05 Feb Betsey Johnson says ’80s were best fashion years
February 4, 2008 â€” The beauty of Betsey is her consistent ability to translate a very over-the-top East Coast trashy Lolita teenage aesthetic into something a little more, um, Pan-American. Maybe it’s her infectious good humor, warm-and-fuzzy crazy grandma image, or her unabashedly wild styling — we can’t help but love whatever she hurls down the runway each season.
For fall, Johnson presented the high school 60s and 70s-inspired beatnik wardrobe every girl dreamed she had — in technicolor. Suede jackets replete with fringes, embossed catsuits, elaborately trimmed faux-fur chubbies, flouncy ruffled blouses, and girly floral rompers may occasionally, in Johnson’s signature oddball color combinations, invoke patent-leather-biker-bumble-bee imagery or flashbacks to piano recital dresses from your childhood, but, for the most part, the looks came off as utterly adorable.
Front row, Tyra Banks, Russell Simmons, Reverend Run’s daughters, and MisShape Leigh Lezark sat around cafe-inspired table set-ups complete with bubble-gum “cigarettes” and ashtrays. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of her label, Johnson presented a retrospective catwalk featuring 18 of her favorite iconic pieces from past collections.
Let’s hope she reprises these pieces from her archives and puts them into production for collectors and a generation who may have missed the first go-around.