Her over-embellished and extravagant style may not appeal to everyone, but we always look forward to Betsey Johnson’s fashion shows, since they are so blinding bright, unique and filled with lots of joy. This year the 73-year-old designer celebrates her 50 years in the industry and she did throw a big bash unveiling the Betsey Johnson spring/summer 2016 runway show flooded with so many festive designs. There is no better way to celebrate half a decade of a considerable experience in fashion design than by looking back through the archives reviving the best and the most iconic looks. This is what Betsey did bringing back her earlier works starting with her own childhood dance costumes and ending with the freshest designs, thus showing her immense passion towards dance costumes, which have always inspired and influenced her style. As a result, her show, which was devoted to her dance teacher Ann K. Pimm (she invited the 94-year-old dance instructor to sit front row), unveiled the exact copies of her most successful creations that beautifully showed the evolvement of her talent.
It was a collection of bold and whimsical vintage designs, mostly princess dresses that you’d usually use to dress up your Barbie dolls back in your childhood. This was how the show kicked off flooding the runway with colorful tutu dresses utilizing bright shades, including fuchsias, turquoises, lilacs, soft pinks, tie-dye and rainbow motifs, as well as rich metallic touches. Tons of ruffles, frills, sequins and over-the-top embellishments enhanced the extravaganza about the pieces, which came styled with golden jewelry pieces, towering platform shoes and booties using neon colors and leopard patterns. For a moment, we were trying to find the ideal owner of these dresses and instantly recalled the eccentric style of Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus.
This range of pieces was soon followed by heavily printed and layered ‘90s-inspired looks bringing back the designer’s signature floral patterns and figure-enhancing corsets worn over the tutu dresses and the jumpsuits. Colorful socks and printed leggings were other accessories used here in line with printed elbow-length gloves and heeled shoes.
The ‘90s soon got interrupted by the rock attitude of the ‘80s and we were treated to edgier, yet more elegant outfits composed of pinstripe jumpsuits, a transparent raincoat matched with a spider-patterned red knit skirt, a black vinyl tutu dress and zebra-print colorful dresses. After the colorful ‘70s showcasing lots of crazy knitwear, of course, the most functional and easy-to-wear looks were the ones depicting the ‘60s featuring Twiggy-inspired jumpsuits and mod dresses worn with black tights, big earrings and pointy-toe metallic flats. Generally, the looks of each decade were accessorized so perfectly to completely reflect the mood and style of that particular era, and this referred to the models’ hair and makeup looks as well.
Beautiful was also the finale of the Betsey Johnson spring 2016 show, when after the array of ‘50s-inspired pretty leotards and tiny skirts inspired from dances, Johnson herself appeared at the runway looking bright as always and wearing a tank top with the American flag print that she designed back in 2001 to tribute the 9/11 victims. She was holding a bouquet of red roses that she gave to her dance instructor.
Photos courtesy of Vogue