The Fashion Folk S03 ep6 : Betty Jackson, Jackson Fashion, [London]
Interview with Betty Jackson
Born in Lancashire (1949), Betty Jackson started her fashion career as a fashion illustrator during her senior year (1971) at the Birmingham College of Art. She did that for three years, and then she moved on to get her "hands-on experience" as a design assistant. In 1981, ten years after graduation, she struck on her own, and founded Betty Jackson Ltd. Described by the British Fashion Council as a "directional classicist" Betty Jackson's style of dressing is based on comfort and relaxed style. Leaning heavily on unstructured separates and daywear, Betty Jackson's creations are usually soft and feminine. She usually gets her inspirations from colors and patterns, imagining it being worn by a woman, and then designs around that palette. Easy, contemporary and liberated clothes are the adjectives that describe Betty Jackson's work. "My work is understated and easy. I do not like formal dressing and I always try to achieve a relaxed and casual look. The mix of texture and pattern is very important and we work with many textile designers to have specialness and exclusivity on fabrics. Unexpected fabrics are often used in simple, classic shapes."
We just do fabric and we do clothes. We make fabric, we don’t make fabric but we have idea
about colour and texture and print and then we cut it up and make clothes, that’s all we do.
Inspiration was French, Czech, Mikos to Shanghai really so she was a sort of girl out of those jolly
good undies and she went to Shanghai and, Shanghai is a wonderful place because it’s a mix of old
and then there’s this rush of modern going through it so it’s so exciting but we just wanted to make
her sexy and nonchalant and effortless, so that’s what it was.
See I fell in love with textiles a long time ago when I very, very, very first went to art college and I
just couldn’t believe the richness and you know what you could do with it really and I still feel the
same, you know tomorrow we’ll start on the new collection and I’ll just get just as excited about
the new fabrics so it does kick you off.
The prints are very pretty, very nice, but also I like the opposites together I like this mix of very
soft girly little bit but then there’s some strong silhouettes in bold colour and it’s important I think
that they’ve got the two working together.
Kostas: Did you train in London or
No, no, no I was up in Birmingham, my father wouldn’t let me come to London, it was too
They’re sweet aren’t they I mean better than a necklace maybe, we move on from that big jewel
thing into do it yourself and roughing round and you know, it’s a good look.
We work with a big play on the … and I’m all in favour of this collaboration I think it’s a very,
very good idea, I think it’s great if they collaborate and the one that we work with is incredibly
respectful and rather fabulous, the hideous thing is if when they just pillage and don’t give you
anything, you know just take these ideas and think it’s open to everybody and somebody’s worked
very hard to realise something and then it’s just plucked and which I think is very wrong, I don’t
know how these people … the one we work with is incredibly respectful and cherishes what we do.
And the collection is big enough so you can make drops in you know and nobody wants to see the
same thing in you know lots of people shop worldwide, lots of people shop on the net, you don’t
want to see the same thing if you go into a shop three weeks later and it’s exactly the same display.
There’s no excuse for that and I think it’s important to move it round and show people different
ways of wearing things.
Well the hair was really important this season, our initial idea was that this French chick from the
John Gadam movie would go and walk through the city of Shanghai so she had to sort of look like
that sort of 70’s film noir girl really with the hair and a bit like Bridget but not really distinctive
enough as that and I thought she looked great and then just wear these clothes in a nonchalant
effortless sort of way.
The show is just as exciting, I’m still as terrified you know the moment before we begin and
actually 25 years ago it was incredibly exciting because there were fewer of us, we were all doing
something very new I mean now thank goodness it’s more organised and everybody comes from
all over the world but they did then too it’s a much bigger event now, which is great, and we’re
still celebrating all these brilliant young designers, which is also great, and it’s more organised and
just bigger really I mean I think it’s a very exciting place to be.
London is braver, London is more courageous, London is newer, London is more forward thinking,
I think London is much more exciting.
We get excited about fabric and texture and colour and print and like it’s all the, I like the ruffled
necks and I like the all in ones, but you know me I don’t wear colour or prints so you know that’s
quite tricky. This mixing, this new layering that’s happening is really exciting.
We’re all so organised nothing funny or strange ever happens here thank you very much. All went
very smoothly this morning.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Betty Jackson, Jackson Fashion, London