Fall 2011 Accessories: Betsey Johnson’s Bags, Boots, And Brooches Are Amazing

Betsey Johnson heels printed with tattoo graphics.
Photo: Courtesy of Betsey Johnson/Factory PR

The great thing about the young, curve-setting eponymous designers of the late ’70s is that, as the years pass, they just keep getting better and better. Sure, Vivienne Westwood isn’t redefining punk anymore and Diane von Furstenberg has moved past the wrap dress, but they are still at the forefront of fashion, the queens of their particular aesthetic. And our gal Betsey J. is no different.

So when we got a chance to see Betsey Johnson’s fall accessories, we jumped on it, knowing that, after more than 30 years, no one does femme kitsch better than the queen of leopard. Not for nothing, Ms. Johnson now runs a New York-based empire, filled with ready-to-wear, jewelry, handbags, and the shoes (ooohh, the shoes…). And when we snuck a peek, we must admit, we weren’t surprised—which is fantastic. Betsey focused on what she does best: sky-high pumps, candy-colored gems. And leopard print enough to make us momentarily consider punning that we were, “seeing spots” *snort*.

Betsey Johnson chained, ribboned, and metallic belts for fall.
Photo: Courtesy of Betsey Johnson/Factory PR

Of course, there is BJ’s signature pink, this time showing up on wide wrap belts or as rose-colored clutches. The allure of Betsey Johnson has always been her ability to toe that fine line between girly bows and razor-sharp rockabilly style, and her massively badass platforms are a prime example: No meek gal would hide behind the towering 4-inch heel, but Betsey softens it by adding floral and then lining the upper in velvet. Then she offers brooches, which draw on her cheeky vintage style (we love the little panda, but a massive heart gem is pretty crucial as well), for any librarian gone bad, subdued flats adorned with a massive gold bow, and tons of costume jewelry.

For leopard lovers, there were absolute SQUEES of delight office-round with the ALL-LEOPARD go-go bootie (part Lady Miss Kier, part red carpet Ciara). Though perhaps not totally office-friendly, rocking these bad boys with matte black tights will make the statement that you are fearless (and not afraid of heights, either).