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Betsey Johnson

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TRUE-BLUE BETSEY

New York: Two years ago, Betsey Johnson’s F/W 08 runway show marked the label’s 30th anniversary. The designer celebrated by showing, and reissuing, a compilation of Betsey pieces throughout the years. That collection marked a turning point for the designer, when she began to pull away from the frilly prom dress designs that she had gained popularity for in recent years, and looked back to the label’s punk rock roots. It seems that she hasn’t left her archives since, with this season’s show playing out like a checklist of Betsey’s all-time favorite things. Enormous leg-of-mutton sleeves, smocked baby doll tops, corduroy corset skirts, and jersey peplum pieces rounded out a collection that the designer called “true-blue Betsey.” Also in attendance were the designer’s stand-by prints — cabbage roses, ditsy florals, simple leopard and kitschy gun motifs — that any fan of the label would recognize immediately. Use of color was surprisingly summery, with yellow, turquoise, lime, magenta, fuchsia, red, and basic black. Come September, Homecoming dress-shoppers may be disappointed, but long-term Betsey lovers will revel in the absence of the tulle crinoline dress.

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