100% my strategy in life is killing people with kindness
Owns 25+ pairs of trousers.
AL When are you at your most comfortable? What do you want from your clothes?
BETTY When I dress, I can’t really wear supertight stuff. Like at work we kinda like wear heels… I wear a lot of baggy stuff. Comfort in my body image. Like I like my legs but I don’t like my upper body. I’ve got really big boobs which I don’t like so I cover it with baggier things. The reason being I don’t want people staring at my tits all the time
AL It’s a hard one because you don’t want to be like I’m hiding the fact that I’m a girl but it is uncomfortable.
BETTY I like I love trousers. I have an insane amount of trousers, a lot of patterned trousers. I like trousers because I like my legs but I find it really hard to find tops that are like chic and not frumpy but still baggy. That’s the goal
AL But like do you want them to be tight on the arms?
BETTY Yeah yeah I quite like tight arms
AL then you can like do shit
BETTY Exactly. But I don’t want to look like a, like an artistic granny in a baggy smock
AL that shops at COS?
AL Like how many squares can you cut and just attach arms…
BETTY Yeah I don’t want to shop in COS any more… I like big shirts. I wear quite a lot of big shirts and pyjama tops and stuff and yeah I just like people like Phoebe Philo and stuff are like people who I really like how they dress. A bit like a boy but also still feminine.
AL Yeah it’s like outside the male gaze but
BETTY But still kind of weirdly sexy at the same time
AL but do you think it’s sexy because they’re just comfortable?
BETTY yeah they just own it. For sure, for sure. I think that’s actually what a lot of women want to look like but a lot of women won’t admit to wanting to dress like that. Because so many women and girls I know dress for boys like they go on a night out and its like purely like they won’t admit it but they’re like dressing in that way purely for a mans attention and like if you try to articulate with a woman why they don’t wear something it’s like ‘oh people think I’m weird if I’m wearing that’ but it’s like most women, probably wouldn’t care what you wore. But then actually there is this thing from women which is like if you dress weirdly then other women are going to find you weird, so thats really hard
AL yeah I so dress for other women
BETTY Yeah yeah yeah because you want those compliments from other women
AL Well I think I value like friendship more than like. I definitely care about what other women think more than what guys think. I also just don’t think guys understand, deliberately almost.
BETTY yeah yeah what makes a woman happy, in what they wear – for sure. I still find like maybe that’s why I do menswear but I still find the concept of like women dressing – I can’t get my head around it. There’s not like a logic. For me. Men have more of a logical way of dressing so for me it’s a lot easier to design for. Where as women it’s like. Like I know how I want to dress so I would mostly be making clothes for myself which maybe isn’t a bad thing but I think I’d find it harder to understand why girls wear what they wear. I’m a bit like a man in that way. I think I understand men better. For sure. Sometimes like I’ll say that to my boyfriend and he’ll say ‘that’s such a ridiculous statement you don’t know men at all but actually honestly think I understand men better than women like I often prefer boys. Like I have, most of my – all of my close friends are girls. Like I’m not one of those girls who are like ew I hate girls
AL girls who don’t like girls are so unattractive
BETTY yeah I love girls, I love women like absolutely 100% but I find it a lot easier sometimes to be around men. I’m almost jealous of them. Sometimes a mans mentality, which I know as a woman I probably shouldn’t say it’s like really conflicting. Especially the men I’ve grown up around like. They can just switch off. I just wish. Like my boyfriend is like that. A lot of men I know are much more like that where as I think women – I am very envious of men that they can have that.
AL It’s like someone, some man decided long ago that life could be really complicated or it could be really easy and like lets just do one thing at a time
BETTY yeah for sure and I just like there’s parts of a man that I guess I don’t think that its jealousy but I wish I had more of in me and I think I could try and act like that but actually I will never be like that because I am a woman
AL and fundamentally you can have children?
