Betsy Judd’s Collection Speaks Louder Than Words

March 24th, 2014 by Amanda Pierce
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Betsy Judd

Betsy Judd. Photo by Amanda Pierce

Betsy Judd was far from the loudest girl in the room in high school. But even though she was shy, she said her style spoke volumes.

When her Catholic high school held special dress up days, Betsy seized the opportunity to wear something other than her uniform and sported handmade skirts pieced together from old clothes her mom kept in the basement.

“That was my way to get noticed and draw attention to myself,” Betsy said.

By the time she hit 10th grade, Betsy was sewing on her own machine and adding hand embellishments to her creations—one of the trademarks of her current collection.

“It’s just something that kind of clicked for me,” she said.

In her senior collection, titled Etheral Shapeshifter, embellishments take center stage. Betsy drew inspiration from Zuhair Murad, a Lebanese designer known for his bead work, and focused on bright whites and golds (trending colors for spring 2014), and interesting textures.


Betsy used upholstery fabrics and elk hide in her collection. Photos by Amanda Pierce

Sturdy upholstery fabric and gold-leafed elk hide add an almost futuristic structure to one look—a short, flared frock adorned with gold bugle beads over a pair of barely there elk hide shorts.

True to its heavenly name, Betsy’s collection feels light and airy—an effect she said she worked hard to achieve.

“One of my strengths as a designer is creating garments that evoke feeling,” Betsy said. “My collection captures delicateness and femininity. When a girl puts on [my clothes], I want her to say, ‘this makes me feel so cute and fun!’”

Though her collection evokes positivity, Betsy said that the year-long process of designing and constructing her collection has not been without challenges. The hardest thing to swallow—criticism.

“I had one dress that I re-did probably five or six times,” Betsy said. “It’s kind of hard to stay true to yourself. Having negative feedback helped me get a thicker skin.”


Betsy’s sketchbook is full of light and airy colors and shapes. Photo by Amanda Pierce

Despite tough criticism, Betsy said working on her senior collection helped hone her interest in styling, a career path she would like to pursue after graduation.

“I would love styling for photo shoots for magazines or personal styling,” she said. “At the jury show, I almost didn’t get all my stuff out in time because I was having so much fun helping other people style their [models]!”

Buy your tickets today (before early purchase pricing ends March 31) to see Betsy’s collection (including a fabulous Cleopatra-inspired neck piece that’s still in the works) on May 9.

Betsy is from Loveland, OH, and attended Mount Notre Dame High School.

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The CCAD Fashion Show is an annual fundraising event that showcases the talent of graduating Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design Seniors. This popular event sells out every year and this blog is a portal through which to view the behind-the-scenes goings on.

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