First Impressions: Betsey Johnson

The big question with Betsey Johnson isn't "What did she show?" but "How did she show it?" You know you're always going to get punked-out, poofy-skirted prom looks in wildly girly colors -- the real surprise comes in the way she presents them.

This time around, she forewent the tents and staged "Betsey's Crocker's Recipes for Dressing" in her showroom. How did it go? Let's ask the critics:

1.) WWD: "Betsey Johnson transformed her Seventh Avenue showroom into a Fifties malt shop and served up some of her favorite recipes: pouf skirts, corsets, classic rose prints and plenty of sequins. What looked fresh was a knit ensemble; a cropped cable-knit sweater and satin corset over a pointelle skirt that ballooned over a crinoline, as well as some graphic color-blocked sweaters à la the Eighties."

2.) ShinyStyle: "Betsey knows where her bread is buttered, and no doubt her new crop of young fans will love the collection, which managed to blend Paris Hilton cute with Avril Lavigne emo."

3.) Lynn Yaeger in New York Magazine: "There's a big line to get into Betsey Crocker's Recipes for Dressing, which Betsey Johnson is offering in her showroom in lieu of a fashion show. I think there'll be, like, a cupcake or something when I finally get up there — but no! There are waiters with mini-burgers! Fries! Champagne! Groups of models are arranged in tableaux vivants — one bunch, which includes a young lady dressed in pink-and-blue knitted skivvies, is draped over divans like prostitutes in a 1910 Bellocq photograph; another cluster, clad in tutus, are staging a chic lunch-counter sit-in."

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