Betsey Johnson's eccentric style was in full force at New York Fashion Week with her playful and sometimes over-the-top runway show. Think 1920s silent star Louise Brooks on acid, and that's a bit how Betsey Johnson's models looked in either their black or blonde blunt, bob-styled wigs. The styles ran the gamut from whimsical prints and flowery hippy chick dresses to loud animal prints, and poppy fabric flowers worn on one shoulder. Betsey showed two lines today at NYFW, a higher-priced line called her "Black Tag" line (worn by the models in the black wigs) and her new, lower-priced recessionista style "Pink Patch " line (worn by the models in the blonde wigs.) I'm not sure about the looks from the "Black Tag" line. These are for a woman who has a strong sense of individuality and who wants to be noticed. You won't get lost in the crowd in Betsey's "Black Tag" Purple Rain-type lacy leggings and tutu-like skirts. Of course, there were still plenty of the designer's Boho chic dresses in floral prints, which are her trademark. They look as great today as they did on Stevie Nicks back in the day.
But my favorite thing about Betsey's show was how she showed her new "Pink Patch" collection. Midway through the show, the Pink Patch models came out in blond wings. The whole tone of the show changed. They were not professional models, clearly, as they were not 5'8" and reed thin. There were women of every shape and size, and every ethnicity, looking beautiful on the runway and looking like they were having fun. Now that's something you don't often see at New York Fashion Week.
Rarer than a Loch Ness Monster sighting is a collection of smiling, curvy models on the runway at New York Fashion Week. But there they were, the Pink Patch models made up of employees from Betsey Johnson's stores and showroom in all shapes and sizes. Bravo, Betsey! I thought it was great to see how the clothes drape and move on women with curves, and even a pregnant woman. The designer's show notes called Pink Patch "affordable, accessible and true-blue Betsey." I agree, I liked the Pink Patch line better than Black Tag line and not just because it is priced under $100.00. I liked the vivid colors, the bright flowers and cute dresses. The models were also wearing the new Steve Madden/Betsey Johnson Lizzie L-Booties (priced at approximately $250.00 US) in prints and solids that matched their garments. I also liked the bright Pink Patch tote bags in bright Betsey florals.
Betsey, to use your own show Valentines' tag line, "I F'ing Love You" for putting real women on the runway in affordable fashion. I may not be bold enough to wear all those colors and styles, but I think it is great, and yes, innovative, that you let consumers and buyers see how the clothes might look on the average women. Seeing those women on the runway made me almost want to do a Betsey cartwheel! :)