Thursday, February 16, 2012

Old Gold: Betsey Johnson's Doing it Wrong

There's something about Betsey that makes me love her. She's the ever-playful designer who says to the world, "yes, I am O.L.D. and I love it. I also love this short skirt." She won't turn toward convention but keeps her back towards the trends of the fashion industry. She believes that all ladies secretly -- and not so secretly -- want to be wearing a tulle skirt come the weekend and gosh dernit, she's going to be the blonde goddess that delivers that skirt season after season.  She's also going to live surrounded by pink.

This season -- Fall/Winter 2012 at New York Fashion Week -- is no different and Johnson's line was full of the kind of vigor you'd expect from a girl in her early twenties -- the designer is actually 69 -- and not so quietly hinted towards her favorite era, the 1950's and 1960's. I've chosen this gold sequined number mostly because I think Betsey missed the mark here. It is a little too gold, a little too fluffy and the waistline is about 3 inches too high. It is like a gold-plated cupcake outfit and nobody over the age of 15 could rock this thing. But oh, dear ladies, there are some gorgeous, gold, a-lined party dresses on Etsy that any lady could rock. Get your party on with this Old we go...

This is how you sparkle with class. Truthfully, not everyone could wear this dress. Mostly because YOU have to wear IT and can't let it wear you (which could very easily happen with a lot of these dresses). Gold is a color you wear when you're feeling up to it, not when you're hoping it'll lift you up. The leafy pattern on this lovely piece gives it a softness that is so lacking in Johnson's rendition. 

This piece is obviously just not as sparkly as Johnson's or my first pick but some ladies out there don't want to stand out like a very elegant christmas tree. This is gold for such a gal. The all-over lace-y pattern gives this dress a bit of a neutral feeling without making it boring. 

This dress is just simply sweet. Like the Johnson look, it sparkles on top and is soft on the bottom (Johnson's is tulle, this is chiffon). Remember if you want to get the punch that the modern dress has, just buy a crinoline. I have one and if you wear dresses like this, you should have one too. 

Now, dears. I know that some of you like to go short. This is fine. But what is not fine is the puffy shortness of Johnson's dress. If you want to show off your legs, stay simple on top and this lovely gold brocade number will do that for you without making you look like Shirley Temple. Well, at least not like a five year old Shirley Temple.

If I had a reason. If I only had a reason. This dress is just divine. Yes it is GOLD all over and shiny. But the lines are so classic and simple that the shimmer gives it just the right amount of spunk . This dress would make you glow and the piqued strapless top is very flattering (read it doesn't dig into your not so pretty underarm areas).

This dress is so delicate. I love the color and the softness of the fabrics. One thing that is wonderful about a dress like this is the length and taper of the torso. You'll notice in the Betsey Johnson number, the waistline is a tad too high, the skirt a bit too poofy and the model's waist is lost in translation. A long tapered waist like this one with an accent ribbon makes all the difference in giving you that hourglass figure even if you've got a bunch of chiffon rustling around your knees. 

Yes, I know, this looks nothing like the Betsey Johnson example but how can you pass this up!? Any lady would surely turn heads walking into a cocktail party with this gorgeous dress painted on her. And might I repeat, this is the kind of dress that needs to be painted on you. They call them wiggle dresses for a reason, you must wiggle do to just about anything while wearing them. 

We started this one off poorly with Betsey's swing and miss, so it wasn't really a fair fight. This Old Gold is a reminder that modern fashion can light up a look that only the vintage reserves can complete. Betsey was onto something there but she should have spent a bit more time consulting with her elders before she let that sparkly number walk down the runway in New York this week. 

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