Betsey Johnson at New York Fashion Week

She might recently have proclaimed herself to be an “Uptown girl” no longer interested in what happens below 14th Street, but Betsey Johnson’s Monday night runway was pretty all-encompassing as her models staged a Tour de Betsey cycling tour through Manhattan. Uptown, downtown, Central Park and South Street Seaport (or was it a celebration of Fleet Week?) took to the runway in a show that proved Betsey isn’t going to let any reports of financial troubles rain on her parade.

It was not always smooth sailing as we were quickly given a lesson that stripper-heels and skateboards do not a match make, but a model tripping and losing a shoe really only added to the show’s energy. Starting in Brooklyn, models hi-fived each other and pranced down the runway holding hands as they rode skateboards, cycles and a taxi-cab to the Upper East Side where they went for a more polished museum-appropriate look, before heading across to Central Park for a celebration of all things floral.

In SoHo we took a breather at Betsey’s flagship (which turned out to not be so much of a breather after all with its plethora of ruffled panties and her signature tutu dresses), witnessed an energetic interpretation of “In the Navy” and finished up in Times Square, the only place fitting for such an abundance of puff-paint and glitter. But the real finale of a Betsey Johnson show, as any true fan knows, is not the last dress or even the final parade of models. Following a troupe of girls in yellow mini dresses and waving chequered flags, Betsey herself rode to the end of the runway on a vintage bicycle before performing her eagerly anticipated cartwheel and flopping down in mock exhaustion. Or perhaps it was real: A cartwheel may not knock the breath out of Betsey at 68, but planning one of her runway shows must take some kind of physical toll.

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*Images courtesy of www.style.com

Article by Hannah Ongley

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