- Edited by Vivian Kelly
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Friday, October 1, 2010
The Betsey Johnson s/s2011 Collection
TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
3D is de rigueur now since Alice in Wonderland hit the theaters earlier this year as is live streaming your show on your website as Marc Jacobs and Betsey Johnson did. So is showing a film pre-show as at Daniel Vosovic, Elena Cassis, and most controversially, Gareth Pugh’s 11+ minute films in Paris. Mr. Pugh’s film
was futuristic, black and white and a bit on the dark side, dredging back memories of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Betsey’s film, Le Tour de Betsey [about the same length] was on the other hand, a study in happiness and feeling good. For her s/s2011 show, she took all 850 of us stuffed into the big Tent at Lincoln Center on a bike tour of NYC, starting off at Lincoln Center and taking us East, West, Uptown, Downtown, and through the boroughs. Letting myself relax into my seat, I decided to go along for the ride. How can you not? A Betsey show is contagious, a feel-good fete, if you will. I felt the vibration of the bike wheels on the City's potholes as we passed classic New York landmarks such as the MET, with models attired in neighborhood appropriate clothes. There were skateboarders, uptown debs and floral dresses galore. No matter what they were wearing, everyone in the film and on the runway, and in the audience were having fun in the park with Betsey, Lulu and Betsey's granddaughters. Being a Betsey girl gives you license to put on that aqua eye shadow with the bright red lips, bicycle chain and huge diamond paste necklaces that Marie Antoinette might have commissioned from her favorite jeweler - with real diamonds, of course.
Was it fashion? The answer is, it's colorful, whacky and there's lots of spandex,
and it's pure Betsey style. I chatted with Miss USA [see video] pre-show, and she loved the pink ballerina style gown Betsey made just for her, to wear to the show.
The company may be deeply awash in red ink, if reports are to be believed, but Betsey’s putting on a brave face and celebrating life just the same, refusing to sink into the doldrums. Maybe that’s the best attitude the rest of us can take when it comes to dealing with this deep recession we’re in. One good way to banish the blues is to put on one of Betsey’s colorful frocks, apply some eye shadow in a color you normally wouldn’t dare wear, and go out for a bike ride, leaving it all behind for a few hours. Why NOT wear the big poufy gauze poodle dresses and wrist corsages, even if it's not prom?