Betsey Johnson is one tireless designer. Until two weeks ago, she wasn’t even scheduled to show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, but on Monday night, the cartwheeling designer debuted her new activewear line complete with a mini exercise routine on the runway. The next night, she presented a Valentine’s Day-themed collection to celebrate her new reality show with her daughter, Betsey + Lulu, at Style Media‘s network preview. Whew! We caught up with the energetic designer backstage to get all the deets on BJ Kicks A, and her show.
“Activewear — that’s my life,” she told us while getting a frenzied last minute hair and makeup touch-up backstage. ”I mean, I like stretchy clothes. Hot wash, hot dry, stretchy clothes. I grew up in leotards, I was a dancer, so that kinda stuff is close to my heart.”
Johnson may have a life-long affair with activewear, but the actual execution of the line took a lot less time. “I created that exercise on the reality show, and that really gave me the idea of aerobic wear,” she told us. She continued:
“I made the aerobic line in two and a half weeks, because I wasn’t going to show. It depressed me. When I read about it in the papers the next day, I went to Steve [Madden] and said, ‘I changed my mind! I gotta show!’”
Sadly, we won’t get to see Johnson working on the line on Betsey + Lulu, but she did tell us that we’ll get a chance to see her doing her “fashion thing”.
“Me, it’s kinda easy, breezy, and about my work,” she explained. “I’m a happy kid. Lulu — it’s more closer to the bone. What do they call it — a comedrama, a dramacome — a dramedy! It’s a dramedy, like a happy face and sad face.”
It was at this point in our interview that Johnson jumped up from her makeup chair, and said, “I have to pee! I’ll be right back!”, and rushed off to find a bathroom somewhere backstage. Ten minutes later, we came to accept the fact that Johnson left us in the dust, so we went back out and waited for her show to begin.
As we’d expected, models sporting heart-shaped hats and wearing red, pink, and white tulled confections were sent down a mini-runway as assistants tossed rose petals in the air. It was classic Betsey through and through, and yes, she finished the show with a cartwheel and split.
Check out some pictures from Johnson’s presentation last night:
this is some kind of spaceship or something.