Betsey Johnson is a grandma. Grandbaby Layla was the cutest thing at the show, and for a debt-ridden designer, that’s not what you want the audience to think. Video of her real-life dress-up doll rolled during the show’s finale, commanding oooos and ahhs from the girly-girl spectators. But while kids are oh-so cute, did we really want Johnson to fashion her entire line after a Pretty Pretty Princess board game?
OK, so Johnson’s playful, 13-going-on-68 vibe makes her popular among sorority girls and delusional divorcees. It’s hard not to love her cartwheelin’ spunk. But this season, her collection was less Lolita and more drag queen at 6. Models donned tawdry tiaras and funky, my-mother-neglects-me hair that seemed styled by precious Layla herself. Even Betsey lovers may have felt left out, as feminine whimsy was replaced with “Ride Me” biker bling. The leather and lace rocker-chic vibe missed its mark, evoking memories of tweenie small town mallrats subverting authority at the local Hot Topic.
But even if you hated the biker-turned-sailor-turned-Rapunzel-Barbie-on-acid show, it was a star-studded soiree that made for a bizarre, and sort of refreshing time warp. Instead of barely legal teens vamped up like Harrah’s showgirls, Betsey’s show featured older devotees donning sequins and lace and frilly things fit for a first kiss at Rydell High.
We conducted a rather boring interview with one 39-year-old Denise Richards as she sucked on a strawberry lollipop.
» EXPRESS: Are you wearing Betsey tonight?
» DENISE: I am.
» EXPRESS: Are you excited about the show?
» DENISE: I am. I love her stuff. I’ve been a fan for a really long time and she’ll put on a show, which is nice.
» EXPRESS: How would you describe your style?
» DENISE: My style varies depending on what I’m doing. If I’m with the kids I dress for comfort. If I go to an event, I love to get dressed up. Just because something’s in style doesn’t mean it looks good on you, I’ve learned.
» EXPRESS: I saw you at Vivienne Tam. What did you think of her collection?
» DENISE: I loved her collection. It was very soft and flowy and feminine. It was really pretty.
» EXPRESS: What is your favorite collection you’ve seen this week?
» DENISE: I like something with each designer. That’s make makes it so unique and special. Everyone’s very different. I just love every single show.
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images