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04 September 2003
Betty Jackson - the Bacup girl done good

by Katie Grimshaw

Betty Jackson
Betty Jackson

Betty Jackson was born in Bacup in 1949 and since then has gone on to become an internationally renowned fashion designer. We take a look at the designer who's brought the femininity back into fashion.


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Betty Jackson
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Betty Jackson was appointed Professor at the Royal College of Art in 1999.

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Bacup born Betty Jackson is one of Britain's best known designers both in this country and internationally.After studying for a degree in fashion and textiles at Birmingham College of Art her career went from strength to strength.

Backless dress
A slinky backless number

In 1975 she started work as the chief designer at the fashion collective Quorum alongside design legends Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell.

Jackson eventually branched out and launched her own collection in 1981, with her husband and business partner David Cohen. Just four years later she had been given the prestigious title of British Designer of the Year.

In 1987 her contribution to the fashion world was recognised again when she was rewarded with an MBE.

She might be a Lancashire lass but there's no sign of flat caps in Betty Jackson's collections. Her designs ooze feminity and over the years she has continued to produce designs which mix style with high fashion. Her clothes are renowned for being flattering and wearable. Not just made for the six foot girls that model them Betty Jackson clothes are said to 'liberate the female form'.

Floaty dress
Floaty dress from Betty's 2003 collection

In the year 2000 Jackson's designs became even more accessible when she was selected by Marks and Spencer to design their 'Autograph' collection.

Each year Jackson creates two main collections which are previewed on the catwalk at London Fashion Week. Each outfit is complemented by a range of accessories.

Jackson also has two diffusion ranges 'BJ Accessories' and 'BJ Knits'. These collections include knitwear line, mail order capsule collection of clothes, accessories and home wear.

Today you will find Betty Jackson clothes everywhere from designer outlets in London to as far afield as Japan. Not bad for a Lancashire lass eh!

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