Beti Bones: Hand-Painted Lingerie with Attitude
It happened late one summer night
She met a drifter with demon’s eyes
The young and pretty, Betty Jones*
Those are just the opening lyrics of Betty Bones by punk rock band Hellcat and the Prowl. Let’s just say that it doesn’t end well for Betty.
He took her out behind the alley
Carved away all of her beauty
Now they call her Betty Bones
He took her flesh but he left her alive
Cut her tongue and a pretty green eye
No one was around to hear her cries
In the night, oh she cried
Gruesome, right? But as with horror genre, while the macabre arouses fear, there is also something comical about the improbability of such exaggerated, spine-chilling acts. At least it is for Bulgarian designer, Izabela Tserovska, whose nickname is also Beti. So entwined, in fact, is Beti with Betty that at nineteen years old, Beti got a sizeable tatoo on her her upper torso of the cover art of the band, Hellcat and the Prowl.
Luckily, designer Beti Bones has had a more fortunate destiny.
Most designers credit the awards they win as a pivotal point in their careers, but for Izabela Tserovska, a.k.a. Beti Bones, it was defeat that launched hers. As a talented student at the prestigious National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria, Izabela’s design did not win a notable award because the illustration was so intricate and imposing and the jury remarked that it was impossible to make out the design.
So what did Izabela do? The opposite of what you might expect. Instead of eliminating or scaling back her illustrations, she combined her love of sewing and painting to launch Beti Bones and began creating hand-crafted pieces favored by an eclectic clientele seeking unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.
The Lingerie Journal had a chance to chat with Izabela Tserovska in her studio in Sofia, Bulgaria, and here is what she shared about creativity, inspiration, and behind-the-scenes of this atypical lingerie brand.
What initially attracted you to lingerie as a medium?
The thing that attracted me the most was the opportunity to create and provide comfort to clients as well as help them love their bodies more and express themselves through the lingerie.
What was your route to becoming a designer?
I have been drawing since I was about ten or eleven years old. My grandmother taught me how to sew and I completed a B.A. at the National Academy of the Arts, in Sofia, Bulgaria. At the Academy I focused on making prêt à porter, not lingerie. In Bulgaria, there aren’t many resources available to learn how to make lingerie, so I read a lot of pattern books and took classes in places like the London Fashion School, which specialize in lingerie.
What is the most challenging part of the design process?
Pattern making is hard for me. I know how I want it to look, but the math doesn’t come easily so I have a friend who helps me get my ideas into pattern form.
What is the most rewarding part of designing?
Seeing an idea transform into a piece of lingerie on a model in a photo shoot is exhilarating. Even if what I imagined turns out much differently from the end product, the process is such that the product is exactly what it should be.
What words come to mind when you think of Beti Bones?
What makes Beti Bones special?
The hand-painted design. While every drawing is similar, no two clients will ever have exactly the same piece. I use a mix of textile and acrylic paints, which gives the garments a printed artistic feel to them.
Describe the first time you made a panty and realized that you wanted to paint it.
The first time I made hand-painted panties was when I realised that I couldn’t find a fun yet sexy design on a fabric that I liked. I had been working with textile paints and decided to try and paint on the panties. I painted a muffin with a cherry on top. It was really cute, I loved it! I uploaded it to my Facebook page and people loved it too.
You have an Etsy store. How does that work for you and do you sell anywhere else?
Etsy is an excellent platform for Beti Bones. I am in constant contact with the consumer, which I like a lot. I also sell on Asos, and in Paradise and Notos, the two most reputable department stores in Sofia, Bulgaria.
What currently inspires you?
At the moment what inspires me the most are life forms and natural colors and tones.
What advice would you give to an aspiring lingerie designer?
My advice is, « Do what inspires you and create what you would like to wear and makes you feel beautiful. »
Where do you see Beti Bones in five years?
To see Beti Bones grow internationally and I would love to open my own store.
Learn more about Beti Bones Lingerie
YouTube Betty Bones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqXlTA-T7go
*Lyrics © Jen «Hellcat » Blackwood