Peanuts Worldwide invites you to the well-appointed Snoopy and Belle in Fashion traveling exhibit, which premiered at New York Fashion Week 2014 and can now be toured at the Mall at University Town Center from April 19 through May 13, 2017. The exhibit features a rare collection of mini-couture outfits bedecked on 10-inch vinyl Snoopy and Belle dolls. Designers include notable fashion houses such as Betsey Johnson, Christian Siriano, Calvin Klein Collection, Diane Von Furstenberg, Dries Van Noten, Emanuel Ungaro, Isaac Mizrahi, Isabel Marant, Rachel Zoe, Rodarte and Zac Posen.
We caught up with producer Melissa Menta, who has taken the exhibit to Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Mexico City and beyond. Here she gives us a sneak peek.
How did this exhibit come about?
In the early 1980s, a woman named Connie Boucher, who was responsible in large part for the expansion of Peanuts merchandise globally, began to contact the most famous and talented couturiers in the world to create original one-of-a-kind designer outfits for both Snoopy and Belle. The result was a fabulous collection of specially designed haute couture that became an exhibition around the world.
With gala openings at prestigious venues such as the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and the Seibu Art Forum in Tokyo, Snoopy in Fashion traveled to cities around the world from the mid-1980s through to the early 2000s.
In 2014, Peanuts Worldwide, the shepherds of the global Peanuts business, decided to re-imagine the original Snoopy in Fashion exhibit into an all new experience. Now titled Snoopy and Belle in Fashion, the exhibit features all-new looks for Snoopy and Belle from today’s top designers. Since its launch in 2014, Snoopy and Belle in Fashion has opened in 11 cities across the globe, with Sarasota being the 12th.
Some iconic names in fashion can be seen on Snoopy and Belle. Would love to hear a story about the piece by...
Diane Von Furstenberg:
What’s great about the dolls from Diane Von Furstenberg is that she is one of the select few designers who created dolls for Snoopy and Belle in the ’80s and then again for our re-launch in 2014. In the current exhibit, we’ve brought back a selection of the original dolls from the ’80s, so of course it gives fans a chance to see the comparison between old and new. This time around she created an adorable miniature version of her signature wrap dress for Belle.
Philip Treacy’s dolls are unique in that his dolls feature his iconic hats as stand-alone pieces. Because he is so popular with European aristocrats and Hollywood royalty, it only makes sense that he’s also designed for canine celebrities like Snoopy and Belle.
As Snoopy and Belle in Fashion has made its way across the globe, we’ve been honored to add new designers in each city who represent the essence of that locale. In each European city, we were able to add well-known designers from that region, so when it came to adding a new set of dolls in Los Angeles, we thought immediately of the Academy Award–winning costume designer, Colleen Atwood. Ms. Atwood, who received Oscars for Alice In Wonderland and Memoirs of a Geisha, dressed Snoopy as the Mad Hatter—even using the same cloth that was used to make Johnny Depp’s jacket. Ms. Atwood then transformed Belle into a Geisha girl, complete with a kimono, matching sandals and umbrella.
Zac Posen joined Snoopy and Belle in Fashion for its debut launch during New York’s fashion week in September, 2014. Given that he’s known for his incredible designs and glamour, it was fascinating to see how he was able to “doll up” Snoopy and Belle in such sophisticated designs. We’re so honored to have his dolls as part of the exhibition.
It’s fun to know that Snoopy and the Peanuts gang have been inspiring such popular fashion trends as zig-zag T-shirts and Joe Cool sweatshirts since the 1970s…tell us a bit more….
Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang resonate and inspire designers of every type, from every corner of the globe. From high-end whimsical bags by French designer Olympia Le-Tan to Gucci’s sportswear-inspired SS16 Men’s collection to an Americana and nostalgia-filled program at Gap Kids in 2015, Peanuts fits a variety of motifs and styles. Peanuts is equally at home on high end Codello scarves and on Vans sneakers. Peanuts was one of the first licensed properties to be available at H&M, a relationship that has lasted well over a decade. With 50 years of the comic strip, as well as the beloved holiday specials, to mine for inspiration, there seems to be no end to the different interpretations of Schulz’s characters. What makes Peanuts such an enduring cultural and fashion touchpoint is that it can represent so many emotions. Some brands, like Madewell, latch on to the classic Snoopy persona Joe Cool. Others, such as the pop-art British designer The Rodnik Band, cling to the evocative Charlie Brown zig-zag. Even less well-known characters get their fashion due – the skater company Huf focused its collection on Snoopy’s desert-dwelling brother Spike. There are a few more collaborations coming out later this year that I can’t reveal just yet, but I know fans and trend-setters alike will love them.
What’s not to be missed?
New to the Sarasota exhibit are designs by Ocean Pacific, which feature Snoopy in an iconic OP sweatshirt and matching corduroy shorts and Belle in a red bikini top with matching striped bottoms. They each have a surfboard to complement their beachy outfits.
But really, there’s not one set of dolls in the exhibit that should be missed. They’re all unique and creative in their own way. From the detail on the outfits to the different personalities each set exudes, Snoopy and Belle in Fashion really offers fans an amazingly fun experience.