Boy, oh boy, does Betsey Johnson
know how to put on a show. Her spectacle on Valentine's Day, themed He Loves Me/He Loves Me Not, provided a much needed shot of energy midway through NYFW. The big news here was the launch of her lower-priced Pink Patch line, which is basically a reprisal of Johnson's greatest hits—full petticoated prom dresses, cabbage rose and skull-print leggings and tees, Victorian corset blazers—all priced under $100. "I've been wanting to do this forever, but I had to do it my way and not partnered with a big-box store," she said in a phone interview the day before. "It started with the airline stewardesses who would buy my bags or perfume but couldn't spend a paycheck on a dress," she continued. This means that Johnson can now take her original Black Tag label to new editorial heights, "getting crazier than my price point has permitted." So this collection was darker than usual. Beat-up, baggy leather jodhpurs and a peplum blazer with exaggerated sleeves seemed edgier than looks from recent seasons. Johnson had 50 employees and friends strut in her Pink Patch designs before she closed the show by cartwheeling down the runway and dancing with Patricia Field to Cher. If only all fashion were this fun.