Spring, summer, it’s the season of the bride. Designer Betsey Johnson’s Spring 2015 collection reminds you to be a cautious bride though, naming the collection “Pre-Nup”. The fashion show started with two dolled-up same-sexy couples in white.
What came next was a parade of alternative bridal dresses, but also lingerie, burlesque and sexy frocks that were more appropriate for the bachelorette party (and wedding night!). The models carried bouquets of flowers of all types, even faux blooms made from fabric or just a paper cut-out. There were lots and lots of tulle fabric in the form of veils and petticoats.
The make-up was very dramatic. The models sported big, smoky eyes and bright red lipstick that gave a much darker edge to the eccentric girly looks on the runway. It was as if they wanted to remind everyone that yes, they were having fun tonight playing this caricature of femininity, but don’t forget there is a real woman behind the dress who needs to be taken seriously. Perhaps that is a message that Betsey Johnson as a brand stands for. One always associates Betsey with hot pink, a female-driven brand that projects a good time. Fans turn to the label for party dresses and looks that are perfect for a wild night out, but never the office.
While Betsey is cheered during her signature cartwheel, critics have often been catty about her and her daughter’s business skills. Because they are women, are they being judged by the image versus the actual accomplishments? It is a global brand that has been around for several decades, been through major challenges and involves multiple family members.
With so many somber faces on the runway, it is so much fun to shoot this fashion show. Photographers’ line up for hours before this presentation and it is the most crowded show at Lincoln Center by a longshot. The burly male shooters who care little about designers or fashion or don’t even have women in their life are fans of this collection. Who can blame them?
Well into her 7th decade on this planet, Betsey Johnson still performed her signature cartwheel and split, but accompanied by her grandchildren. Her family joined her to take the bow. Betsey Johnson’s exit was having the big drag queen bride carry her over the threshold (or backstage). Bravo lady!
photos by Mariana Leung