A little bubblegum, a little bondage, a lot of cheerfully trashy clothes—yes, Betsey Johnson is back. After an extended break following her 60th birthday last summer, the designer has banished all thoughts of retirement and instead redoubled her efforts, launching a new line called Betseyville.
Johnson recently bought a vacation house in Mexico, and fiesta is clearly on her mind. She opened the show by sending out a group of twirling models wearing sweeping tiered skirts and tiny tourist T-shirts, and she followed these with another 80 or so outfits that ranged from biker looks to first-communion dresses. Showing women's and men's wear and both her lines (Betseyville is primarily denims and T-shirts) in a color palette that could only be described as kaleidoscopic, Johnson offered up something for good-humored consumers of every stripe. Granted, not every girl will be able to wear the bikini top no bigger than a headband, or the teeny denim minis, but a flowery crocheted sweater or a floaty chiffon dress will certainly bring a breath of fresh air to a moribund closet. Among the best pieces: crocheted sweaters, skinny cigarette jeans, chevron-striped sweater dresses and the aforementioned chiffons.