September 12, 2012 New York
Those vintage numbers set the tone for Johnson's Spring collection, which, as usual, was more about promoting a confident, irreverent attitude than the clothes themselves. Models with teased-out, crimped hair hammed it up for the photo pit. Some waddled around in snorkel flippers and arm floaties, another pushed a toy stroller, and one girl even cradled a baby pig. Those antics put a quirky spin on Johnson's signature corset petticoat frocks and baby dolls. The final 30 looks (out of 90 total) belonged to a capsule of cupcake-sweet birthday "Princess" dresses. Johnson came out at the end and danced around onstage (she also did her seasonal gymnast split) to roaring applause from the crowd. The Betsey Johnson label may have filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, but at 70, the designer who built her business around flipping the bird at fashion's conventions shows no sign of slowing down.