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Get Married in Betsey Johnson’s ‘Raggy’ Wedding Dress

Photo: Courtesy of Betsy Johnson

This project does not imply that NAACP_LDF endorses the Strategist or eBay.

This month, eBay, in partnership with the Strategist, went back to some of our favorite celebrity shoppers — including fashion designer Betsey Johnson — to ask them about things that they can live without and would be willing to sell at auction for charity. All proceeds will go to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (eBay is receiving and donating all proceeds and matching every dollar the auction earns). Click here to see all the stuff you can bid on.

In the mid-1980s, I designed three wedding dresses. But I never went into production with them; each would’ve cost about $1,500, and I never wanted any of my clothes to cost more than $1,000. I got rid of two of the dresses over the years — I gave one to my granddaughter, and I sold one at a yard sale — but I saved this one because I just loved it so much.

Johnson in her “raggy” wedding dress. Photo: Courtesy of Betsey Johnson

I like to call this dress the “raggy” wedding dress. The skirt kind of looks like a shredded rag, in a very couture way, and the gathering and pleating was done by hand — which is why it would’ve been so expensive. The entire dress is made from silk taffeta, and the bodice laces up the back like a corset. It slightly resembles the dress I wore to my own wedding and reminds me of glamorous gowns in movies from the ’30s and ’40s, especially with the included hoop skirt underneath, which I’m just crazy about. Without the hoop skirt, it’s a nice dress, but with the hoop skirt, it makes a spectacular statement.

The dress looks great with the silver sparkly shoes that come with it. They are a Betsey Johnson x Polly collaboration that we did exclusively for my stores — you couldn’t get them anywhere else. I call them “fuck me” shoes because they’re designed for ladies who have to stay on their feet and dance, but they’re the most comfortable heels on earth. I wore my own pair for years, day and night. I think Debbie Harry had a pair, too. Also included is a bouquet that I made with vintage flowers from my personal collection. I always have old screwed-up fake flowers around. While it’s far from the bouquet a bride would carry down the aisle, the arrangement is pretty fun. The dress also comes with an original signed illustration of a girl wearing it — my first piece of art ever available to the public.

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Get Married in Betsey Johnson’s ‘Raggy’ Wedding Dress