By Thomas Adamson Associated Press
CHESSY, France — Forever-young Minnie Mouse is growing up and moving on from her old red and white polka dots.
Lanvin has designed the loveable Disney rodent a new dress — a more mature frock in royal blue and long sleeves that she can wear at special Paris events.
It was unveiled at a catwalk show in Disneyland Paris on Saturday evening.
Gone was the oversized hair bow that has been the signature of the character since she was created in 1928. In its place, the catwalk presentation showcased a smaller-sized red tiara alongside a thick, bejeweled hourglass gown with padded shoulders.
“Walt Disney was the one that actually designed Minnie. It’s the first time an actual designer has come into the picture and designed a dress for her,” Lanvin’s designer Alber Elbaz told The Associated Press following the show.
“It was a great challenge and responsibility to do. I just wanted her to shine… I wanted to give her a crown in red, and the dress in blue, (a signature) for Lanvin.”
The dress got applause from the celebrity-filled front row including actress Virginie Ledoyen and model Natalia Vodianova.
But the more mature look — which also did away with her famed white bloomers — didn’t impress everyone.
“It’s definitely more mature. It looks a bit mother of the bride,” said spectator Matthew Gallagher. “I preferred the polka dots.”
Traditionalists will be pleased to know that Disney says Minnie will be allowed to keep her red and white look for normal events.
Minnie has also kept her full hourglass figure. Last October, images destined for Barneys New York shop window were criticized after Minnie became a long, lean high-fashion model.
Dubbed “skinny Minnie” the short film featured the mouse-fatale in a hot-pink, ruffle covered Lanvin dress — with longer legs, leaner arms and daintier gloved hands.
“We’re not here to transform people,” said Elbaz. “We love her the way she is.”