By Ellen Hill
One of the world’s most recognised (plastic) women, the ageless Barbie doll, will use her VIP visit to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia to scour the state in search of a new home.
But Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum owner Elizabeth Evatt said Barbie need look no further than the historic Leura mansion.
In fact, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Randall Walker offered to provide a welcome function for Barbie to showcase Leuralla and the destination.
Barbie and long-time partner Ken would feel right at home in Leuralla, which contained not only the largest collection of toys, trains and associated memorabilia in the southern hemisphere but the largest and only permanent display of Barbie dolls from 1959 to 2013 in Australia.
Mrs Evatt was responding to a story which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on April 3, which stated that Barbie was on the look-out for a posh bunker while in town for Fashion Week (April 8-12) to replace her Malibu pad which was on the market (Ken stayed home to manage the sale).
The sideline reason for the flying visit by the utopian ideal of physical, social and moral womanhood is a deal stitched up with designer duo Camilla and Marc Freeman of Camilla and Marc.
“Barbie will sit in the front row at their show and has a new outfit by the sibling designers,’’ the SMH article reads.
“They share a prestigious list with Christian Dior, Burberry and Vera Wang among Barbie designers over the years.
“Tourism Australia is sharing the doll’s journey Down Under through social media.’’
Designed by Ruth Handler based on a German concept toy (also part of the Leuralla collection) and named after her daughter, Barbie had been a constant role model and social identifier for the past four decades, Mrs Evatt said.
“She is an important marker of time and change. There is no other doll like her.’’
The official regional tourism organisation chief Randall Walker said a grand heritage home such as Leuralla would be an ideal new base for Barbie and Ken to re-connect with each other and nature in a World Heritage Area.
“What a perfect location for Barbie and Ken: with so many world-class dining options, heritage ambience and some of the most glorious vistas on the planet all within such close proximity to Sydney.
“However, might I suggest that Barbie also pack a sturdy pair of walking boots along with her stilettos and evening wear so she can explore the many nature-based outdoor experiences and our magnificent World Heritage Area.’’
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is a celebration of fashion and culture, during which Australia’s most innovative fashion designers, red carpet celebrities and retailers join in a style-packed spectacle.
Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum, 36 Olympian Pde, Leura, is open 10am to 5pm daily. Details: (02) 4784 1169.