Rachel Antonoff's Betty and Veronica Collection as Cheeky as the Comic Strip
Some collaborations just feel right — and this is one of them.
Not every fashion collaboration feels right, but Rachel Antonoff's Betty and Veronica collection, presented Tuesday evening during New York Fashion Week, does.
Antonoff's presentation, which featured a scripted performance written by Lena Dunham and music curated by brother Jack Antonoff, showed the comic book-inspired looks that reflect her quirky sensibility. There was a pink cheeky one-piece bathing suit that featured the expression "AAH-OOOGA!" (seen on Wilhelmina model Barbie Ferreira); a black sweater printed with the phrase, "Lover? Pah! That Red-Headed Rat Fink? No Way," that was paired with a sequined pink skirt that featured just as many onomatopoeias (worn by Arrested Development alum Alia Shawkat); and Betty and Veronica prints splashed on sweaters and bathing suits.
"We wanted to do a combination of things that very clearly reflected these characters and then also things that the characters themselves would wear," Antonoff explained post-show of modernizing the fashions of the comic book series first published in 1950.
"The themes were really important to us because we're a very print-driven brand, so we really want to re-shift the narrative a little bit, where instead of two girls fighting over a boy, it's two people who are friends that support each other and like each other, which, if you look back through the comics, they often put the other one first before Archie," she said.
The idea for the cartoon collection came together after Antonoff received a LinkedIn message from Archie Comics, asking if she'd be interested in collaborating on a fashion project.
"Before that I'd get a lot of LinkedIn emails and I'd be like, 'How do I unsubscribe for the love of God!,' and I remember I was in a diner getting my coffee for work, which I'm always late for, so I was like, 'Ugh, LinkedIn,' but then I saw something about Betty and Veronica," Antonoff told Pret-a-Reporter. "I remember reading and thinking, 'This can't be legitimate,' surely this is someone who isn't affiliated with the company, and then it became apparent that it was legitimate."
Not only is Antonoff the ideal candidate for the job, unabashedly using bright colors and loud prints with her creations, but she's a genuine fan of the comics. "I still have my copies," shared the designer. "Back in the day, I had 10, but I don't know where the rest of them went. I remember I had a lot and now I've got more."
First unveiled at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, the collection is timed to the debut of Riverdale, a series from producer Greg Berlanti that takes on Archie Comics characters, premiering midseason on The CW.
The collection, priced between $78 to $389, will be available this fall online and select retailers that have yet to be announced. As Betty and Veronica would say, "AAH-OOOGA!"