Friday, February 5, 2010
Betsey Johnson Archive...a story
I had the honor of viewing Betsey Johnson's very own personal archive collection!
As most of my readers already know, I am a Betsey Johnson fanatic, I was personally hired by her (read that story here), worked for her for two and a half years, and I continue to collect her clothing. When I was in college I visited East Hampton every summer. At the time I was dating a boy that was from there, so I didn't have much of a choice. Betsey Johnson had opened a boutique in E. Hampton because she had recently bought a home in the area. I was never really a fan of the Hampton's so her store definitely made my trip worthwhile!
I frequented the store, *this is before my Betsey employment days* and admired the clothes almost everyday. My favorite part of this store was her "Vintage Rack" it was a rack solely dedicated to her vintage pieces, and better yet, they were cheaper than her new clothes! After many visits I became friends with the gals in the store, and I asked them where the vintage was coming in from. They told me it was Betsey's personal collection! My mouth dropped. "What! Why the hell would she sell her stuff?" She was apparently trying to consolidate and needed to get rid of some things. So I asked where all of this collection was being stored? "Why, right here in the basement of the store, Would you like to take a look?" Oh and by the way you can buy anything off the racks down there"....HOLY HEAVENS TO BETSEY! You can only imagine my excitement!
As I walked the narrow steps to the basement,I felt like I was entering Fashion Nirvana. The shallow basement held 30 racks full of Betsey's Finest! There were Rows and rows of colorful crinolines, showpieces, neon prints, corsets with ribbons,my favorite was a jersey dress that Betsey had spilled wine on and never dry cleaned. As I ventured more and more I found a "forbidden archive area" of items that were not to be sold. I just had to take a peek. This rack was full of her Paraphernalia collections. the most notable piece was a paper dress, that was made to look like it was literally for a paper doll complete with the tabs! AMAZING!
I spent well over an hour just touching the fabrics and observing her print qualities. Truth be told,I could have spent the night in this rooom.
As for what I ended up buying, you'll just have to come visit my personal archives to sneak a peek!
** since the time period that I shopped this archive Betsey has been agressively trying to buy back her archive collection to use for THIS PROJECT