August 11, 2022

Betsey Johnson may have gotten her start in fashion 50 years ago, but her “pretty n’ punk” designs feel fresher than ever today — thanks to the return of Y2K style trends, pop-punk tunes and one teen superstar: Olivia Rodrigo.

The “Drivers License” singer, 19, has sported multiple looks by 79-year-old Johnson on her “Sour” tour in recent months, from slinky slip dresses to tutus.

And on the Met Gala 2022 red carpet, she adorned her hair with sparkling butterfly clips, a collaboration between Johnson and hair accessory aficionado Jennifer Behr.

By putting her own spin on Johnson’s vintage creations, Rodrigo’s introduced the vibrant octogenarian’s designs to a whole new generation.

“I’m in awe every day to see there is still such a love for the work I’ve done,” Johnson tells Page Six Style exclusively. “I never thought in a million years that my designs from the ’90s would be so popular 20 years later. And worn by some of the most stylish girls on the planet!”

Added the designer, “My ‘pretty n’ punk’ motto was never a trend — it’s a mindset, and it’s incredible that it still resonates.”

Olivia Rodrigo at Sour Prom
“Girls have always loved wearing my dresses for prom. For Olivia to wear this to her ‘Sour Prom’ party felt like the beginning of a new era, because she introduced my brand to a new generation,” Johnson tells us.
oliviarodrigo/Instagram

Rodrigo first started stepping out in Johnson’s dresses after the star’s stylists, Chloe and Chenelle Delgadillo, reached out to borrow some archival styles. As the relationship grew — “Chenelle even shopped in my own closet!” Johnson says — Rodrigo attended her “Sour Prom” premiere party in a pink printed slip dress.

“I’m always so honored when she chooses one of my vintage pieces to wear because the way she wears them is exactly how they were designed — to make them your own,” Johnson says.

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“You can see this is her true style, the way she mixes a feminine slip dress with punk boots. I hope that young girls always find the freedom to dress for themselves and not for anyone else.”

Olivia Rodrigo at the 2022 Met Gala
Betsey Johnson teamed up with Jennifer Behr to create these butterfly hair clips for Rodrigo’s 2022 Met Gala look.
Getty Images

At the Met, Rodrigo accessorized her lilac metal mesh Versace dress with the aforementioned winged clips — now available to shop for between $75 and $175 — which were inspired by ones seen in Johnson’s spring 1997 runway show.

“Butterflies have always been a major inspiration to me when it comes to design for my prints and accessories. I handmade those specifically for the show, but they were so delicate they didn’t survive in my archives,” Johnson explains.

Johnson and Behr’s teams “worked around the clock” to create the accessories, which marked the fashion designer’s first-ever presence at the Met Gala — and we suspect it won’t be her last.

Below, Johnson shares her thoughts on some of Rodrigo’s recent looks.

Tulle time

“Love how they styled this prom dress! It IS ‘pretty n’ punk.’ There’s nothing more punk — and Betsey! — than tulle, with fishnets and a lace-up boot.”

Bows and boots

“It’s giving me Courtney Love and I love it!”

Meshing around

Olivia Rodrigo black dress
BlayzenPhotos / BACKGRID

“This look is from my spring 1998 runway show. Again, the styling is impeccable, pairing such a pretty dress with that shoe… Olivia just gets it! I love this look!”