Betsey Johnson Fall 2002 "Sisters"
When Betsey Johnson throws a party, New York's fashionistas vie for the coveted invites and sprint in their Manolo's for the best seats in the house. This season, Betsey opted for a down home affair, the theme was "Sisters", and she invited the fashion set into her workroom for the first glimpse of her Fall 2002 collection.
"I wanted to celebrate the extraordinary women that I work with every day and show everyone where we bring our creations to life", said Betsey.
The curtain went up in her Manhattan workroom and guests were seated amongst the sewing machines, cutting tables were pushed together as a makeshift runway and Betsey had 22 of her "girls" or staff members modeling the vampy, boudoir-esque collection. Betsy boogied atop the tabletop and held up signs that introduced her "models" - everyone, including Jill in PR, Marcy the receptionist, Rebecca the patternmaker and Jessica the shop girl from Jersey worked the runway like pros, shimmying to an irreverent, bluesy beat.
The real party was going on "backstage" in the showroom where we set up makeup stations under the creative direction of ever-fabulous Charlie Green. "Just make them look fabulous, dahlings," Charlie purred in her signature British drawl. "We're going for a Henry and June, Parisian smoky eye look - it's very silent-movie-meets-china-dolls inspired look." We're going for a sultry, smutty, 'I just crawled in from an endless party' smoky-eye look and a velvet matte Bordeaux lip. As the glamour-fest began, photographers and journalists poured into the showroom to steal a sneak peek at what was to come. Betsey's girls are used to being behind the scenes, so they were thrilled to get to show off their hard work front and center and the room was a roar with cat-calling and wolf-whistling as we glammed up Betsey's bodacious broads for the show.
Betsey never disappoints and I was in lustful agony when I saw the clingy bias-cut satin ombré dresses, shirred chiffons, flapper-fringe skirts, sheer crocheted tops and army-green knickers and skirts tied with lolita-esque ballet pink ribbons and bows. Vintage blues, pinks, peaches, and bronzy tones set the stage for more boudoir inspired details like - eyelet, lingerie ribbons, cleavage-caressing lace and Betsey's signature garters and mile high stilettos. I think Betsey may have channeled Mae West when creating the Fall 2002 collection.
And as we all know, nothing is complete without makeup! Bourjois, the most decadent vintage makeup brand born in the French theatre sponsored the show and we smudged black kohl pencil across the models lids, then pressed charcoal and black shadows on top to create a wickedly dark vampy eye. Skin was perfected with Bourjois's new collection of foundations and concealers (check these out, they are affordable and the formulations are fiercely high tech). We used the first blush that was ever created for and used in the French theatre in 1863. We finished the look with loads of black mascara and a deep port wine mouth.
Check back with me here on the Industry Insider page as I take you behind the scenes with Charles Worthington at the Oscars!