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