A sneak peek at the look book--which features models with pastel-dyed poodles!--promises all the best retro silhouettes in throwback prints and fabrics. I'm completely beside myself like any not-quite-mainstream girl who came of age in the nineties; I've had a few Betsey Johnson Moments myself.
Bless my mom for having the foresight to take me shopping at the Betsey Johnson store on Columbus Avenue in New York City when I was twelve years old and in need of a Bat Mitzvah outfit. She knew then, as moms do, that the schmaltzy Jessica McClintock road was not the one I'd travel, and that this would inevitably be only the first in several Important Betsey Johnson Dresses (four, to be exact). There was something for everyone in the iconic boutique, though I wondered if--between the racks of fluorescent pink lace tutus and leopard print crop tops--my first Special Occasion dress was really living here.
We were dragged upstairs by a pierced, tattooed shop girl to the top shelf of dresses, if you will, and moments later I was wearing the most awesome white brocade mini dress with a cropped matching shrug that totally complemented my mouthful of braces. On September 21, 1996, the day in my family's religion that I became a woman, I resisted the urge to stuff my bra with socks and relished what would be the only Twiggy moment in my life before my body took a decidedly..curvier turn, and I felt BEAUTIFUL.
As a high school junior I got asked to my then-best friend's senior prom and obviously I wore a mega-voluminous Betsey Johnson black ball skirt and teensy hot pink and black spaghetti strap tank with teensier embroidered rosebuds along the neckline. Also, I crimped my hair. At my senior prom, I wore a jet-black spaghetti strap calf-length Betsey Johnson with all-over beading and I remember feeling a little self-conscious in a body that was at least 25 pounds thinner and suppler than it is now, and I remember needing someone's mom's help pinning the boutonniere to my date's lapel.
And then, when I graduated college and was living in New York City's east village--finally!--like all the cool Betsey Johnson shop girls probably did, I used my first real paycheck from my first real magazine job to buy a hot pink metallic strapless lace mini dress from a Betsey Johnson sample sale. I never even wore it once but it hung in my closet for years as a tangible reminder of the freedom to express my individuality through clothes, and my mother's encouragement.
The dresses retail between $99 and $249 and sell at better boutiques, top department stores and on the Betsey Johnson website. What does Betsey Johnson represent for you? Will you buy the new collection? Let us know in the comments.