Thursday, February 17, 2011

Betsey Johnson Fall/Winter 2011

As we all know New York Fashion week has kicked off and is in full swing! So far I've seen some fabulous collections, The Blonds, Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Kors (surprisingly... I normally find his collections rather bland), Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung and the list goes on. And of course everything at fashion week is subjected to opinions.
In my opinion Betsey Johnson was the biggest failure ever.
The woman sure knows how to put on a spectacle. Her collection was appropriately shown on Valentines day and at the catwalk’s entrance, a huge illuminated sign read, “He loves me not”; notes on the seats read, “Hey Valentine!”

I'll start with the good aspects of this collection. It also stands to mention that I love Betsey Johnson, I've always been a huge fan of her work and strive to own more than a pair of Betsey socks. Now that's out of the way...

The Pink Patch line. I'm seriously incredibly excited for this, I would love one of the over sized sweaters from this. Pink Patch is her response to the trend of designers releasing "affordable" lines. Classic Betsey Johnson designs revived and all priced under $100. Refreshing considering they're actually affordable and it was done without the aid of a big box store and lot of hype *ahem * Lanvin.

Now for the bad and the ugly.
Considering the release of the Pink Patch line her regular designs for the Black Label were, well, boring. Not necessarily boring in the sense where there was nothing to see. Boring in the sense where we've seen it before. I love Betsey's quirky hippie-goth-rock-punk-sugar coated-vampire aesthetic, it's part of what's made her stand out to me. But it's getting old. Lots of plaid, animal print, and red rosettes set against black fabrics and lace, it's something we see from her every season. Not to mention with over 100 looks in this collection, it got stale fast. It's time to renew yourself Betsey, don't change but show us something different.

Next up is her choice to use "Real" people as models, a.k.a. Betsey Johnson store employees. What is the obsession with "real" models? And why are we using that word? Are models suddenly not real people? 

This annoys me to no end, as there is nothing more painful that seeing someone walk down the catwalk when they don’t have the skills and confidence of a real model. I must say that the word “real” here is being overused, so I will clarify… regardless of body type a professional model is a professional for a reason. She or he is experienced on walking the catwalk in shoes reaching incredible heights, getting changed quickly, not to mention all the photography skills a good model has. Contrary to what media has led us to believe it's not JUST a job for someone who looks pretty. So when you stick someone, pretty or not, on a runway, and they've never walked a catwalk before, it just looks bad. The job is exclusive for a reason. Maybe we should start letting "real" people fight fires, fix our cars or act in movies with no training at all? 
The employees on Betsey Johnson's catwalk just embarrassed themselves. Controversial or revolutionary or not. It was embarrassing and a terrible representation of her clothing.

It's like the beaches of Normandy out there.

I think the part that bother me the most was the hypocrisy of her high-end Black Label. The black label, in contrast, was worn by the super tall, thin and primarily Caucasian professional models. Way to send the right message. If you want to be a trend setter and set new standards for modelling, do it the right way. There are curvier, healthier models out there of all ethnicities who are trained models. Why not just hire them instead of turning your runway into a gong show?

It's okay to be any shape or size, just as long as you're not part of my main label

Boo, Betsey, you whore.
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