There were no cartwheels from Betsey Johnson for the first time in what feels like forever…because there was no catwalk. Instead, she invited a smaller crowd to "Betsey Crocker's Kitchen" in her showroom. Yes, folks, the designer who played Peter Pan for Spring reinvented herself as Julia Child. "It's a happy, eating/drinking show with hot waiter guys," Johnson said with typical zaniness.

Fashion's most playful designer (who recently sold part of her company and is working with some new people) is having a moment. A new generation, too young to have Betseyed in the nineties, much less the eighties, is discovering her charms. There were rumors aloft that she might do a collaboration with Target, and it's known for sure that she is about to debut an archive collection with Opening Ceremony (the groovy store/showroom/gallery) this fall.

Looking either like extras from a raunchy Ellen von Unwerth shoot or like Cyndi Lauper, the models wore rose prints, lace, and petticoats. Forced to think more commercially, too—as are most of her colleagues—Johnson also showed T-shirts from her soon-to-launch tee line as well as sweat suit separates. "It's artsy yet very real," she said, unsinkably, in a preshow interview. "It's a trip, trip, trip, trip." Some girls, come what may, will always just want to have fun.