Slow and somber ballads sung sweetly have always comforted me for some reason. Maybe its the expressing of emotion that seems so genuine that it makes me smile at the prospect of love enduring through the good and bad. Maybe it's that I was just a hopeless romantic. Or maybe it was that listening to someone else's pain forced me to face my own and then in turn helped me to heal my own. Was it community of company in my misery? The fact that I was musically connecting with someone who'd possibly gone through a similar pain like I had? It's enough to drive you insane trying to at one minute be tough and face healing and the next feel like dwelling and wallowing, unwilling and unable to go on. I guess this is one of the angst-causing instances of love and life where you don't know how or if you want to heal, you second guess, you over-think and you wonder why. Then you find that someone wants to help because they've been there, they help you stand, you get back in the race. I suspect this causes periods of light and dark with passion knocking against confusion and liberation. This was Betsey Johnson Fall 2011, a story of the light and dark of when they 'love you and when they love you not.'
Ms. Johnson obviously decided to make clothes rather than music. However, the clothing sang a song. Through layers and frills and mixing goth darkness with girlish whimsy, she told a story of survival. Almost all the models sauntered out with bottom layers of colored animal prints fitting like a sheer 'survival in the wild game of love' second skin. Structured lace-stamped bobs with bangs and dark dreamy makeup completed the tough exterior while Ms. Johnson continued to evolve her strong feline through the top layers. Full flurry skirts, vintage-esque coats, feminine blouses and romantic dresses in deep colors like navy, magenta, purple and black in bevies of floral, scores of lace, animal prints and plaids told a story of every kind of woman's plight to survive. Pretty 'he loves me, he loves me not' velvety flowers also accented tweedy textures, novelty knits, her infamous velvets and faux furs pushed the collection in a way that yelled for all women to find a commune under the Betsey Johnson umbrella where you find fun in life no matter what it hurls at you.
The traditional runway presentation ended with throngs of 'real women' (just non-models) in blond Betsey wigs strutting down the runway in her new lower priced line. It was classic Betsey Johnson-fun complete with her dancing and famed cartwheel. It told a song on 'staying strong even through the rain' and that sometimes, even if you know you'll heal well enough, maybe it's not so bad if he doesn't love you.