Betsey Johnson's Fall Collection Brings Quirk (And a Little Awkwardness) to W Scottsdale

Betsey Johnson's fall collection, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not," brought a fun dose of fashion to W Scottsdale. And before we brush on the awkward production or over-the-top fanfare, we will note: Yes. It's Betsey Johnson. So, yes. It's supposed to be quirky.

Models strutted down the L-shaped catwalk, which partially framed the rooftop pool, wearing Johnson's unconventional (and sometimes just plain oddball) designs, which ranged visually from Barbie on acid to Gothic Ren Faire wear and focused on the season's two biggest colors: amethyst and teal.

See more photos after the jump.

Visually, Johnson referenced her usual pop art and 80s buoyancy, mixing outlandish patterns willy nilly. She delved into a southern belle motif that didn't entirely work, but did play on her love of tiered skirts, tutus, and corsets.

It was her use of flamenco-inspired ruffles and oversize pink flowers resulted in the collection's standout pieces. The purple and black plaid flannel princess coat with a broad, ruffled collar was a favorite, as well as a black jacket with punk studded sleeves and a tiger stitched on the back.

But the mid-show dance performance simply didn't make any sense. The dancing itself was fine -- more than acceptable. It was its complete lack of connection to the fashion show in mood, color, and concept that made it totally unnecessary.

The dancers wore red, white, and black and totally ignored the show's pinks, purples, and greens. They looked like... pirates. Stylistically, the hip-hop moves didn't connect with the kooky, girly line. And, ultimately, the dance break seemed like a convenient interlude during which all of the models got extra time to change.

The rooftop was full of guests, who were (mostly) dressed like they were dating contestants on Millionaire Matchmaker with the exception of a few Johnson devotees sporting tutus, seemed giddy throughout the production. And rightfully so. 

Fashion Forward -- what the W has dubbed Johnson's annual Scottsdale show -- only happens once a year. It's obvious that there's a scene in the Valley that's famished for more fashion events.

View the full slideshow of Betsey Johnson's "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" at W Scottsdale here.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski