Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Betsey Johnson's Dress for the Non-Seamtresses 1966


The mini-garbed blonde in this shimmering sequence of paste-it-yourself dressmaking is a New York model named Lauren Hutton who cannot sew and for once in her life can say....So what? 
Starting with a basic dress in see-through plastic shown below, Miss Hutton shows how even a girl who is all thumbs can glue together an eye-catching number. All she needs to do is apply adhesive-backed foil scallops to the vinyl surface in a layer on layer fish-scale pattern. The cut-outs come in a $5 kit sold with the unadorned $15 dress, and include not only the economy-size sequins but also, in separate kits, wiggly strips and bright stars. Dresses and cut-out kits are the whimsy of a 23-year-old designer named Betsey Johnson. In a year of work for the Paraphernalia shops, Miss Johnson has made a name for inventive ideas - none more so than this one, which permits a girl to clothe herself using the techniques of gift wrapping. The emergence of the fish-scale dress is shown in four stages from top to bottom, variety achieved by using different cut-outs is illustrated in the star and strips patches on the final dress. Shoes with clear plastic heels are by Herbert Levine ($38).

Close-up of cut-outs show scallops, curvy strips - enough in each kit to cover one dress, plus extra sheet of foil for free-form designs.

                                                                IMAGE CREDITS
All images & original text scanned by Sweet Jane from LIFE International September 1966. Model Lauren Hutton. Dress by Betsey Johnson. Photographer Howell Conant.

1 comment:

  1. ooh i am all over that 4th dress! what a clever idea! though i wonder how long it lasted for on the dance floor before you started leaving a trail of foil scales, with your dress poking out in places...


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