New York Fashion Week: Betsey Johnson SS16
For her 50th year in fashion, Betsey Johnson has created a collection that had more high and lows than a rollercoaster. Taking us through iconic fashion eras that should sometimes be left in the past, and for good reason.
Having six sections, the show opened with a series of 50s prom dresses in various guises. Over the knee numbers in tiered white satin, with spray painted design in neon colours, complete with a belted waist in pink leopard print and matching heeled boots, with neon pink tights and crochted pink top underneath. The opener had been an assault on the senses in traditional Betsey style.
From neon paint splats to a floral fantasy with corseted waists. Garish and almost sickly sweet day dresses with long sleeves, worn with arm warmers in contrasting colours graced the runway, and that’s where I can only see the designs working other than a Quiceanera.
Three mini collections in, and it had taken a new tone. The rocker chic had entered and her presence was more than known. Ziggy Stardust jumpsuits in monochrome with patent red pointed court shoes, 50s shiny leather dresses with matching elbow length gloves, and a black corseted day dress with sheer A-line skirt. The hero of show so far being, a red houndstooth Zoot suit style piece with black bandeau top and classic black stiletto.
The rocker era had passed by and the country bumpkin had arrived. A teapot printed blazer, black fur trimmed jackets with matching green tea-set graphics and an acid toned knitted body con dress in a Betsey Fair Isle style. Oh and did I mention the Wee Willie Winkie style nightcap in matching knitted print.
No fashion retrospective would not be complete without a nod to the swinging sixties, and once again the pantsuit of the section became the monochrome wonder. Johnson teamed horizontal and vertical stripes on a belted waist and a four-pocket jacket. The thigh skimming dresses in trippy orange, and spot print with angular cuffs and collar with white button detail, became the one of the simplest but most memorable of the collection.
Closing the show in sheer glamour was a showgirl style nine-piece collective. Mini rara skirts with white in-lays with a red sparkling crop top and cute red headwear. A delicate flower print in pastel pink print with royal blue puff sleeves, with a headdress Boo Peep would be clambering to have.
A Betsey Johnson show is always viewed from behind sunglasses, and with an element of excitement as to see what colour combinations she comes up with. This once however left viewers with a migraine. With so many fabric and colour combinations it looked like Johnson had thrown everything at the collection, and I’m sure if there was a way to wear the kitchen sink, it would have been present.
However, it screamed Betsey with it’s cute girlie styles, and copious amounts of sparkle, flowery prints and ultra feminine designs. Which brings something of a rainbow glow, to what can sometimes be a rather dark and dull New York Fashion Week.