by Angie Verhaegen
The last fashion show at Mercedes-Benz fashion week Hope and I attended was the Betsey Johnson Fall/Winter 2011 collection. The show started with exciting music and motion pictures showing the “he loves me… Icon” in yellow, slowly changing into the “he loves me not. Icon” in grey. All models had fierce eye make-up in the style of “Black Swan” and black bob hairdo’s with bangs and shades of blonde, which reminded me of graffiti art.
The collection itself was everything we were expecting it to be, coming from the extraordinary Betsey Johnson; garments with a lot of shimmer and playfulness, which distinguishes her from other designers. Vibrant colors, unconventional designs and her creative touch made this show unforgettable for me.
I love the color palette in particular: a combination of scarlet and purple with mustard colors, blacks and lots of other vivid hues. Prints she frequently used were leopard on leopard, leopard in combination with mustard polka dots, leopard in combination with blue florals, red floral prints, velvet textures and many others. I fell in love with the color combination leopard with an ice-cold shade of blue and the scarves in the form of a flower bouquet.
Betsey Johnson is a designer who built her career in fashion by following her own set of rules. She is known for her celebration of the energetic, the larger-than-life, the over the top and has been rocking the fashion industry with her unique and original designs since the 1960’s. Committed to remain true to her personal vision has been the key to her success in an industry known for its inconsistency.
Betsey Johnson, both the woman and the label, is constantly moving forward and continues to keep a strong foothold in the fashion industry with no signs of letting up anytime soon. Her love of detail and design is evident in everything she does in life and in business. Her enthusiasm, creativity and boundless talent that have kept her at the forefront of fashion for the past 45 years will keep Betsey going for years to come. (source – the Betsey Johnson website)
“Making clothes involves what I like & color, pattern, shape and movement & I like the everyday process & the people, the pressure, the surprise of seeing the work come alive walking and dancing around on strangers. Like red lipstick on the mouth, my products wake up and brighten and bring the wearer to life & drawing attention to her beauty and specialness & her moods and movements & her dreams and fantasies.” – Betsey Johnson
If the collection wasn’t special enough for you (I seriously doubt that that’s even possible), than the show probably was. Coming out in the second part was an enormous group of Betsey Johnson-imitators, consisting of all kinds of people: thin, tall, big, pregnant, short, women, men, black, white, etc. all wearing a wig in the style of Betsey Johnson’s hair.
Next up was the real Betsey Johnson, dressed in a black (faux) fur coat, covering up her hair under a black wig in the same style as the first models. Betsey Johnson came onto the stage while she was dancing to the music, going towards several people at front row and ending with a cartwheel.
If you think that was it, then you are wrong; next up was a queue of super long legged models wearing short shorts, a plain white tee with a typical Betsey Johnson print holding a gigantic flower in their hands.
If you think that was it… then you’re probably right, but Hope and I stayed a bit longer until the biggest crowd had left, hoping to find some treasure. At the point when we wanted to leave there were several smaller Betsey Johnson gift bags left behind and I managed to fetch us two of them. The gift bags contained some Betsey Johnson brochures, a Redken fashion work 12 hairspray, a Redken shine flash 02 glistening mist spray, the new diet Pepsi skinny can (available nationwide in March 2011), the Maybelline Volume Express mascara and a small bottle of Betsey Johnson perfume.
I would love to end this article and my week in New York City with this quote:
“If Betsey Johnson didn’t exist, we would have had to invent her, simply to remind ourselves that fashion can be fun. She’s the original wild child and set to paint the town pink!”
If you want to know more about Betsey Johnson, you can find everything you need to know on her website and if you are interesting to see the show we just saw, I would highly recommend clicking on this link