Sunday, February 21, 2010

A/W 2010: Betsey Johnson & Long Live McQueen

I refrained from writing anything about my feelings toward Alexander McQueen's death because everyone else has said everything that I want to say.

I found out about his death on Twitter, before Anna Wintour even found out, if she really did rush out in the middle of the BCBG Max Azria show. It was the first day of New York Fashion Week. I was waiting in line for the BCBG Max Azria show, curing my boredom by incessantly checking Twitter on my Blackberry. I found out about Brittany Murphy and Daul Kim's death on Twitter too.

I've heard many grownups complain to me about how "kids like me" don't read the newspaper enough and how we seem to think Twitter is a suitable substitute for sharing news. Well, sometimes it is.

I remember calling my friend, Anna, the moment I found out. I remember we grieved incredulously as I sat there in Bryant Park and she hurried to get to her laptop.

I sat there, staring at the sky-high stilettos and tinkering bottles of Diet Coke, wondering how fashion could go on when one of its greatest visionaries had just committed suicide.

But it did.

Sunday night, I was at the Betsey Johnson show, sitting behind my blogging hero, Susie Lau of Style Bubble. Every girl in middle school and high school once wanted a Betsey Johnson dress for prom or graduation. Betsey Johnson is to 14 year olds what Vera Wang is to brides-to-be, after all. I still remember my first Betsey Johnson dress, when I was invited to attend prom by a junior in high school -- frothy pink in various shades, multiple bows, and reluctantly purchased by my dear parents, who took me up to San Francisco to the boutique. It was a dream come true to finally be sitting at the Betsey Johnson show.
(Photo Credit --
I have never seen models have so much fun on the runway. Kelly Osbourne walked down twice, with attitude that I can only hope to achieve someday. The adorable Hyoni Kang gave a sassy little booty dance before she strutted down the runway. Models like Tati Cotliar and Heidi Verster walked down, with long trains held up by sullen male models in striped bodysuits. Empowering and cheeky.

I found myself in the Wild West, where anything goes and Betsey runs the town. Models of every shape and ethnicity walked (or danced) down then hay-covered runway.
(Photo Credit --
And then, when all of the fun seemed to be over, the final pair of models came out as a tribute to the late Alexander McQueen, wax lips and all. The entire room was eerily silent, and yet slowly, applause began to accumulate. I'm sure I wasn't the only one tearing up.
As an ode to Valentine's Day, the models marched out with giant inflatable hearts, which were thrown out to the audience.
Betsey came out in all her glory, hugging and cartwheeling down the runway.

And it was then that I realized -- indeed, fashion has taken a hard hit with McQueen's death. But shows will go on, and we are still allowed to smile. Spread the love, whether it's in the form of a hug or a leopard print Betsey Johnson thong. It might make all the difference to one person.

Miss Couturable
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