Reply March 16, 2009 at 9:09 am

14
Davids SAYS:

Is that too much Barbie? I guess if you are going to go for it you have to go for it. It is truly one of a kind.

Reply March 16, 2009 at 3:55 pm

15
sarah SAYS:

My favourite item from this post is the smores trays. I am doing a big candy table for a cocktail party this weekend and just ordered green marshmallows but the idea to pair with graham crackers and chocolate is great.
Beautifully colourful event.

Reply March 17, 2009 at 9:36 am

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