Tag Archives: Betsey Johnson

Fiorucci Forever

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Elio Fiorucci, the creative genius behind the Fiorucci fashion label and retail stores, died on Monday in Milan at the age of 80.

Fiorucci was the “IT” boutique that changed the way of retail for life. It was wild and crazy, full of flamboyant and provocative merchandise and zany sales people. It eventually became known as the daytime version of Studio 54.

The first time I encountered the Fiorucci experience was in 1980 with my best friend from childhood April. We had stumbled across the theater turned boutique while exploring uncharted shopping territory in Beverly Hills. Compared to the snooty, white glove shops on Rodeo Drive which offered no hope for any babysitting money purchases, Fiorucci was a dream come true for two teenage girls in search of a fix for their culture lust.

The  Beverly Theater had been transformed into a hip, avant-garde boutique bursting with loud colors, live DJ  music, and bigger-than-life displays. We had never seen anything like it in our thirteen years on this planet (and we thought we knew all things cool, after all, we were Camp Beverly Hills cultists and read Interview Magazine).  We were completely drawn into the over-the-top fantasy life of Elio Fiorucci. The brand’s logo was two angels wearing sunglasses, so we immediately coined them as ourselves. (I didn’t say we were mature.) The magic of the theater alone was enough to keep us mesmerized, but we were completely transfixed by the life-size, neon light of the two angels. Up until then, we had only been accustomed to the mundane shopping at ClothesLine (before it became ClothesTime) and the Orange Mall, so this was more than thrilling.

The store was full of leopard and animal prints, Day-Glo clothing, gold cowboy boots, books, and lots of plastic and vinyl items. They had a quirky “adult” section full of humorous little things like miniature wind-up body parts and small phallic symbols packaged in pretty boxes. (We wound up all of the little toys for shits and giggles.)

Elio had brought new blood to the shopping scene. He was the first retailer to hire a team of scouts who traveled the globe searching for new designers, new artists and new trends. Fiorucci was a haven for Pop Culture enthusiasts and icons as well as a breeding ground for upcoming talent. It’s where Betsey Johnson and Anna Sui launched some of their first designs, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf were artists in residence, Marc Jacobs said the store inspired him to become a designer, and Andy Warhol was known to frequent the shop.

Elio Fiorucci also invented the first stretch-denim jean known as The Safety Jean. By mixing Lycra into the denim he created one of fashion’s best staples. His ads were edgy and slightly naughty, leaving something to the imagination.

That day we decided to spend our hard-earned baby sitting money on matching handbags. The plastic-coated clutches were emblazoned with the iconic angel logo. We also purchased Fiorucci pins and matching heart-shaped sunglasses. (I hate to break it to you, but heart-shaped sunglasses are not a new thing.) Unfortunately, I don’t have my original pair, I literally wore them out. Ironically, Roadkill Ranch & Boutique carries them. (Inspiration delved deep.)

After our rich, cultural experience, we walked proudly down the street and had lunch at The Brown Derby (when the restaurant was still shaped like a hat). We thought we were so grown up and cool until we got reprimanded for making noisy slurping sounds with our straws inside the restaurant, but that’s another story.

R.I.P. Elio Fiorucci! I will always love you and Fiorucci forever!

The first pic is of Elio Fiorucci

The second and third pics are of their ad campaigns for the store and for Safety Jeans.

The fourth pic is of the neon masterpiece I took with my little Kodak camera and real film.

The fifth pic is of the inside of the store. It’s the only pic I could find on the internet. I regret not taking more interior shots since the store is no longer there.

The sixth  pic is of April and I in front of The Brown Derby donning our new handbags and sunglasses. I remember just as this pic was being taken, someone drove by and yelled, “Tourists!” April was ready to spout off. (How dare they call us tourists!)

The last pic I took today of my coveted clutch. I know it’s seen better days, but I still cherish it.

Photo credit: Controradio.com, Fiorucci, Julie Rasmussen.

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Take as Needed

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Betsey Johnson is so fun and creative!  I had the privilege of meeting her last year at the MAGIC Trade Show and her energy stuck with me for months. (I know I’ve posted this pic before, but you would too!)

As she prepares for the upcoming New York Fashion Week, Dr. Johnson decided to make invitations out of pill bottles. (No letter press or gold-foiled cards for this lady.) She took medicine bottles and filled them with mini-breath mints then added the information about the event on the outside label. Brilliant!

Betsey describes her collection as a “prescription for dressing.” So, it only made sense to create a doctor-ish-inspired invite.  “I have to take credit for the idea,” she said. “I think getting a bottle of pills is just funny.”

Betsey has always been known for her dramatic and over-the-top runway shows. She says that this show will express a different side of her. (Really? What side is that? People don’t change!)

“It’s more of a real fashion show than ever,” the designer explained. “And I was really scared of it being too serious, too simple, too much a fashion show and not fun.”

