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After working as an assistant in the art department at Mademoiselle Betsey Johnson was hired as one of the designers for the popular Paraphernalia boutique in 1965. In the following years her designs were worn by style setters such as actresses Julie Christie and Brigitte Bardot, model Twiggy, and Edie Sedgwick.
Betsey spent 5 years at Paraphernalia, and she recalls that during that phase of her life, she had free reign to design whatever it was that she liked.
From 1970-1974 Betsey Johnson designed for Alley Cat, a junior sportswear company. She had full creative control, designing everything from the textiles used in her designs to the accompanying shoes. Like her clientele, Johnson was aware that strict fashion rules had fallen by the wayside in favor of a more eclectic approach to fashion.
In 1978, revived by the punk movement, Betsey Johnson partnered with ex-model Chantal Bacon, whom she met while designing children’s clothes in 1975, to start their own company, the Betsey Johnson label.

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Betsey would hit nightclubs with Andy Warhol and then-boyfriend John Cale of the Velvet Underground. She starting outfitting the members of the band, and started wearing her designs herself regularly. In fact, when she went to City Hall with John Cale for their nuptials, she wore a crushed-velvet pantsuit, and the officials at City Hall turned her away for wearing pants! That did not deter Ms. Johnson from her plan to wed, as she returned to City Hall wearing the shortest mini-skirt she could find – this served as an “F you” to the officials there. Regardless of negative criticism, she never compromised her wild style. Betsey says, about designing for the Velvet Underground: “I always made John his black canvas suits with big hunks of ruffles and bows coming out, which were gorgeous. And Lou [Reed] wanted his crotch to be big, so I would always cut him a crotch.” (WWD, 2008).

Text from MISS by gabriella

Photographs by Billy Name from All Tomorrow's Parties

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Another photo shoot in the quaint Williamsburg studio of photographer Zandy Mangold for our upcoming shows exhibition featuring vintage Betsey Johnson. Model is Thais Oliveira from Ford Models, and the hair and makeup was done by Michiko Boorberg. Here are a few quick shots of the scene but the real photographs will be coming soon so stay tuned...

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A vendor at Manhattan Vintage for a decade, Andrea is renowned for her spectacular eye and ability to fill her booth with fabulous fashions.

INTERVIEW BY KANDICE WATSON

What is your aesthetic and background? I've traveled the world to fill my loft, located in a landmark warehouse in historic Yonkers, with clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories that meet my top shelf standards for design. I'm a native New Yorker with a degree from Parsons and, far more importantly, an eye and passion for beauty that's earned me a stellar reputation in the fashion world, from designers to stylists, editors to fashion-conscious consumers.

What is the "look" you prefer for a womam? If you don't love it, don't buy it sums up my shopping philosophy.  And I'd never be able to choose a favorite style or look as eclecticism and diversity are what drive the fashion world. My warehouse is a reflection of that, housing extensive items from the ancient to the futuristic. Self expression is a wonderful thing, and Lofty Vintage reflects my respect and passion for countless personalities and styles.

What is your fashion motto? In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. From Coco Chanel.

Photos from Andrea Hall Levy, MarketPublique.com, and TalesofEndearment.com

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The exhibit, which runs through Dec. 22 at FIDM, is based on the book Ripped: T-shirts from the Underground by Cherry Vintage owner Cesar Padilla, who also curated the show. Ripped examines the influence of punk rock on fashion and culture. It features more than 150 band T-shirts as well as photographs, posters and other memorabilia from the 1970s and ’80s punk, post-punk and indie music scene. Artists whose names or images appear on the shirts in the exhibit include Joan Jett, the Sex Pistols, Devo, Sonic Youth, The Minutemen, the Germs and Hüsker Dü. Padilla, who owns all of the items on display, began collecting T-shirts in 1988 when he returned from a trip to South America and found that his mother had thrown away all of his rock shirts. Some he got from thrift stores. Others were given to him by friends or artists. As his collection grew, he realized he could tell a story through the garments.

These photographs were taken at the Chelsea Hotel in 2010 as part of an exhibition we did to celebrate the launch of the Ripped book.

Photography by Zandy Mangold

Exhibition text from LA Downtown News

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Very cool vintage roundtable talk will start on Saturday at 3:15pm. "Vintage: Prespectives at the Start of the 21st Century" will feature Karen Augusta of Augusta's Auction, Cameron Silver of DECADES, Gerard Maione of What Comes Around Goes Around, Gary Harvey and coustume and textile authority Edward Maeder. Roundtable will be moderated by Manhattan Vintage's David Ornstein.

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