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Forget about high-tech, 3-D animation: Snoopy's latest makeover is of the haute couture variety thanks to outfits designed by fashion's most eminent designers in the exhibit ''Snoopy & Belle in Fashion.'' The exhibit, which opens to the public at the New Museum in New York City on Sept. 8, features Snoopy and his black-and-white spotted beagle sister Belle in head-to-toe outfits designed by top fashion designers including Diane Von Furstenberg, Isaac Mizrahi, Kenneth Cole, Isabel Marant, Philip Treacy, Zac Posen, Anna Sui, Dries Van Noten, and others. Click through to check out Snoopy's looks, which range from the punk rock (Betsey Johnson) to this Palm Beach-ready patterned leisure suit and sundress ensemble designed by Christian Siriano.
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After its Fashion Week-adjacent stop at the New Museum, ''Snoopy & Belle in Fashion'' —including Tracy Reese's fedora-clad outfit for Snoopy and Belle's patterned gown with sassy shoes—will travel to fashion-forward international destinations including Moscow, Paris, Tokyo, and Milan.
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Lisa Perry's sweetly retro look also figures into the exhibit, which coincides with the upcoming release of the first 3-D, computer-animated film featuring Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Scheduled to mark the 65th anniversary of Charles Schultz's iconic comic strip, the movie will be produced by Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age) and will hit theaters on Nov. 6, 2015.
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Renowned for her punk rock style infused with a girlish sensibility, designer Betsey Johnson welcomed the challenge of dressing the iconic characters, adding whimsical touches like hand-painting Belle's pink-and-black bikini and adding nose rings for the pair that are actually earrings from her commercial jewelry line. No detail was too small, either. ''I painted Snoopy's nails blue. I drew them on [first] with a Magic Marker and then painted over it,'' she says. Not even Belle's pink wig was off-limits. ''It came as this sophisticated uptown pink wig, so I stepped on it, twisted it, spray painted it and then laid it out to dry,'' explains Johnson. ''I weirded it out.''
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''I think Snoopy and Belle are punk rock in their own way,'' says Johnson, a contender on season 19 of Dancing With the Stars. ''But this was a funny project, knowing how you want to dress them and then scaling it down.''
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This isn't the first time Snoopy has donned fashionable looks (other than his iconic cap-and-scarf Flying Ace ensemble). In 1984, Snoopy was introduced to high fashion with the exhibit ''Snoopy in Fashion,'' which was introduced at the Seibu Art Forum in Tokyo. In this decidedly all-American look by DSquared2, Snoopy and Belle are dressed in red plaid jackets, edgy denim, and sleek black boots.
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The Peanuts brand remains a popular and profitable mainstay of American culture. In fact, thanks to Peanuts, Schulz's estate is among the most profitable of posthumous moneymakers, right behind Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. But enough about the bottom line—how cute are Snoopy and Belle's coordinating workout ensembles, designed by the VPL by Victoria Bartlett line and complete with sweatbands and sneakers?
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Designer Kenneth Cole designed ensembles that embody New York City's unique brand of cool, with leather-trimmed outfits and modern details like sleek zippers and edgy studs. His favorite detail of these carefully layered looks? Belle's gladiator sandals. As for his personal association with Peanuts, Cole—who founded his eponymous fashion house in 1982—says his love for the brand goes beyond the original comic strip or made-for-TV-movies. ''We all know a Snoopy or a Belle, a Charlie Brown or a Linus,'' says Cole, who considers the characters, ''metaphors and circumstances in most of our lives.''
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Isaac Mizrahi (Project Runway) created classic looks for the pair, choosing to outfit Belle in a ballerina-inspired leotard and tutu look, with Snoopy as her dapper dancing partner in a ruffled shirt and embroidered vest.
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''I grew up with Snoopy. To be able to work in this capacity and design costumes for him and Belle is a great honor,'' says Mizrahi. ''A lot of my aesthetic sensibility is owed to Peanuts and Charles Schulz. My sense of irony, skepticism, and my ultimate optimism I owe to those characters. And also my sense of humor!''