This season’s Betsey Johnson collection took place in two acts: the designer’s signature pieces that went under the header Black Tag followed by a line-up of new affordable true-blue Betsey Pink Patch collection. In a fun twist, the Black Tag pieces were worn by models and the Pink Patch pieces were modeled by Betsey Johnson employees (everyone from a store manager to a print designer), decked out in Betsey Johnson-inspired wigs and makeup. All those that took to the runway sported specially created Lizzy-L booties, which came in various color-ways and are now available for a limited time on Steve Madden’s website for $250.
While the collection did feel a bit repetitive given that there were nearly 100 looks in the line-up, there’s no denying the appeal of the designer’s quirky hippie-come-goth-come-rock-come-punk-come-vampire aesthetic – think lots of plaid, animal print, and red rosettes set against black fabrics and lace. When Butter creative director Nonie Creme, who was responsible for the nail look at the show, told me that she thought Betsey went in an old school Christian Lacroix direction this season, she was right on, but the Lacroix feel was decidedly more psychedelic with pops of Moschino-like cheekiness.
It’s refreshing to see that the designer has launched an affordable line that, unlike so many other mid to high end designer lines, is actually affordable. Nothing in the print-heavy Pink Patch line will retail for over $100, and it includes playful day dresses, mini-skirts, leggings, jackets, pants, tutus, tank tops, T-shirts, evening dresses, and sweaters all done-up in signature Betsey-style (think bright colors, eye-catching prints, and lots of frilly prom queen-meets-drag queen details). The patterns the designer showed this season included rose, paper doll, skull, and caricature ones, and judging from the roaring applause at the show and how much fun the Betsey employees seemed to be having in the new fashions, Betsey Johnson fans will be all over this collection come Fall 2011.
Photos: Vincenzo Grillo, IMAXtree.