There’s no backstage scene quite like the one at Betsey Johnson. Rosé flowing at a bar, heart-shaped candy and lollipops on the snack table, pink and red balloons all over the place, a DJ spinning tunes, quirky posters wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day (handmade by Betsey herself), and countless Betsey fans decked out in head-to-toe Betsey Johnson. The bubbly designer is anything but tame and that’s especially evident in the beauty looks she favors for her shows.
This season, all the models wore wigs. The first half of the show was named “Black Tag” and focused on what the designer called “sophisticated, sleek, sexy looks,” and for that act, each model wore an Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction-inspired wig. Redken’s Peter Gray created the look and he told me they brought the black wigs with them and cut them on site to tailor them to each model. Gray added that a simple Bob cut is too boring for Betsey and that’s why he opted to incorporate lace onto each of the wigs to create what he called a “lace halo effect.” Using the same lace Betsey used in her Fall 2011 collection, he pinned a piece of the lace onto each of the black wigs and spray painted gold over the lace. He then removed the lace creating the beautiful looks we saw on the runway. Gray excitedly spoke about the process saying that he loves working with wigs because “they’re like pieces of clothing; you can do whatever you want with them."
The second half of the Fall 2011 Betsey Johnson show was titled “Pink Patch” and was made up of under $100-priced looks modeled by Betsey Johnson staffers. Each of the staffers was outfitted in a wig inspired by Betsey’s own hair.
A Maybelline makeup artist (above)
For nails, Butter creative director, Nonie Creme, created a custom color that will be released for Fall 2011. Creme described the color as a “gold that has been left out in the rain for 10 years and is now decomposing so as to have a moldy look.” Creme went on to say that she felt that the Betsey Johnson collection was more mature this season and had a bit of an old school Lacroix vibe to it which she thought was perfectly reflected in this greenish-gold nail shade.
One of Betsey Johnson's hair extensions, which inspired one of the two wigs worn by the models; Left: The Butter nail shade created for the show.
As for makeup, Maybelline created the dramatic look, which was focused on a strong gold and blue eye highlighted with midnight blue eye liner and a strong red lip. Foundation and powder were also used to give a clean palette for the eyes and lips to truly pop and I was told by one of the Maybelline artists that the overall look was a 20s spin-off on Betsey’s own everyday makeup look.