By KEYSHA WALL, Arts and Entertainment Editor


Spring may still be months away but I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. And let me tell you, Betsey Johnson’s Spring 2014 collection truly feels like a gift. Released last year, this collection still resonates with my yearning for a fun pick-me-up collection when the emphasis in fashion is always on sleek, sophisticated, and intense.

This collection might not be the most innovative but the reliance on high, glorious contrast between the colors of the clothes and their beautiful models is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen done so openly and well. The three core colors [black, white, and pink for a midtone and splash of color] makes this a very straightforward and to-the-point collection. While each piece ranges from prom dress to swimwear to walking the dog in the 1960’s, they all bring out the most in femininity and playfulness.

I personally love the repetition of intense patterns and the wide open silhouettes created by the shapes Johnson implemented. Her use of hats halo the models’ faces and pull the entire outfits from the ground up. They draw your eye in and focus them where they belong: into the gait of the model, the walk of the model, into the way they all seem to say “I’m not here for you. I’m here to have fun.” And these models are definitely having fun, of that there is absolutely no doubt.

My absolute favorite move in this entire collection, however, would have to be the sunglasses and scarf combo. A simple move, but it turns the viewer’s gaze back to the viewer. It establishes that yes, they’re having fun and yes, you can watch and enjoy the show too but no, you were never really invited. You just sort of showed up when everyone was trying on cute dresses and one-piece outfits and swimsuits. Honestly, I have no problem feeling that way if more collections like this are the payoff.

In short, Betsey Johnson brings it in terms of putting on a show and having fun with the concept of femininity. I’m totally jealous of all of the models who looked like they were having a great time. And while it’s true that this collection wasn’t anything really new, it was still fun, uplifting, and truly a job well done.