Dear Betsey,

I don’t think anything you do could ever be simple or boring. Please step out onto your New York balcony, take a deep breath and remind yourself who you are! You’re a world-wide cultural icon and fashion leader. Fun is your middle name and creativity runs through your  veins. I love your prescription bottles, they’re great! I think everyone should have some Betsey pills, then maybe this world would be a better place. Have an awesome, cart-wheel-filled show!

Love,

Julie Rasmussen

PS Take two and call me in the morning!

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Fall Moods

Happy Wednesday everyone! I just got back from a trip to Wine Country. My little sister got married at Trentadue Winery, so I took a few days off to enjoy family, friends and, well… wine. It was a gorgeous event and the timing was perfect. (Hence the recent lack of blogging.) And, since all the leaves are brown and the sky is gray, wait…that’s a Mamas & The Papas song. Whatever!

Needless to say, I’m back in the swing of things and ready to embrace the fall season. We have so many great things in the boutique right now, so I decided to make a slide show just for you! (Just click on the picture above.)

I hope you enjoy it and next time you decide to go for a walk on a winter’s day, stop in and see me.

OK-  I can’t stop singing, California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & The Papas, so I’ve linked it up for your listening enjoyment as well.

xo

California Dreamin’

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Betsey’s Birthday Bash

During New York’s Fashion Week, Betsey Johnson ended her Spring 2013 show with her famous cartwheel and splits. Her show was a crazy, confetti-driven, hot pink bash. With daughter Lulu jumping out a life-sized cake and Cindi Lauper’s live performance of, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, our fearless, crimped-haired, fuchsia-loving leader knows how to party!  Not only was she celebrating her 2013 spring fashion collection, but her 70th birthday as well. Yep, that’s right, 70!!!

But wait!!! There’s more!!!  The Style Network has just signed the icon and her daughter to star in their own reality show called Betsey and Lulu. The show will feature their lives in the ever-changing fashion world, and  is due to air early next spring.

Happy Birthday Betsey, you are such an inspiration!

The Roadkill Girls love you! xoxo

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Fall in Love

Fall in Love
I woke up to one of my favorite sounds, raindrops dancing on my roof top. It’s the best alarm clock and a nice reminder that  fall is finally here! I love how the leaves on the trees change colors, the summer palettes get packed a way and the autumn hues come out to play. This outfit is my inspiration for the day and sets the precedent for embracing fall. Happy Wednesday!
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Betsey Needs Us!!!

 

Betsey Johnson is on a mission to find her designs from past decades to feature in her upcoming fashion show. If you have any of her “vintage” pieces, help a girlfriend out by loaning them to her for a few. She’s offering great incentives and you could win a chance to meet the icon herself.

Here’s what she said on Facebook:

“Hey Pinkettes!!!

I’m desperately seeking my best Betsey Johnson vintage clothes from 60’s- Paraphernalia, 70’s- Alley Cat, and 80’s- Punk Label.

Enter on Facebook for a chance to win a ticket to my fashion show and my 70th birthday party. Girlfriends!!! Spread the word!”

Calling all Pinkettes!

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Shine On!

Shine On!
It’s going to be a very GLAM year! Designers everywhere are predicting “Sparkle” to be the hottest trend for fall. From sequined jackets to glimmering bags, to shiny metallics, to glittery tennis shoes, this is definitely the time to shine! Add a little twinkle to your toes or fingers with polish or accessorize with the many brilliant pieces that are available. Have fun, and shine like the star that you are!
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Yacht Club

Yacht Club
The other night I couldn’t fall asleep, I just couldn’t cast my cares away, so I began to imagine that I was on my private yacht sipping champagne. Oh, and it was a  “business” meeting (because I need more write-offs) with my favorite industry colleagues. We were brainstorming about fashion and boutique ideas. Yes, I know that I let my imagination run away with me, but we have so much fun together. Anyway, I created this outfit for the excursion. I hope you like it. Bon Voyage!
PS – Never stop dreaming!
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P’Trique Style

P’Trique  (the cross dresser with a beard)  is becoming more famous every day with his hilarious videos about fashion and beauty. And since Charlotte Free just landed a partnership with Maybelline as their new poster child, P’Trique decides to tell all. After promising Charlotte that he can keep a secret, he picks up his pink, dial phone and calls Betsey Johnson (and the rest of NYC). This video made me laugh, it’s worth the view. I hope everyone has a great and stylish day.

Oh, and a big congratulations to Charlotte Free, the Roadkill Girls love you!

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Let’s Go Shopping

I’m in a shopping mood today. Since I have to work my own boutique at 3:00, that only leaves me four  hours. I’d better get started! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Let's Go Shopping

Dorothy Perkins black top
$21 – dorothyperkins.com

Kew 159 button skirt
£39 – johnlewis.com

Red lace shoes
$50 – jildorshoes.com

Kate Spade striped handbag
$275 – nordstrom.com

Yves Saint Laurent gold plated jewelry
$295 – net-a-porter.com

Alvina Abramova dangling jewelry
$42 – maxandchloe.com

Crinkle scarve
$14 – affordablescarves.com

Gucci red shades
sunglasses-shop.co.uk

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