on betsey johnson s/s 2011

I can remember the first time I was truly blown away by a designer. I’d always loved clothes, and as a kid I was a total magpie (we’re reading kid as anything before the age of 18.) I was heavily emmersed in sub-cultures growing up. I always find it weird referring to them as that. Sub-cultures. We were mall rats. We hung around the skate park. We were a mish mash of punk-goth-hardcore and glam. I wore yellow eyeshadow, changed my hair colour every few weeks and hoarded an impressive collection of handpainted shoes and bags. Fashion had never really came in to it at that point. I mean obviously it had, but I was never fully consious of it. I was aware of designers and I was still partial to reading Vogue (inbetween my Rock Sound..and if we’re going back to goth school days…reading Kerrang while waiting for the bus)…but it wasn’t really until I went over to America that I found my designer soul mate. I was on holiday with my family. I was hot, a little bit bored and my parents were busy trying to find themselves a sweet deal on jeans. And then I saw it. All pink and green out the corner of my eye. Seriously, I honed in on it like a total creep. Next thing I knew I was inside this shop….this little tomboy with too much make up is falling in love with all these insanely coloured skirts and dresses. A little bit rockabilly, a little bit punk….and all pure fantasy. Betsey Johnson really was it for me.

As my style has evolved and I got more and more in to fashion, I found new favourites, new things to love…yet I will always have a soft spot for Betsey. She embodies for me the best of what fashion can be. This idea of escapisim. While I do love my ready to wear…I also ADORE it when something insane comes down the cat-walk. Betsey delivers what has come to be expected of her over the years, totally over the top statement pieces. And I’m okay with that. It’s nice to be able to rely on Betsy. The sun will rise and Betsy will always make something I love. It’s how it’s always been. The S/S collection is inspired by the idea of being more eco-friendly….and eco-transportation…with a helluva load of bike references through. Neon brights, bicycle helmets, a few wheels….oh yeah and Betsey riding on stage on a bike. The colours as always were insanely bright….of course I love the black piece that goes down the runway, but that’s more to do with the fact that it’s sheer than anything else, and it’s far from my favourite piece in the collection.

Although there was a strong theme of cycle wear throughout the show, it was the dresses that got me. It’s the dressed that get me every time. They are pretty much the embodiment of fairy princess dresses for me. Betsey makes me want to wear orange, and neon green…..and hell a pink glittery tutu. Sometimes I worry that maybe I am getting too old for Betsey, that her over the top girlish designs are best left to the realms of fantasy. And then I remember how I felt the first time I found a Betsey Johnson boutique….and I know I’ll never be too old for Betsey.

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