Dressing Up Ugly Betty

Ugly Betty has gone into fashion overdrive—campy clothes haven’t been so integral to characterization since the Sex and The City ladies ruled the fictional New York streets. In fact, the fashionable force behind this transition is Patricia Fields, the indomitable stylist behind SATC, The Devil Wears Prada and this year’s must-see film, He’s Just Not That Into You. On top of it all, she’s now earned an enviable fashion following for the beloved ABC comedy.

Although slow out of the gate, Ugly Betty has quickly proven itself to be a threat to fashion favorites such as Gossip Girl, Project Runway and, yes, even tween must-see The Hills, by literally dressing for success. Within a single season, Fields has transformed Betty‘s previously uninspired cast into a fashion forward group fit for the show’s fictional world of Mode fashion and editorial.

Despite having the latest George Nelson, Frank Gehry and Jonathan Adler designs about the office (we particularly loved the white horse statue popping up on Daniel’s desk), the halls of Mode are accessorized by none other than the assistant’s themselves. Marc’s Valentino shirts and fresh bow ties are seen in most episodes, while Amanda’s on trend get-ups of Mickey Mouse t-shirts and sexy leather pants are enough to satiate any style loving viewer’s appetite. A JCR favorite, Wilhelmina’s OTT glam has been vamped up a notch as Fields selects such luxe brands as Oscar de la Renta and Versace for the editrix. A YSL dress, Chanel stoll and the hottest Manolo’s make up just one of her high-power feline suits.

Though everyone knows Betty isn’t ugly on the inside, this season’s hit surprise is that her clothing choices aren’t so bad either. In a single episode, she sported in an Anna Sui top, J. Crew pumps, a Prada jacket and an Alice + Olivia skirt, all accessorized with those signature baubles and bright braces. While Betty’s exaggerated look is certainly no Carrie Bradshaw ensemble, her mishmash of high-end designer names, wild prints, oversized bows and larger than life bangs speaks to the current trends sweeping through the world of fashion. Each of Betty’s outfits is perfectly exaggerated, yet rooted in relevant aesthetics.

With Fields holding the reins to Mode‘s fashion closet and top names such as Vera Wang, Dean and Dan Caten and Victoria Beckham already making appearances, we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on this ensemble—-will you?

To watch full episodes, go to www.abc.go.com.

—Kyle Landman

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