Harper's Bazaar's August issue sees Smurfette modeling accessories from Marc Jacobs, Lanvin, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton, in honor of the upcoming Smurfs movie, which opens July 29. And, the blue vixen's haute makeover isn't the first time an animated lady has graced Bazaar's pages: In 2007, the magazine served up another heavy dose of whimsy when it featured Marge Simpson in Chanel Haute Couture and Versace. (In fact, several of our beloved childhood characters have become fashion favorites: Marc Jacobs styled Miss Piggy, Terry Richardson teamed with Kermit for a Supreme campaign, and Bazaar paired Sesame Street residents with major designers for a 2009 spread). We spoke to Features/Special Projects Director Laura Brown, who conceptualized the shoot, for the behind-the-scenes scoop.
How did you come up with the Smurfette concept?
I got such a thrill out of working with the animators for The Simpsons. What we really love to do is take something from mass popular culture and subvert it or elevate it or reconfigure it in some way so you see it in a different light. So taking something for kids like Smurfette and putting her in Lanvin and Vuitton and Marc and Dolce is something that's kind of a signature for us; you can enjoy it on lots of different levels.
How was Smurfette as a fashion muse?
Smurfette's a little bit particular because you can't take her out of her white dress. So what we could do was accessorize her. It was treated like a standard magazine shoot: We've got a gray backdrop so it looks like it could be a studio and the accessories model just happens to be a blue cartoon character. As you can see they're all the real accessories that have been photographed. The team at Sony animation sent someone over from LA. We put a model in the positions of where Smurfette is so the bag would be carried in the right way and the boots would be on the right way, and then they merged them -- I've never seen anything like it. When Glenda first saw it she just died.
How did you choose the designers?
We had a board of some of the most covetable accessories of the season and there are certain things that really stood out. For example the Vuitton boots, and the Lanvin witches hat, and the spots of Marc, and the stars of Dolce. So we went to the designers and said "How do you feel about being Smurfetted?" A lot of the designers we work with really have a sense of humor, and they were fully participatory in pulling this together.
Who has better style, Smurfette or Marge Simpson?
I'm fond of Marge when she wears her hair down in Versace -- I don't think many of these can top that. But if I was going to go into a party with Marge with her hair down, or Smurfette in Vuitton, that would be a fashion faceoff. Smurfette might have the edge because she has the newest season's accessories.
Keep reading to see what Brown had to say about each look!