Sunday, June 13, 2010

Betty Jackson: Designs that Influence, 1980's Fashion Icon

Betty Jackson, 1980's
Origins of Steam Punk and the appreciation of Victorian fashion design are a special niche for English designers. When I look back into the 1980's, the roots of steam punk become more clear to me. One British fashion icon I like is Betty Jackson. Her romantic visions with Victorian influences helped to integrate vintage into popular trends both then and now.

Betty Jackson, 1988
She has an attention to detail brings in many levels of visual interest: frock coats, vests, neckties, white collars and other menswear details infuse her fashions with quaint details. Not to draw exactly from 1800's menswear, but to borrow off the hanger and style it in a new way, these designs present options we can use today, especially when working with vintage or designing new concepts.

Betty Jackson 1988
Accessories play an important in finishing the ensemble, and her we can see adorable bowler hats, gloves and parasols for sudden showers. Tweeking this to be less costumey, there are ideas here that are showing up in the current fall fashion collections. This is a far more vintage look than we have seen in recent years. The new designs tend to bridge the gap between full Victorian or Steam Punk costume and contemporary street wear. Making a choice that is wearable, yet fun, you can reference the Victorian era without going there full steam ahead.

Betty Jackson 80's fashion
As a designer, Betty Jackson won the annual British Fashion Award in 1985. The fashions you see pictured here come from 1988. She had launched her own company in 1981, after a decade of experience with such British design icons as Ossie Clark. She is still designing today and has some references in her current collection to the earlier designs.

If you wear or collect vintage, or design, these 1988 outfits may give you some new ideas. Pairing older pieces with current fashions with a point of view that refers to a Victorian sense of design is always in fashion.

Interview with Betty Jackson

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