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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Betsey Johnson's Showdown at the V-Day Corral

Renata Espinosa
February 15th, 2010 @ 00:28 AM - New York

Setting the tone for an evening of rock and roll fashion week pageantry in downtown New York was none other than metal heiress Kelly Osbourne, the first model to kick up dust on the dried-hay runway of Betsey Johnson's fall 2010 show on Sunday night, Feb. 14.

Eyes a-twinkle behind a black bandana face mask, Osbourne emerged from the shadows to the strains of Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang", showing off the dramatically trim new figure British tabloids have been going wild over.

Osbourne took several turns in Betsey Johnson looks, once throwing her cowboy hat to a gleefully receptive audience, and later returning in a Charlie Chaplin-inspired dress, complete with fake moustache, her Pomeranian puppy, Sid, cradled in the crook of her arm and blinking and panting in the runway lights. You could practically hear a collective "Awww!" from the audience.

From snow-bound New York, Betsey Johnson's concept took her audience to the hot, dry tumbleweed gulches of a fantasy Texas, with cowboys-'n'-Indians, sheriffs and jailbirds and a lot of Day-Glo cap pistols. Even better than warm weather, Johnson's snow-bound customers everywhere won't have to wait until the fall to snag some of these looks - a handful will be available in stores immediately.

Johnson's ever-playful models - she also cast several members of her staff and employees from her store in the show - do-si-do'd their runway partners and threw bags of gold and wads of stolen loot to the audience.

Obedient boys in prison-striped pajamas - think gold-rush '49ers in their longjohns - trailed behind models in super-long, flowing fluorescent coattails, holding the girls' garments aloft like the train of a bridal gown.

The shoot-em-up aesthetic was punctuated by frilly, girly, glamorous touches out of some psychedelic saloon. One model wore a long blue velvet overcoat, tricked out underneath with a flouncy four-layer bordello mini-dress. Were these ladies waiting for the stage coach back to the big city when those little yellow toy birds landed on their perfect maidenly hats?

Both guns blazing, Johnson ramped up the color offerings with outer layers in rich black-patterned fuchsia, vivid electric blue, and candy-apple red. And since you can't have a stage coach without a few robbers, we got las banditas chicas in figure-hugging black jumpsuits, complete with coy bank-heist masks.

There was the occasional nod to heritage: a hip-hugging gray sweater-dress, charmingly cinched with a holster belt, reincarnated a classic zoo-animal silhouettes pattern from the Betsey Johnson ‘60s.

In a touching and ultimately uplifting closing act, Johnson sent one final model walking out wearing big red wax lips - a flourish used in fashion show last year by the late Alexander McQueen - and bearing a hand-painted sign reading "LONG LIVE MCQUEEN", drawing heartfelt applause from the crowd.

When Johnson herself emerged for her curtain call, to turn her signature cartwheel in a prison-striped longjohns ensemble, it was a triumphal moment and a warm and fuzzy Valentine from this old-school romantic who had managed yet again to keep things sweet, fun, and fresh.

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