Biography

 

Bettina Maria Fahlbusch was born in 1960 in Germany. The family on her father’s side owned a textile business since 1946 that her grandmother started after the war in Berlin.

Her mother worked as assistant costumer for the German Film in Munich during the 60- ties. She learnt to knit and sew at age five and sold her first multicolored hand knit sweaters to galleries and private clients before graduating from High School. After studying Textile Design at the Kunst Akademie in Kassel, and Theater Costume at the Hochschule für Freie Kunst in Cologne for three years, she traveled  to California and fell in love with the  innovative spirit and multi-cultural diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

She enrolled at the Academy of Fashion in San Francisco, where she got introduced to the Art To Wear movement around Sandra Sakata's high fashion boutique OBIKO.

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After an internship at the San Francisco Opera Costume Shop and being assistant to various San Francisco Fashion designers - amongst those Art To Wear designer Jean Williams Cacicedo she graduated in Fashion Design in 1989 and opened her own design studio in Mill Valley, California. For seven years, Bettina participated in high-end shows such as the prestigious Philadelphia  Museum of Art Craft Show, the famous Sausalito Art Festival on the West Coast, both shows in which she won the prestigious American Award “BEST IN ART TO WEAR” in 1996. She participated for 7 years in the American Craft Council Shows in Baltimore and San Francisco, the SOFA Show in Chicago and in New York’s Fashion Week “Pacific Designer Collection Show”, as well as the Smithsonian Art & Craft Show and numerous Trunk- and Fashion Shows  throughout the United States.

In 1997, Bettina opened her own Couture Gallery COUTURISMA in Mill Valley, California, which featured her own and the work of various OBIKO and other young fashion designers from Paris, Italy and Japan. She traveled extensively  to study some of the most sublime textiles and costumes from around the world, such as Japan, the Indonesian Islands, France, Italy, Greece, South America and Morocco. Her early work has greatly been influenced by Tribal textiles and ornaments from exotic cultures as well as the Opera Costume shop, being able to study historical patterns and period styles.

In 2006 she decided to create a sub-line of Dance wear inspired by Argentinean Tango, which led her to live in Buenos Aires for 3 years to be immersed in the culture of the Tango at its birthplace, at the Rio de la Plata. Inspired by the international cultural diversity, the rich creativity of the many dancers and the dramatic history of the Tango, she found it to be an excellent platform for a romantic dramatic fantasy fashion collection. Bettina returned to Europe in 2011 to create an extensive Tango Collection which she featured in major festivals such as Berlin, Basel, Copenhagen, Vienna, Moscow, Hamburg, Wuppertal, London, Buenos Aires and others. The change from the surface oriented Art of Fashion to the three dimensional oriented Dance Wear, made her change her style extensively back to the stage. Bettina designed and co created Fashion Shows with Tango dancers in Moskow, San Francisco, Basel and Berlin between 2012 and 2014.

In the context of her atelier in Berlin she was approached in 2016 by the German costume designer Kathrin Hegedues to create 65 complete costumes for the Varietee Show ZEITREISE for TUI Cruises, an enormous volume of one of a kind pieces.

Bettina's various fashion collections exhibit a wide range from Special Occasion Dresses & Ensembles, hand knit wool sweaters, jackets, vests and coats, classic as unusual Separates to non-traditional wedding garments. Her style could best be described as innovative, classic, timeless, romantic, sexy and feminine.

Today, she primarily works with individual clients in Europe and the United States.