Celebrities Tabled at Betsey Johnson


Once we saw the Reverend Al Sharpton at the Baby Phat show on Friday, we figured we'd hit our man-of-the-cloth quota. We thought many things in those balmy days, but never did we guess that Rev. Run of Run DMC would glide into our lives during today's Betsey Johnson show.

Joan of Arcadia star Amber Tamblyn seemed just as surprised and thrilled, sidling up to Rev. Run for a photo — a request he granted by wrapping his most-holy arm around her. Then, looking especially, well, reverend, in solemn black garb and that kicky hat, he settled into his seat at the end of the runway next to his brother, Russell Simmons, to great applause and cheers from the photographers' pen. He proceeded to grin so enthusiastically at the models that one even giggled and did a few extra shimmies. Who can blame her?

The theme of the show was Betsey Johnson's Charm School, with petite four-person "tea party" tables flanking the runway, frilly curtains as a backdrop, and two ladies in French-maid's uniforms opening the show by strutting out with some spiffy feather dusters. It occurred to us then that Betsey Johnson would be a super-fun person to go to tea with, in part because we would make a mess with all the crumbs from the petits fours and those tiny crustless sandwiches, and she totally wouldn't care.

As cute as the table idea was, though, it made identifying celebrities correctly a bit of a bear — indeed, at first we thought Rev. Run was a puffy M.C. Hammer, and briefly suspected that Amber Tamblyn was Kate Bosworth, of all people. We're getting our eyes checked as soon as the week is over, although we love the idea of Bosworth and Hammer hitting it off. Beth Ostrosky sat with stylist Phillip Bloch and Betsey's daughter; down the way was Fran Drescher and Lauren "L.C." Conrad, who seemed as excited by the fun frocks as she was perturbed by the occasional flash of hot pants.

Although Todd Oldham hid it well, we have to believe he was as vexed as we were by his table mate, Aubrey O'Day from the Diddy-founded pop group Danity Kane. She showed up in her Paris Hilton costume: a teased-up ponytail, a frilly blue cocktail dress, and an impenetrable air of entitlement. The cloning was so effective that for a long time we were positive Aubrey was just a random Hilton impersonator Betsey had found at a club (or something) who amused her enough to snag an invitation to the tents. All of which begs the question: Why, Aubrey? If you're going to copy somebody, at least pick someone useful — someone who, if you are mistaken for her, will not incite people to groan and moan and use the word "overexposed."

The show itself was sort of subdued for Betsey, until the very end, when she did her runway strut with her granddaughter, who was wearing a weensy version of one of the dresses we had just seen. This delighted Amber Tamblyn, who squealed and waved her arms around with glee when she saw the baby. Betsey eventually handed off the kid to her daughter in order to perform her trademark cartwheel, bringing the crowd entirely to its feet. No matter what you think of Betsey's clothes — we loved a few of the frocks but are coming out against super-high-waisted pants — that girl puts on a fun show. —The Fug Girls

Browse the Betsey Johnson collection.