Fashion Focus: Meet Sam Bettencourt

By Abi Brown1851 Staff

Sam 1
 Senior fashion design student, Sam Bettencourt,  works in one of the sewing studios in the Donahue Center for Creative and Applied Arts. Photo by Abi Brown.

Senior fashion design major Sam Bettencourt takes creativity to the next level. After studying abroad in London at the London College of Fashion, they realized corsets were their calling. They describe their style as “deconstructed elegance. It’s appalling but…alluring.” 

Professor of Fashion Lynn Blake said they remind her of “a young Alexander McQueen or John Galliano…by way of being razor-focused and completely dedicated to messages they sought to express.” Bettencourt was taught by designer Mr. Pearl in London. From this experience, they’re able to create pieces in such an artistic way. How do you capture your own pain and relay it to something everyone can connect to, in an alluring light?

It was in London where they met a couple of people who would later be labeled by Bettencourt as sources of inspiration and friendship. Under the wing of haute couture designer Mr. Pearl, Bettencourt was exposed to the avant-garde scene that is London. With the help of Mr. Pearl, Bettencourt near mastered their skill. Senior Brianna Serio met Bettencourt while also studying in London and said, “Sam was always in the lab very late until the next morning, working very hard, on multiple pieces at once.” 

Bettencourt did not always want to do design, in fact when applying to schools they “applied to 26 schools for music theory, and one for fashion design which was Lasell.” They love the small community at Lasell and find it a lot more fun than being at a bigger school in New York City.

For their final collection at the Senior Fashion Show that was scheduled for May 2, Bettencourt is doing something personally healing. Recently in June of 2019, their grandmother, otherwise known as the “matriarch of the family” passed away. To pay tribute to their mother-figure, Bettencourt decided on their theme: Philosophy of the Threshold. They are focusing on two aspects of the threshold, “the transformative threshold which is coming into contact with something that changes your perception of life so drastically that you become a different person afterward…and the pressure point threshold, which is basically the limit of corsetry and what a body can take,” they said. Bettencourt will present this by seeing how far they can sinch their model’s bodies to “the height of their corset experience.”

After college, Bettencourt plans to either go back to London for graduate school or take the job offer from Lasell. The job was offered by their professor and close friend, Lynn Blake. Bettencourt teaches a corset making workshop at Lasell, along with sewing construction courses, so they would continue teaching that curriculum. 

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