Sunday, February 19, 2017

Check out an exclusive interview with Jill Schulz and Melissa Menta about the new touring Snoopy & Belle in Fashion exhibit!

Are you a fan of Snoopy? Well being a child of the 80's I have to say that Snoopy was a huge part of my childhood from the cartoons to my beloved Snoopy blanket to my favorite Snoopy dolls. Do you remember those classic Snoopy dolls? The ones that had clothing that you could change and buy all sorts of outfits for? My doll came with a letter-mans jacket and I loved making all kinds of clothing for him from household fabric scraps. What fun times that was. 
If you had a doll like that or are just a huge fan of Snoopy you are going to love the new traveling U.S City tour, Snoopy and Belle in Fashion. 

The 2017 U.S. tour will see the premiere of all new one-of-a-kind creations in every city, displayed via on-trend vinyl Snoopy and Belle dolls, by designers who ingeniously capture the unique style of their region.

Oscar-winning Costume Designer Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Actress-Dancer Jenna Dewan Tatum x Danskin (Step Up) and Designer and Stylist Rachel Zoe (Editor-in-chief of digital style destination The Zoe Report) will debut their exclusive looks for the dolls.

They will be joining a group that features the world’s foremost designers—including Anna Sui, Betsey Johnson, Bibhu Mohapatra, Calvin Klein Collection, Children of our Town, Christian Siriano, Costello Tagliapietra, Cristiano Burani, DSquared2, Diane Von Furstenberg, DKNY by Donna Karan, Dries Van Noten, Emanuel Ungaro, Edwin Oudshoorn, Isaac Mizrahi, Isabel Marant, J. Mendel, Kaviar Gauche, Kenneth Cole, Le Mont St Michel, Le Snob, Lisa Perry, MAC Cosmetics, Macario Jimenez, Marta Larsson, Opening Ceremony, Philip Treacy, Rodarte, Royal Asscher x Pluma, Swarovski, Tracy Reese, Trussardi, Venera Arapu, VPL by Victoria Bartlett, and Zac Posen. 

“Snoopy & Belle in Fashion” is a completely contemporary reimagining of the inaugural “Snoopy in Fashion” project, which debuted in 1984 with such diverse designers as Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Oscar De La Renta, Giorgio Armani, L.L. Bean, Bob Mackie, and Sonia Rykiel. The show premiered at The Louvre, and went on to tour The L.A. County Museum, and throughout Europe and Asia, and inspired both paperback and hard cover art books. 
To celebrate this great new traveling exhibit, recently some Peanuts Ambassadors were very fortunate to be able to chat with Jill Schulz, the daughter of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz and Melissa Menta, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Peanuts Worldwide LLC, and the producer of the Snoopy and Belle In Fashion Exhibit. I am excited to share this exclusive interview below.  

Melissa, can you tell us about the exhibits and how they came to be?

Melissa: We’re really proud of this exhibit.  It’s a re-imagination of an exhibit that first premiered in 1984.  A woman who was in charge of spearheading Peanuts merchandise in Japan went to Charles Schulz, or Sparky as he was called, and asked if she could do this exhibit.  He said “yes” and she pulled off this amazing feat of getting all the major designers in the world to design outfits for Snoopy and his sister Belle. 

The original exhibit was called “Snoopy in Fashion.”  They were plush dolls dressed by famous designers like Chanel, Betsey Johnson and everyone you could possibly imagine.  Those dolls have been travelling the world ever since.

In 2014 we decided to re imagine the exhibit and got all new designers plus some from the original exhibit.  Since then, we’ve been showing the exhibit around the world, and adding new designers.  There were 25 designers in 2014, but the current exhibit on display at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles has close to 50 sets of dolls representing almost 50 designers.  The new dolls in LA come from designers like Rachel Zoe and Academy Award winner Colleen Atwood.
How did you pick the designers?

Melissa:  Some of the designers like Betsey Johnson and Diane Von Furstenberg were part of the original exhibit.  Other designers we knew had an affinity for Peanuts.  We went about it in a really fun way by inviting the designers to participate via an interactive iPad. 

What’s the overall goal of the exhibit?

Melissa:  What’s interesting about Peanuts is that it speaks to people in different ways.  Whether you go to an amusement park or see the Peanuts movie, but it’s also a fashion brand.  If you talk to people in Europe, they see Peanuts as a fashion brand so this is a new way of showing Peanuts to be fashion forward and allowing people to enjoy the characters.

Jill, What would Sparky think of this?

