Betsey Johnson's Fall 2012 collection, titled Betsey Mania, was a trip to the 60's and 70's - evident in everything from the colors and silhouettes of the clothes to the music and atmosphere of the runway production. Cue the black and white footage of pre-pubescent girls screaming for the arrival of England’s greatest band. As a neon rainbow “Betsey Mania” appeared on the backdrop, “Eleanor Rigby” boomed from the speakers, and out strutted the first of three groups: Mod. All black and white with red accents, bundled up models stomped down the runway in John Lennon shades and black page boy hats with white bows accenting the back. The stand out piece amongst the array of warm and wearable jackets was an oversized black sweater with enormous white X’s that just begged to be cuddled in.
On came the 70s and with it hot pink, magenta, orange, and gold. Printed suiting, floral blouses, and sparkling minis were topped with oversized floppy hats and over the top faux fur. Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots are made for Walking” carried the models right through this decade of glamour never losing an air of Betsey’s whimsical attitude. The star of this set list was a hot pink and neon orange thigh length coat. An all-over abstract butterfly print was set off by black faux fur cuffs and collar.
Leopard prints paved the way to the third set – one that was unequivocally Betsey. Jumpsuits, gold lame party dresses (bubble skirts and tulle poodles alike), a sequin skeleton dress, and crystals galore rounded out this runway show that never lost the underlying feeling of playful fun that can be found in any Johnson collection. After wowing the crowd with her trademark cartwheel, Sgt. Betsey’s Lonely Hearts Club Band of models triumphantly returned to the stage, batons and pom-poms in hand, smiling, cheering, and leading Ms. Johnson back into Neverland. The entire performance felt as if it had been transported from another space and time – where the music is loud, clothes are bright, and people are loved. And as the models marched away, I wanted terribly to go with them.