It’s hard to imagine what might have happened to Betty Hobcraft‘s career if she had been named Brittany or Melissa or Amanda — what other baby girls were being named back in the late 1980s.
Luckily, her folks settled on the very retro name Betty, giving the future lingerie and loungewear designer something else in common with vintage style icons like Betty Grable, Betty Hutton and, more recently, Betty Draper.
Today, the thoroughly modern Betty H. fronts the eponymous Betty Blue’s loungewear label (named after her eyes), which is helping to stoke a revived interest in glamorous old Hollywood boudoir style.
The three-year-old UK independent had early success with its flowing ’40s-era stretch satin Nell robe and the dramatic leopard print Bettie robe named for that other famous 1950s B-girl. Those popular pieces were re-imagined in a shimmering bridal range (below) that debuted in September.
For 2015, Betty is looking even further back into the archives of fashion history with an Autumn-Winter collection that channels the elegance and opulence of Hercule Poirot and the classic mystery drama Murder on the Orient Express. As the images below show, it’s meant to trigger associations with old-world travel and luxury and it might, in fact, be the first boudoir collection inspired by Agatha Christie.
Fans will have to wait a few months for the new pieces, but retailers can get an early peek later this week when Betty Blues previews the fall collection at the Lingerie Edit in London, an industry-only showcase featuring new styles from 30 premium lingerie and swim labels.
One of those interesting facts about this admired label is its customer demo: that classic vintage styling appeals to all kinds of women, but most of Betty’s customers are in their 20s or 30s.
When we talked to Betty about that last year, she credited the Internet with giving young woman an opportunity to explore vintage style and the screen sirens who embody it. “Ten or 15 years ago my company would have taken much longer to get off the ground,” she noted.
But there’s another reason why younger women are eagerly exploring their affinity for timeless femme fatale style, she said.
“A lot of loungewear doesn’t make women feel good about their bodies,” she said. “But the styles in the 40s and 50s didn’t do that.”
Here’s a sneak peek at the Agatha and Lennox pieces from the AW15 Betty Blue’s collection as well as next season’s new pieces in the bridal range.