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Betsey JohnsonFall Winter 2014 New York

Runway Review
2/12/2014 Natalie Cantell

If you were looking for a somber, earnest runway show attended exclusively by unimpressed faces, then you were in the wrong place. Betsey Johnson’s continual refusal to do anything other than have fun at fashion week is always met with mixed reviews, but it has to be said: there is something undeniably contagious about that unashamed exuberance and childlike determination to have a damn good time.

In a space at the Lincoln Center where solemn models had been on rotation all week, Betsey’s girls strutted the runway like it was 1979 and they were about to hit the last disco - or possibly work the corner near the disco. The theme was HOT and as well as shirtless firefighters, it meant the type of get-up teenage girls aren't allowed to leave the house in; cheeky hot pants, crotch-grazing hemlines, brightly colored thigh-high boots jacked up on both stiletto heels and platform soles, a gold lamé mini-dress with cut-outs reminiscent of Julia Roberts in the first half of Pretty Woman.

Obvious hair extensions made up for what skirts lacked in length, and there was no shortage of all Johnson's usual calling cards: hot pink, sequins, patent leather and faux fur in every species imaginable. Handbags were big enough to carry, well, everything a certain type of lady might need for the evening. The styling didn’t miss an OTT beat, as push-up bras peeked over low-cut tops and Rollergirl-esqe socks were donned over distressed fishnet stockings. The hair & make-up team had a field day: blue manicures with gold foil nail art, huge fake eye-lashes and barrel-curled hair that was more B&T than Victoria’s Secret.

It was all received in just the spirit with which it was intended thanks to a knowing crowd and a line-up of gorgeous models who were in on the fun. And don’t be mistaken, there were salvageable pieces amongst the trashed-up madness: multiple faux furs in hot coral, bone and purple, her faux croc bags, not to mention the thick gold chains worn throughout.

It might not have been a moment in fashion to go down in history, but it was never meant to be. This was a celebration of what makes Johnson the legend she is at 71, still clashing and cartwheeling down the runway at every one of her shows. As cute as those little girls were, it has to be said: Betsey still does the spilts better than her grandkids - and she does it in animal-print wedge heels.

View Runway
2/12/2014 Natalie Cantell

If you were looking for a somber, earnest runway show attended exclusively by unimpressed faces, then you were in the wrong place. Betsey Johnson’s continual refusal to do anything other than have fun at fashion week is always met with mixed reviews, but it has to be said: there is something undeniably contagious about that unashamed exuberance and childlike determination to have a damn good time.

In a space at the Lincoln Center where solemn models had been on rotation all week, Betsey’s girls strutted the runway like it was 1979 and they were about to hit the last disco - or possibly work the corner near the disco. The theme was HOT and as well as shirtless firefighters, it meant the type of get-up teenage girls aren't allowed to leave the house in; cheeky hot pants, crotch-grazing hemlines, brightly colored thigh-high boots jacked up on both stiletto heels and platform soles, a gold lamé mini-dress with cut-outs reminiscent of Julia Roberts in the first half of Pretty Woman.

Obvious hair extensions made up for what skirts lacked in length, and there was no shortage of all Johnson's usual calling cards: hot pink, sequins, patent leather and faux fur in every species imaginable. Handbags were big enough to carry, well, everything a certain type of lady might need for the evening. The styling didn’t miss an OTT beat, as push-up bras peeked over low-cut tops and Rollergirl-esqe socks were donned over distressed fishnet stockings. The hair & make-up team had a field day: blue manicures with gold foil nail art, huge fake eye-lashes and barrel-curled hair that was more B&T than Victoria’s Secret.

It was all received in just the spirit with which it was intended thanks to a knowing crowd and a line-up of gorgeous models who were in on the fun. And don’t be mistaken, there were salvageable pieces amongst the trashed-up madness: multiple faux furs in hot coral, bone and purple, her faux croc bags, not to mention the thick gold chains worn throughout.

It might not have been a moment in fashion to go down in history, but it was never meant to be. This was a celebration of what makes Johnson the legend she is at 71, still clashing and cartwheeling down the runway at every one of her shows. As cute as those little girls were, it has to be said: Betsey still does the spilts better than her grandkids - and she does it in animal-print wedge heels.


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