It can be tough being the new kid on the Lincoln Center block. At the Betsey Johnson show in the tents Monday night, a pretty, slight brunette in a Warhol-inspired print dress came out from backstage just as the guards were trying to clear the runway, and was turned away from the front-row area: "You'll have to find a seat somewhere else, miss, we're trying to start the show." Eventually a PR person saw this and ran over to explain that this girl was, in fact, actress and front-row guest Nicola Peltz, from last summer's The Last Airbender (and whose father once owned Snapple, if Wikipedia is to be believed) #&151; at which point the guard blanched and quickly made sure the bemused Peltz had a prime berth. Nicola shouldn't feel bad about not being recognized, though, because we think something may have been in the water (or the backstage Champagne): We saw another reporter point at fashion icon Pat Field who was sporting shredded pants, a shirt tumbling off her shoulder, blue glasses, and her standard maroon hair and ask sincerely whether Field had been on Sex and the City. Close. So close.
Pre-show, the big buzz was whether the guest in the natty black-and-white scarf was Nicholas Graham or "Joe Boxer," as people were calling him, after the underwear line he created. Don't ask us how anyone even knows what Joe Boxer looks like, but those people were right. Sadly, we didn't get a chance to chat up Mr. Boxer, although apparently he was lamenting to another journalist the current lack of Fashion Week scandals, and anyone who longs for a scandal is someone we're interested in meeting. But we lost track of him as he drifted in the direction of Robert Verdi and Miss J. Alexander, and into the void stepped Australian model Jessica Hart, in a tutu dress that evoked Black Swan set at an Orange Julius stand. Jill Zarin of The Real Housewives of New York rounded out the somewhat lackluster front-row crowd, opposite model Irina Pantaeva in a giant feathered hat that caused quite a stir, in part because we suspect people even two rows back could not see past it.
The show itself was typical, hilarious Betsey or, as our seatmate put it, "The best pep rally I've ever been to." The first half, "He Loves Me Not," was all dim lighting and fiercely stomping models, and then the lights cranked up for "He Loves Me," which was a parade of Betsey's staffers wearing wigs modeled after Johnson's own signature coif, and doing whatever they damn well pleased down the catwalk: spinning, wiggling, skipping, ass-slapping, or in the case of the last dude to walk, ripping off the Betsey wig and hurling it at the photographers with a triumphant bow.
Eventually, Johnson came out for her own bow and pulled Field up onstage with her for a lengthy dance. Watching them boogie kind of made us miss the days when we got to turn on our TV sets and see Pat's insane inspirations parading across the screen, but apparently she isn't itching to get back in the game. "There are many things I want to sink my teeth into, but it doesn't really have to do with wardrobing a TV show," Field said mysteriously, refusing to specify exactly what: "I'll let you know, I'll let you know, I'll let you know!" she sang. Then, when a reporter asked her to sum up Fashion Week in one word, Field threw her arms up in the air and said, "SHOW!" Technically, she's not wrong. Wacky, yes, but not wrong.