Betsey Johnson at New York Fashion Week Spring 2014 RTW
You definitely have to give some designers points for staying true to their codes and designing whatever it is they want to make instead of just following trends. And this season at NYFW, Betsey Johnson didn’t stray from her tradition of designing layered party dresses and sexy jumpsuits in fun colors and patterns. Gone were the usual bright hues though, replaced by either black, white, or if in a pattern, a light floral or leopard. But otherwise, the line was classic BJ. My favorites were the dresses in 1950s silhouettes that were shown with matching fingerless gloves and little purses. There were also matching high top sneakers, shoes and booties.
In an interview with Style.com (where I found the photos that inspired this illustration), Johnson said she’d designed a wardrobe for any eighties-obsessed teenage girl… Everything a girl longing for Betsey Johnson twenty-five years ago could want.
And yeah, you can definitely see that vibe throughout the entire line from the prom-style dresses to the more Saved by the Bell-looking outfits like the crop top vests and matching knee-length shorts. Even the more 1950s pieces seem like they might have come from the wardrobe department from a John Hughes movie, but that’s not a complaint on my part. I’d wear ’em, though maybe not with the teased pink wigs the models wore. I’m straying from my original point though, which was just to say that Betsey Johnson is not a designer who feels the need to tone things down or incorporate whatever trend is big at the moment to appeal to a bigger audience, and that’s part of the fun.
To see more of her line from NYFW Spring Ready to Wear, head to Style.com for some runway snaps. (The photog is Umberto Fratini.) You can also see more of my Betsey-inspired illustrations from NYFW Spring 2013 here and here. This new illo is available as a print and an iPhone case here.