BETTY yeah yeah yeah exactly and obviously being a woman is amazing and we are far more superior in a lot of ways but we’re not as simplistic
AL well yeah. It’s such a catch 22
BETTY its such a catch 22 but there are aspects. Yeah I guess quite a lot of it is that I feel like sometimes I understand. I don’t know what it is just men make more sense to me than women. It’s just like easier
BETTY I think that from a design perspective I for sure understand a man better than a woman
AL do you think it’s easy because of the components of a mans wardrobe are clearer?
BETTY not even that just like their spending habits and like the mentality of how a man shops. Like I can pretty much say most men unless and there are the exceptions of men who want to wear super jazzy stuff and shop trends all the time but that’s like a rare breed of a man. I love like not that womenswear isn’t proper design but I love like details. And like real garment construction. That’s what I absolutely love and then seeing how different people will style that maybe quite simple garment that’s what I really like and for me that makes more sense in menswear because I do think that women are a bit more fickle with their fashion. Like they do just – I mean I’m like that – I have to buy shit all the time and
AL why do you feel like you have to buy shit all the time?
BETTY just because I love clothes. I don’t do it for trends. I do it just because I fucking love clothes but I think a lot of women are doing it for trends and constantly be cool and looking good and maybe part of it is that and the pressure of the industry we work in is to like good
AL and be constantly new
BETTY exactly. I definitely have that trends thing. Like I couldn’t ever tell anyone what’s on trend but
AL Do you ever buy clothes because you’re not satisfied with the clothes you have?
BETTY Yeah. Exactly. Constantly. I mean like even today I was looking on the internet on my lunch break for clothes because I don’t think I have enough jumpers when I have like 8 jumpers which is actually like a shit tonne of jumpers. But you can never have enough shit I guess…
BETTY There is so much issue in the fashion industry about being cool and like getting as many likes as you can because that’s cool at the minute but I think a lot of the essence of what made those brands great is just like really lost like how. Like I kind of hate saying this but I kinda think brands like Vetement are good at the moment even though there clothes are made so badly and I think the creative director is like having a joke at everyone’s expense but they kind of have stood up and gone we like clothes and we’re not that good at designing so we’re going to do like shit tonne of collaborations and style them together and actually that’s like fucking interesting because in an age where everyone has supposedly done everything unless you take the science route in fashion that’s actually quite an interesting way to look at it to like completely flip the system of how everything is done because I think their last collection they opened um the haute couture fashion week and they did it in the middle of a department store in the middle of the day so all the shoppers were around them and they did 18 collaborations as their collection which just really worked. It looked amazing, it was cool, it wasn’t new because it just looked like Margiela but its like that’s a new and interesting take because you’ve actually stood up and gone – they’re not like bullshitting anyone. Their not trying to be like ‘we haven’t run out of ideas’ like ‘we’re not just on Instagram everyday stalking the latest it girl.’ They’ve just been like well we like Eastpak so we’re gonna do a collaboration for Eastpak for our bags and like Manolo Blahnik is a really good shoe designer so lets just get him to do our shoes cause no one else can do shoes better than him. It comes down to that thing I think of being able to admit that you’re not good at everything and I think that’s really like a healthy thing to promote.
AL it’s funny that like that honesty and rawness is more interesting than the like click bait and the…
BETTY for sure, for sure and and because they’ve done that they’ve become click bait which is also quite interesting
AL they love that
BETTY yeah for sure for sure. Like someone was telling me the other day that Lotta Volkova… their stylist, that Russian woman like 4 years ago couldn’t ever get into one show and now shes literally like getting begged to come to everything. But that’s just fashion. Like everyone pretends that they don’t care but really everyone just wants to be at the party. I’m really interested to see, I’m sure as everyone is like how its going to go now and.
AL yeah and is there longevity in the gimic? Although and I guess like they’re creating a spectacle which is really well that’s fashion – that is often the point but yeah where do you go with that?
BETTY for sure like how long is that going to last? But maybe that is the new model for fashion is just collaborative work between people …..
BETTY people want so much they won’t save. They’ll just go to zara and buy the copy because its so much easier and then in a couple of weeks they can buy the next copy or most wanted thing.
