With Betsey Johnson’s recent financial troubles the fate of her Spring/Summer 2011 was in question.
But rather than produce a small, modest SS11 show, Betsey went absolutely all out. From bicycles, video features, and blaring music, the show was more of a party than a proper runway show. Starting with a short movie of Betsey riding a bicycle around Lincoln Center, and later footage of Betsey and her daughter Lulu teaching Betsey’s granddaughter Layla, to ride a bike, it was the clear theme of the show. Models wore “RIDE ME” necklaces, bike hats, and bike chains as accessories.
If biking is not your scene, there were plenty of Betsey’s signature frilly dresses to hop around town in. Available in white, black, florals, and neons the array of over-the-top ensembles was just the kick that NYFW needed. In previous seasons Betsey has tried to tone down her kooky style into wearable options that never quite worked, but this season her crazy styles looked perfect coming down the runway. And for the critics who’ll say Betsey’s looks are completely unwearable for anyone over sixteen, there were plenty of looks for grown-ups.
Floral long dresses in bright colors were perfect for hot summer days, and a sheer black maxidress with tiny horizontal ruffles could be layered to create a cool look. The finale consisted of models in yellow tank dresses emblazoned with “Le Tour Betsey” and checkered flags as Betsey rode her bike down the runway. Capping it all off with her signature cartwheel, the show was a truly joyous experience.