Betsey Johnson’s vivid imagination and girl-power enthusiasm has always been boundless, but never was it more prevalent than at her retrospective-cum-spring-show-cum-70th birthday party Tuesday night.
Her longtime friend Cyndi Lauper kicked things off singing “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” to the packed house, followed by a veritable catwalk down memory lane. Out came Johnson’s groovy miniskirt suit in mustard-yellow corduroy from the Sixties; a red-and-black checked power suit worn with fingerless lace gloves from the Eighties, and a grunge-worthy chenille bathrobe coat and floral slipdress from the Nineties that were pure Kurt-and-Courtney cool. There were sock hoppers in frothy frocks tossing glitter, hip-hop hotties flinging ghetto gold into the crowd and chola girls pouting with burgundy red lips — not to mention a couple of scuba chicks in Neoprene dresses, replete with matching flippers and snorkels, blowing kisses as they waddled to and fro. Somewhere in there was the new spring collection.
The spectacle was topped off with a spangled Lulu Johnson popping out of a six-foot-high birthday cake to cheer her mom on as she performed her long-standing traditional cartwheel. But the fun was far from over then. “I was the last one to leave at 7 a.m. this morning,” Johnson told WWD on Wednesday. “Not until the last dress was back safe and sound. There’s no topping that party.”