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Designer Builds Real-Life Barbie Penthouse, Brings Real Housewives Over to Christen the Place

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Barbie was rumored to be ditching her Malibu Dream House for apartment living, but not like this. L.A.-based designer Nicole Sassaman has created her own "Barbie penthouse" in L.A.'s Century Towers complex, out of a unit she bought from Barbara Segal, whose parents, Mattel founders Ruth and Elliot Handler, named the doll after her. Though the finished product has disappointingly low levels of fuchsia, and is less a "Barbie penthouse" than a "penthouse with some Barbie stuff in it," some of that stuff is pretty wild.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Visitors to the condo are greeted at the front door by a life-size Barbie mannequin, which Ms. Sassaman dresses in different outfits, according to the season and occasion.
(!)
The living room has a massive framed Barbie hologram, and there are doll-like women's portraits throughout.
(!!)
The room for her daughter, Ava, 8, is a Barbie extravaganza, with a Barbie painting, a Barbie mobile hanging over the bed and Barbie books.
(!!!)
A housewarming party was attended by some of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, who are friends, dressed in Barbie-like outfits for the occasion.
(!!!!!!!!!) Sassaman, who seems in on the joke re: her reality TV friends, "acknowledges that they usually dress that way." What she isn't down with is the idea that Barbie encourages unrealistic expectations for womens' bodies; to this suggestion, she responds, "If you look at anything in the world, you can make it positive."

Barbie Penthouse, Sassaman's self-published book on the project, just came out a month ago, but she says she's already turned down a $10M offer to buy the condo from a "top hotel-industry executive."

Photos by Cécile Plaisance

· The Real-Life Barbie Penthouse [WSJ]