Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On a Grand Tour With a Girl at Heart

Betsey Johnson, left, has New York travel on her mind for Spring 2011. For a visit to the Seaport, at least two recommendations, below. Jaclyn Smith, bottom, celebrates a special anniversary with a certain discounter. Photos from Getty Images.

Just like last time, the plan each day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is to give a roundup of the best (and worse where applicable) and most interesting Yours Truly witnesses, from shows to trends to sightings to the rather unusual/bizarre. Mind, this won’t be a comprehensive list simply because I can’t be everywhere. But depend on it, I’ll do my best. Drum roll, please …

Day 5
(SOME of the players at the tents and elsewhere): William Tempest, Jenny Packman, Carolina Herrera, Carlos Miele, Diesel Black Gold, Tracy Reese, Donna Karan New York, Monique Lhuillier, Yeohlee, Herchcovitch Alexandre, Betsey Johnson, Leifsdottir, Perry Ellis

- Is there any doubt that the incomparable, irrepressible, irresistible Betsey Johnson will not put on a good show? For Spring 2011, BJ goes on “Le Tour de Betsey.” It starts in Brooklyn, winds its way to The Met, then swings west to Central Park and into Betsey’s New York stores for appropriate traveling clothes. This is a grand tour of New York City, after all. To look one's best, some must-haves: bike shorts, belly-bearing cropped tights, bustiers, ball gowns, tutus, tiaras, prairie dresses w/hoop skirts, striped thigh-highs, garden party dresses to put Scarlett O’Hara to shame, cinched-waist black coat with batwing lapels, leather and lace, this and that.

Tricked out in a sailor's uniform (short or trousers), for instance, the tour winds southeast to the Seaport before journeying north to the final destination at Times Square. The lavendar, strapless mermaid gown w/tulle hem is just the thing to wear to see the ball drop on New Year’s Day. All along the tour music is blaring: “Ride Me Hard,” “Double Trouble,” “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’, Babe in a Barrel, “Lacey Lynn,” “Officer,” “Gentleman” and so on.

As a finale, not only does BJ do a cartwheel, she cruises down the runway on a bike to where her daughter and granddaughter are seated to the beats of “Slow Rider.” The crowd erupts into applause and whistles. It rises up again when the models return to the runway waving b&w checkered flags and wearing yellow – a la a certain other tour – dresses bearing “Le Tour de Betsey” logo.

What a party!

– “No alcohol, no cigarettes, no drugs – clean living.”

From Jaclyn Smith’s mouth to your ears, ladies (and gentlemen). That is the secret to looking good at 62. That is the secret to looking 35 at 62. That is the secret to having the body of a 20-something at 62.

“I’m also a ballerina, and you never loose that need to be moving,” she gives me to know. “You are always taking two steps at a time.”

Ladies (and gentlemen), exercise is also a key to looking good at 62, and just about any age.

JS, my favorite of “Charlie’s Angels" – and I tell her so – is at the new/sleek/swank Gansevoort Park Hotel for Conde Nast’s reception honoring the 25th anniversary of her Kmart clothing line.

“It is a culmination of everything we have been doing for 25 years,” she says of the inspiration for the approximately dozen on-season pieces. “We went back and looked at what we’d done and pulled them together to make them look modern … “Isn’t this great,” she asks, gesturing to the (faux?) leather skirt and sleeveless top w/(faux?) silk blizzard top she’s wearing. “And it’s all under $100.”

From Jaclyn Smith's mouth to your ears.

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