The Clothes: Betsey Johnson celebrated her 70th birthday by taking a trip through all the decades she’s been in business. Her 90 look fashion show (yes, NINETY looks), was divided by decade from the ’60s through today, with soundtracks to match each era from the Rolling Stones to the Beastie Boys to Nirvana to Beyoncé. Regardless of the decade it was channeling, all the looks were signature Betsey: Bright colors, a little sexy, and poufy in all the right places. Some highlights included a skin-tight leopard print look complete with matching suitcase, a model in a frilly prom dress carrying a real-live tiny pig, a blue bathing suit look complete with a rainbow trout-shaped bag and a fishing pole with a little mermaid doll attached to the end, a Minnie Mouse robe set, and the “Guys Heart BJ” tanks the models wore out in a stampede as Betsey took her bow and did her signature cartwheel. The most wearable looks were in the 90s section–a yellow faux fur coat paired with a grey floral slip dress was perfectly Courtney Love, and perfect for a girl today.
The Hair & Makeup: Gato (for Maybelline)–as in “cat”–did the makeup, and the inspiration was “pin-ups and superheroes.” In Betsey Johnson world that means yellow eye makeup, red glittered lips, a stick-on blue jewel beauty mark, and a shit ton of mascara and falsies. Hair was crimped to within an inch of its life and it had an overall demented Cleopatra feel.
The Soundtrack: Cyndi Lauper (or, as she calls herself, “Cynd”) live! She played “True Colors” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
The Vibe: A sweet sixteen birthday party meets fashion week. They served tiny bottles of mini sparkling wine with straws and Lulu, Betsey’s daughter, popped out of a birthday cake in a next-to-nothing sparkly dress. Everyone inside was a bit rotten from having to wait so long to get in, but I think the vino helped cheer everyone quick.
The Front Row: Rick Genest, Jill Zarin, Sky Ferreira, Charlotte Ronson, AnnaSophia Robb, Steve Madden
What Betsey Had to Say Before the Party: “I’m entering the terrified phase but I know that whatever happens is gonna be great!” The worst thing that’s ever happened during one of her shows? “I lost electricity. It went dark, and the music stopped. I came out clapping and singing some stupid song, and I’d say within 45 seconds it went on. I’m always afraid of electrical! I mean, the computers and electricity and all that matter in modern shit scares me!” (During the show, there actually was a bit of a fiasco with the speakers–poor Bets!)
Betsey also revealed that her call to die-hard fans on Facebook for their vintage Betsey pieces didn’t turn out as well as she’d hoped: “It didn’t work so good! You know, I was looking for ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and they weren’t born before the ’80s! They were all too young–wonderfully young! But I dug and I found 30 of my favorite, favorite pieces, so, it just–the stuff wasn’t old enough!”
What AnnaSophia Robb Had to Say about Growing Up on BJ: [Betsey Johnson] was always my friends and my go-to–we’d always go to to her store and try on her dresses just for fun, or for homecoming, prom. I think she’s a really good introduction to fashion for young girls because I think that she’s the first brand name that they know for party dresses and it shows that you can be fun and age-appropriate and have fun with fashion at every age.”
Celebrity We’d Most Like to See Wearing this Collection: Paris Hilton, during her comeback that we’re praying is in its opening stages.
WTF Moment: Thirty minutes before the doors were slated to open, PRs were not letting anyone in because they were over capacity. How does that happen?
Also, we overheard photog Patrick McMullan backstage telling a model with the letter ‘S’ sewn to her hotpants that she ‘had a nice S.’ “Has anyone ever told you you have a nice ‘S’?” he asked, to which she replied, “Nope you’re the first!” McMullan then told me that the definitely traumatized pig wasn’t experiencing animal abuse–”It’ll just think it’s all a bad dream!” before quickly changing his course: “Ok ok maybe it is animal abuse…” Poor li’l piggie.
Oh, and we may or may not be appearing in a segment of Betsey’s upcoming reality show. Watch this space.