Jill:  I know he would love it.  My Dad never liked to travel.  He always said, “I’ll go anywhere as long as I can be home by noon.”  So it was a great feat when he traveled to Paris to see the original exhibit at the Louvre in 1984.  It was a testament to his interest and respect to what these designers were doing with their talents in relationship to his characters.  There were many other times when he was going to be traveling overseas and would change his mind within 24 hours of leaving and not go.  But the 1984 trip was one he looked forward to.  He always had a great respect for all people, their art, and entertainment. 

Would he consider himself fashion forward, or fashionable?

Jill:  My Dad?  No, not at all actually.  He was a slacks and sweater guy.  He wasn’t one to have a celebrity lifestyle.   He wasn’t even a fancy restaurant person.  That doesn’t mean he wasn’t interested in fashion. He produced an ice show at the local ice arena for 30 or more years, and always supported the costume designer and took a great interested in making the show look good. 
He wasn’t into the fashion himself, but if he did go to a special event or awards show he always dressed well.  He would come out in his suit, stand extra tall and say, “What do you think Jill?  How does this look?”  He was probably a closet fashion guy, and loved dressing up when he had the chance, but there wasn’t much need for it in his day to day lifestyle.

Melissa, you’ve said that a lot of the designers have infused themselves into their designs.  Can you elaborate on that a bit?

Melissa:  Yeah, several of the dolls actually look like the designers themselves.   J. Mendel came to the exhibit in 2014 and we took a photo of him next to his Snoopy doll.  It’s kind of amazing that the same doll can be given such a unique look and personality as to match the designer.  Betsey Johnson’s doll oozes her personality.  The designers Costello Tagliapietra are a team of two men and look exactly like their dolls.  It’s been a lot of fun to see how much fun the designers are having.  They get so excited to see the finished product, especially alongside the other designs.

What is the process when the designer signs on?

Melissa:  They’re allowed to do whatever they’d like.  The only rule is that they can’t use real animal fur.  They then sketch something and design the looks from there. 

There’s an interesting story behind Colleen Atwood’s design, could you share that?

Melissa:  Colleen is an Academy Award winning costume designer who did Alice in Wonderland.  Her doll looks exactly like Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter from that film.  The cloth used on Snoopy is from Depp’s original costume.  For Belle, Colleen created a dress reminiscent of Memoirs of a Geisha

Jill, do you have a favorite?

Jill:  There are so many great ones and I like them all for different reasons.  Out of the memories of the 80s, living in LA and wearing Betsey Johnson all the time, I gravitate towards her designs more.  So I would say Betsey Johnson just out of loyalty, but they’re all so great.  It’s hard to have a particular favorite.

Melissa:  Jill makes a really good point about Betsey.  She was part of the exhibit in 1984 and 2014, and when Twentieth Century Fox was preparing for the premiere of the Peanuts film, they asked me who would be good to create a look for Lucy that they could animate for the red carpet.  Like Jill, I said “Betsey Johnson.”  It was a no-brainer.  She’s a special friend to Peanuts.

In Sebastopol, there are large, hand painted statues of Peanuts characters, do you see a similar type of work being done to complement the fashion exhibit?

Jill:  I’m sure it could be possible, but right now all those statues are sponsored by people who bought them at auctions.  I’m not sure if people would let them go given the expense of moving such large pieces.  I don’t know if there’s anything in the works right now unless Melissa knows something I don’t.

Melissa:  Anything is possible.  Jill’s right, though, statues like that are very expensive to make and ship so something like that would have to be a reimagining of the original pieces.

Jill:  It would be possible if someone came along to spearhead it, but it would probably have to be an original work rather than using the original statues.

What happens to the dolls after the exhibit is over?

Melissa:  The 1984 dolls are housed in Japan and Italy.  The 2014 dolls don’t have a home yet because they’re traveling so much.  After the US tour, we’ll be taking the exhibit abroad again.  All the 2014 designers have their own set of dolls as well.  

If you  love to visit this tour be sure to check the tour locations below to see if they are coming to a city near you! The exhibition will visit the following cities:

•             Los Angeles/Beverly Center: February 14-March 12
•             Denver/Cherry Creek: March 17-April 11
•             Sarasota/The Mall at University Town Center: April 17-May 13
•             Nashville/The Mall at Green Hills: May 17–June 11
•             Fairfax/Fair Oaks Mall: June 23-July 18
•             New York/Brookfield Place: September 7-October 1

Will you be visit the  Snoopy & Belle in Fashion exhibit?

Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions . No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .


tat2gurlzrock said...

omg those are just so cute! I just love the Mac Cosmetics and the Betsey Johnson ones!

Maryann D. said...

I would love to see Snoopy & Belle in Fashion. I was always a fan of Snoopy and I love Belle too now. I wish I had this exhibit near where I live.
twinkle at optonline dot net

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Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions, . No compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This is a unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks.