As a die-hard Peanuts fan growing up, I eagerly read the hilarious comics and watched the enchanting holiday specials with my family! Cartoonist Charles Schulz possessed a mastermind gift for capturing children. We learned to laugh at life and ourselves through the lives of Charlie Brown, his adorable beagle, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Peppermint Patty, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Nowadays, my family giggles in front of the TV, watching classic Peanuts DVDs and holiday specials. Like countless others, we’re fervently awaiting the premiere of The Peanuts Movie! Until then, here’s an opportunity to go behind-the-scene for a glimpse of the Snoopy and Belle in Fashion (SBIF) exhibit that’s currently touring internationally.
If you think about it, Snoopy has is the most stylish beagle on the planet (think Joe Cool or World War I Flying Ace). At the SBIF exhibit, Snazzy Snoopy and his fashionista sister, Belle, are sportin’ high-end styles by premiere fashion designers. These trendy siblings are decked out in designs from Betsey Johnson, Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, DSquared2, J. Mendel, and Opening Ceremony. While SBIF premiered last September during New York’s Fashion Week, the original concept was created roughly 30 years ago.
“The project originated in the ’80s with [the late] Connie Boucher, who was the first person to reach out to the fashion community and engage them with Snoopy and Belle,” says Matt Murphy, who designed the exhibit. He adds, “That resulted in amazing designs from designers including Chanel, Hermès, Karl Lagerfeld, Issey Miyake. That exhibition started in Italy and included a wonderful host of products—everything from furniture to lamps to household products to cars,” says the interior designer. “But the core was the Snoopy and Belle in Fashion exhibition, featuring plush dolls that were 14 to 18 inches tall. For this exhibition, we’re using high-end vinyl dolls that are 9 inches tall, and we engaged contemporary designers to reimagine Snoopy and Belle. That’s the exhibit that’s currently traveling the world,” Matt explains. He launched his career with luxury handbags and leather goods.
After premiering in New York’s Fashion Week last year, several designers quickly signed on for another opportunity to style Snoopy and Belle. According to acclaimed celebrity stylist Cannon, couture designers adore the precious pups!
“I think one of the most exciting for us was to have Betsey Johnson sign on again,” says Cannon, who’s styled the casts of “Lost” and “The Sopranos.” He adds, “She is such an icon of American fashion, and it warms everyone’s hearts when you talk about her. She said, ‘yes,’ immediately, and her love for Snoopy kind of shows through. She’s a very hands-on person—when she came to the show, she was fluffing the doll to make sure it was perfect.” Cannon serves as the Peanuts Fashion Ambassador during.
He also spoke about the liberty designers were given with regards to fashioning for Snoopy and Belle. “I think all the designers expressed themselves through Snoopy,” says Cannon who’s worked with celebs like Angelina Jolie, Michael Jackson and Matt Damon. Cannon adds, “With Costello Tagliapietra, those two guys have tattoos of Snoopy, they grew up with Snoopy.” The stylist says, “Snoopy has such a widespread influence and appeal to everyone. That’s one of the things that drew all the designers. And they had carte blanche. What was complicated is that most designers are used to working on 5’10” models, and for this exhibit, the “models” were 9 inches tall!”
As liaison for the designers, Cannon assisted in coordinating the construction of the outfits. He had this to say about this year’s designers and their inspiration for creativity:
“With Rodarte, they were directly inspired from their runway looks—they wanted to translate their runways to Snoopy and Belle,” Cannon says. “Betsey Johnson went for a rock ’n’ roll feel, which is very true to Betsey: She gave them tattoos and piercings, and made them extremely modern and very, very cool,” Cannon explains.
Everyone shared their thoughts on the many obstacles faced when creating SBIF’s fashion forward exhibit:
“They all had their own challenges, but I particularly remember Rodarte’s Snoopy outfit, a leather and denim biker jacket—multiple zippers, asymmetrical openings, studs, little pieces with topstitching,” says Asa Thornton from Izquierdo Studios. “It’s quite a challenge when you’re dealing with little leather epaulets ¼-inch wide! Zac Posen’s designs for both Snoopy and Belle featured velvet and brocade, very heavy fabrics,” Izquierdo Studios is known for their intricate costumes and props for the entertainment industry. We had to reduce the bulk and cut away some of the pleats on the dress to make it fit like a ball gown,” she says. Asa is part of a team that includes 18 seamstresses, who produced costumes from the designers’ sketches.
SBIF blends retro ’80s with today’s styles, adding a fresh flair. While all the costumes are generally well-received, some of the outfits are gaining wide international attention. Matt says they’ve received a tremendous amount of positive response.
“It’s great to see the juxtaposition of old and new, but everything looks current. It’s kind of a family, and that’s what Peanuts is all about,” says Matt Murphy, who designed SBIF. “In Sweden, we did the exhibition in a glassed-in space, an open exhibit that everyone could see,” recalls Matt an interior designer. “It was such a thrill to see people from all walks of life come by—from trash men to key editors to the very wealthy—and everybody had the same reaction, which was love. Everyone loves Snoopy,” says Matt, who constructed the exhibit. His clients include the Whitney Museum, Peanuts Worldwide and W Hotels. His major clients include M.A.C. Cosmetics and Lagerfeld among many others, visit him at: http://mattmurphy.com/.
“One of my favorite things was that in Amsterdam, we got entrance to the Rijksmuseum, and took a photo with Rodarte in front of Rembrandt’s Night Watch,” Cannon recalls. “We’d take photos around the city, post them on Instagram and other social media posts. All the designers are truly Snoopy fans and Peanuts fans. This has been one of my favorite projects to work on,” the stylist confesses.
Cannon says he, “fell in love” with each outfit for various reasons. “You look at Rodarte’s, you see Rodarte. Betsey Johnson’s is so Betsey Johnson, and you look at Isaac Mizrahi’s and you think, “Oh that’s so Isaac.” Depending on who your favorite designers are, that’s where you’ll gravitate,” Cannon explains. Find his work at http://thecannonmediagroup.com/.
If traveling internationally, you can see SBIF in places such as Japan, Asia, Latin America and Mexico. Currently, no plans are set for a U.S. exhibit. However, SBIF can be viewed online at www.SnoopyandBelleinFashion.com.
Visit www.thepeanutsmovie.com for peek at the trailer and other fun info!
We have these adorable tees and totes to give away to the fashionable Snoopy fan in your life. Tees come in size Medium. Leave a comment about Snoopy and Belle, and I’ll pick one winner to receive the tee and tote. ($65 value!)
GIVEAWAY: One (1) That’s IT Mommy reader will one shirt pictured above (will be at random) in size Medium, a tote and make-up bag. This giveaway is open to US residents only (18+). Ends Oct 9, 2015 at midnight. PST
REQUIRED MAIN ENTRY: To enter, leave a comment below about Snoopy and Belle, and I’ll pick one winner to receive the tee and tote.
Remember if this REQUIRED ENTRY is not followed then no other entries will count.
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*This giveaway will run through midnight on Oct 9, 2015 at midght PST. Winner will be chosen using Random.org from all valid entries and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to contact us before another winner is chosen. Giveaway is open to U.S. (18+) residents only.
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. We are Peanuts Ambassadors