Iconic designer Betsey Johnson isn't someone to get bogged down by a little thing called bankruptcy. True to form, the designer mounted a full-scale production Monday at her fall 2011 ready-to-wear collection despite being rescued from economic disaster by Steve Madden last September. Other designers might have presented a more sobering show, but not Betsey. She delivered exactly what we expected: campy clothes, cute gift bags and, of course, cartwheels.
The Valentine's Day-themed show kicked off with models in Louise Brooks-style wigs displaying the designer's mainstay “Black Tag” collection — Goth-meets-rockabilly designs that included a pink tulle party dress, wild leopard prints and velvety babydoll dresses layered within an inch of their lives.
This was followed by the debut of the designer’s new, under-$100, “Pink patch” line branded as “affordable, accessible and true-blue Betsey.” The signature over-the-top designs – in fluorescents, florals and plaids, mostly -- were modeled by Johnson staffers of all shapes and sizes parading in Betsey-style blunt blond wigs.
During the finale, Betsey grabbed pal Patricia Field and danced down the runway before treating the audience to her signature closing cartwheel.
To read more fall 2011 show reviews, click here.