February 11, 2013 New York
The 70-year-old designer, currently filming a reality TV show, wasn't supposed to be at fashion week this season. But that wouldn't do. "It hit home that I wasn't showing and I got sad," she said backstage before the debut of Fall, a DJ spinning tunes behind her.
Steven Madden, Johnson's backer, must have sympathized, because the always-extravagant show went on. To introduce her new activewear collection, Johnson joined her models for a workout. Leopard-print tights served as stretch bands, Champagne bottles as dumbbells, and fuchsia yoga mats emblazoned with "BJ Kicks A" made it easy to do sit-ups on the runway.
It's never about the clothes, but in case you were curious: multiple dresses in flimsy printed fabrics will please Johnson's teenage followers, especially since they'll be more reasonably priced than her old collection. The best, done in a Clueless-style yellow and black plaid, could be worn far beyond age 19. The workout clothes—leggings and tank tops in hot pink, black, and a pastel print resembling a home-dyed Easter egg—were cute enough.
Will Johnson's latest incarnation stick? Does it really matter? It's not like she's going anywhere.