AL its just like how do you make people stop and go actually you’re hurting yourself
BETTY its so bad. Its such a bad mentality and we all do it like I complain about it but I do it.
AL but what would it take?...
BETTY well sometimes I have to calm myself down and be like no you don’t need that shit. Like you’re fine you’ve got a tonne of clothes. No one has ever been like ‘shit you’re wearing that jacket for the fifth time this week’ no one ever gives a shit and actually I think that’s what I like about men’s fashion is that men can wear the same thing repeatedly and no one will comment on it and they can have like the idea of luxury now in todays world I think exists a lot better in a men’s wardrobe just because women don’t shop like that any more even if they have a tonne of money like you go to the Kings Road and I was there quite recently after work and I went to Zara and like previously in Zara it probably wouldn’t be people dripping in designer clothes cause the people dripping in designer clothes would go somewhere else but now you get like I don’t know, stereotypically rich looking people..
AL its like people with Louis Vuitton bags and dripping in diamonds..
BETTY yeah yeah with like basketfuls of Zara shit and you’re like see not even the people who can afford the luxury in womenswear are buying it. Um where as I think men will and still do buy like I don’t know like a 200 quid coat because it will last them for ages. It will like be a classic.. I think a lot of
AL I mean you get men who will buy a 200 pound t shirt and do it because it’s so well made
BETTY yeah yeah yeah and it will last them long. I just think a lot of women don’t have that. You’ve gotta like drum it in to people more. I think otherwise the luxury industy…. I’m just gonna go to the loo… is gonna like suffer, like what’s gonna happen to it if people aren’t.. it’s like getting me depressed. Not that like everyone should be buying grand suits but they need to care about quality more like it’s really sad no one like cares about craftsmanship and quality that’s like why a lot of people go into making clothes isn’t it, it’s a skill and it’s an amazing process and if people aren’t interested any more then like what are we all doing? You know what I .. it’s like a part of me thinks that sometimes obviously people still strive…
AL Well yeah how do you make people care about the process because they obviously care about the result?
BETTY yeah yeah you care about how you look but like why would you not care about the people. No one, I think what was amazing about fashion I mean even like 10 – before the rise of social media there was such a mystery around the fashion world and I know for one that was something that like really drew me in to wanting to be a part of it. You didn’t know how this shit worked, where as now, it’s so broadcasted to us like about the process behind not even how shit is made but like just everything is so much more available to like know about the mystery of fashion is completely gone and that sort of started with bloggers. Not that I have anything against bloggers because that’s like a whole nother story but it showed you that actually it was this really accessible thing and it wasn’t as glamorous and mysterious as people made it… I forgot where I was going with this… what were you talking about… craftsmanship
AL like how the mystery is gone and its like, well now you can’t take that back now
BETTY yeah yeah yeah exactly
AL so what do we do??
BETTY and it would be amazing if – you were sort of buying into this thing that was like really glamorous… and I don’t know if people really know what that means now
AL Are people going to just keep dying in factories making clothes that we’re not even going to like in a month?
BETTY If all the designers in the world said we are not going to do these crazy collections back to back any more and we’re not going to do this and we’re not going to do that then its going to have to change because without those people then it becomes a lot harder because at the top end of the chain you have these creative people – designing what the people at the lower end of the chain are doing right because all they do is just copy not completely but the majority of what they do is just copy so if all those other people at the top stopped doing that job then the people at the bottom are fucked and then they’re going to have to make less stuff and that is basically what I think is going to have to happen but everyone is so fucking greedy and bureaucratic at the moment that is probably not going to happen soon but it would be amazing if it did and that’s why I know I keep talking about Vetement but I don’t even really like them that much but they’re relevant in that system.
AL its disruption
BETTY exactly and there are a couple of designers who have been like ‘we don’t want to do shows any more’ – I know the Royal College right they didn’t do a show?
AL yeah I mean I don’t know how to define that as a medium but yeah
BETTY it’s starting a conversation about something different and I think that’s important and its all those little things that will hopefully make a change. Yeah I don’t know.
AL No I agree. Good rant.