Even the most jaded fashionistas will agree that nothing warms the heart at Fashion Week more than a Betsey Johnson show. Last night at Lincoln Center, the 69-year-old breast-cancer survivor (who still does a cartwheel and splits at the end of her shows!) sent a parade of curvy beauties down the runway in body-hugging numbers that left little to the imagination. Inspired by the jiggling flesh of burlesque babes and sex kitten Brigitte Bardot, the T&A-themed show was a flirty gallery of bosoms spilling out of leopard-print push-up bras and bottoms squeezed into bandage mini skirts and hot pants.
Johnson’s own voluptuous daughter, Lulu, opened the show, oozing sex appeal in a sheer form-fitting white maxi dress and black fingerless gloves. After taking 10 years off from modeling in her mom’s shows, Lulu was back and loudly cheered on by audience members, including one candy-colored Nicki Minaj, who looked like the Betsey Johnson poster child with snow cone-blue hair, a frilly frock, and a big pink pretzel hanging around her neck.
Among all the sexy looks (with cheeky names such as “Ooh La La” and “Leopardlicious” according to the show’s notes) were some slightly more modest pieces for the girl who desires a punk-rock prom look or the bride who wants nontraditional bridesmaid dresses (highlights included a chartreuse ruffle dress and a sweet floor-skimming floral frock). At the end of the show, mother and daughter hugged for the cameras while the models marched back out in cropped tops and bikini bottoms, waving silver “T” and “A” helium-filled balloons in the air to the beat of–what else?–DJ Assault’s “Ass ‘n Titties.”
At Milk Studios on Sunday night, Katie Gallagher, the 25-year-old “it” girl whose futuristic fashions have been a favorite of Lady Gaga, presented a solid collection of avant-garde form-fitting red-and-black clothes that seemed tailor-made for the woman with a vampire fetish (the show’s theme was “Red Red Blood”). Parading through a maze of tubes filled with red liquid, the models wore mini skirts, short dresses, and short shorts over Gallagher’s unique patchwork tights. But, for those who don’t like to expose so much leg, the collection also offered excellent ethereal tops, mesh vests, and killer little shrugs and sculptural jackets to keep the Gallagher woman warm in the bat cave.
Also at Milk on Sunday, Maayan Zilberman and Nikki Dekker of The Lake & Stars filled the set of their presentation with sand for a collection inspired by their travels to Mexico City. With 16 looks made for sultry summer days and nights, the collection included a matching gold lamé camisole and bikini, a lacy one-piece bathing suit, and a white eyelet bustier with a built-in black bra exposed at the top (spring trend alert: if you’re not already flashing your bra every chance you get, you will be in 2012).
By now you may be asking, “What about clothing I can wear every day? I do have to go to work, after all.” Suno, on Friday night at Milk Studios, had the answer. Designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty, who have dazzled the fashion crowd for the past few seasons with their bright, bold prints, played it cool for spring with lots of whites, grays, champagnes, and taupes. Suspender dresses and delicate embroidered tank tops were layered over crisp button-down oxfords for a sophisticated look to wear to the office or a summery night out. Of course, don’t think they’ve given up prints and bright colors completely. The collection had its share of plaids, polka dots, and florals as well as one stand-out pair of fiery-red metallic shorts. A highlight of the stunning collection was a sleeveless crossed-back dress in a geometric print that had a nice waist-slimming effect–and for summertime, what more could you ask for?