NYFW S/S 2011 :: Betsey Johnson

A few looks from Betsey Johnson's Spring collection.

Betsey Johnson can be characterized in many ways, but certainly not by her subtlety. This boldness leaves a unique trademark on everything she touches, and ultimately is what makes her so memorable as a designer. The theme of her new collection, cycling, is made quite clear by the prominent, silver “RIDE ME” necklaces adorning all of the models. Known for her bold and eclectic style, Ms. Johnson strikes gold again on two wheels. Accompanying all of her characteristic bright colors and prints are biking accessories, overly teased hair in odd styles, and day-glo makeup.

The collection begins with several bicycle inspired and heavily patterned ensembles that have a distinct Betsey Johnson flavor. After about ten more outlandish and odd designs, the show shifts to black and white attire. One of the designer’s skills is clearly blending offbeat with chic, as seen by the effortless transition between outfits. Maintaining wildly styled hair and sweatbands, models rock an array of black and white formal dresses and rompers accompanied by either strappy black or spectator-style heels. Rompers seem to be a common thread throughout all of the patterns and styles in the collection; they appear in a variety of colors and shapes.

I spy a bubble skirt, a couple of sailors, and a neon queen. All images courtesy of Style.com.

Surprisingly following the black and white segment, there are a number of long and flowing floral dresses. Very different from the atypical Betsey ensemble, these dresses are floor-length, delicate, and very feminine. Accompanying the longer dresses reflective of spring come a few shorter ones in pale shades, many bubbling out at the bottom. Despite branching out from her typical style with the floor length dresses, Johnson brings the funk back to floral with the shorter designs.

Towards the conclusion of the collection, several nautical themed outfits appear. Replacing sweatbands and biking caps with sailor hats and gold whistles, we see an assortment of dresses, pant suits, and rompers all themed in the Americana red, white and blue. Similar to the short, floral dresses, she expertly makes the nautical segment chic, but unique. Coming full circle, Ms. Johnson ends the collection with a selection of bright, multi-layered formal dresses splattered with paint. Ending in this fashion ties together the boldness she’s so popular for with the new femininity of the floral prints. Despite a flat tire or two along the way, her unique spring collection keeps us riding back.

Kelsey Bucsko
BARE Reporter

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