Wednesday, May 13, 2009


betsey johnson sample sale

Most non-Americans are probably familiar with the American tradition of prom, as made popular by many 80's John Hughes movies and so forth. Despite being pretty much a loser in high school I still partook in the tradition and went both Junior and Senior years, with the same guy (my friend Nathan, who in typical John Hughes fashion, I of course had a crush on).

I was at a Betsey Johnson sample sale last week and picked up 3 so-called "prom dresses." I was also in the midst of many a young teenager scrambling for a $50 prom bargain. I talked about Betsey Johnson a lot in my fashion production class trying to figure out just how it was that she was able to produce such a cheaply made product (and the same one over and over season after season really) and get away with charging $455 for it (the retail price of the dress worn above). Seriously, $455 for Made in China? The fact is that her target customer, the high school prom-goer, does not know very much about clothing quality or construction and would not know the true value of her garment. Sadly, the high school girls who were not wise to the sample sale were probably picking up these dresses at the retail store for full price, feeling giddy about it only to show up at their prom looking like every single other girl. I have my love for Betsey but really wouldn't you rather wear something one of a kind?

Naturally, in high school, I did not have $455 for a Betsey prom dress nor did I probably know of a single designer to begin with; though my interest in and knowledge of vintage has come a long way since, I picked up my junior year prom dress at a cheap vintage store for what I recall was about $35. It was a 50's cotton day dress which I still own to this day and wore to work last summer. My shoes were loaners from my mom, and Nathan and I drove my 1981 Volvo to make a one and a half hour appearance at prom.

Prom 1998

Sadly, my senior year prom photo (60's mod style, pretty fucking amazing) is at my parent's house and my mom's scanner is broken, I'm bugging her to get it fixed. I'll post it on Flickr later when she gets around to it.

If I could do it all over again though, I think I would have worn something a little more evening. Like I said, my vintage knowledge was limited and I didn't really know all that much difference between a day dress and an evening dress. Since then I've collected all kinds of vintage evening wear that, since I do not have any proms left to go to, I usually just wear to the bar. Here is just a sampling of some of my favorite vintage formal wear that I have in my collection.






P.S. I wrote this entry on my brand new MACBOOK! I am so excited. It is kinda tiny (13" white one) but oh so fast. I had my Powerbook for a good 7 years. Goodbye, old friend, you served me well, but I've moved on to a younger, sexier model.

P.P.S. My lingerie line launches TOMORROW!


Anonymous said...

I want a coffee table book entitled, "The Adventures of Rachel and her Pretty Dresses."
I have a feeling your closet looks like a fairytale.

Rachel said...

It looks like... I have too many clothes.