XOX Betsey Johnson, Episode 3: Hoarders and Fluffers

XOX BETSEY JOHNSON Episode 3 1 XOX BETSEY JOHNSON, Episode 3: Right Hand for the Job (or Hoarders and Fluffers)

Reprinted with permission from www.hautetalk.com

Betsey’s going through a mountain of boxes to find vintage clothes for her fashion show. She started designing in 1965, so Brad does the math and decides that it’s 47-years of clothing, which Betsey estimates as 40,000 dresses. Sigh. Math is hard.

For the 1960s, there’s a silver miniskirt with studs from her first collection, and “the ultimate dum-dum Twiggy dress.” The 1970s marked the beginning of Betsey’s corniness, with oddball prints and cartoony drawings. The 1980s has a lot of skulls and shoulder pads. Now Betsey’s looking for a Fluffer Dress, which is, literally, a dress that says “Fluffer.” Well, it’s more like lingerie than a dress, but it does say, “Fluffer,” in case you were unclear about the outfit’s purpose.

XOX BETSEY JOHNSON Episode 3 2 XOX BETSEY JOHNSON, Episode 3: Right Hand for the Job (or Hoarders and Fluffers)

LuLu has a dinner date with her friends in the fashion industry to tell them how hard she’s been working. “I’ve put together line sheets and boards and, you know, like, mission statements.” She explains that she has been reaching out to licensing agents, but none of them are interested.

Betsey goes to her favorite restaurant and tells the maître d’ that she has a “little house in the woods” outside of East Hampton which is where she will go to find the Fluffer Dress. She may or may not have invited the maître d’ out for the weekend. He must have declined, because she invites LuLu instead, who refers to it as “our Hamptons house,” even though I’m pretty sure LuLu doesn’t have a house, or any possessions of her own, really.

Betsey goes for drinks with Bobby, her ex-beau. He looks at least twenty years younger than Betsey, and he’s trying to get one more vacation out of her. Turns out Bobby was kicked to the curb after he ran up a bill on Betsey’s credit card. In other countries. Without Betsey. Hello, grifter. Bobby tries to talk Betsey back into a relationship by talking about love and missing her and it’s all without an ounce of passion. This guy’s game is weaker than his chin.

LuLu and Betsey go back to their couples’ therapist, and LuLu explains that she doesn’t want to go to the Hamptons because it’s really hard to face the Hamptons because the last time she was there, she was married. Oh yes, it’s very, very hard to face the Hamptons. How courageous she would be, going to the Hamptons. And then the therapist utters the most enabling words I’ve ever heard: “Good luck in the Hamptons, it’s amazing you’re doing this.”

Along with being afraid of the Hamptons, LuLu is also afraid of driving. “Why drive a car when you can just hail a taxi?” Or, you know, take the train? Okay, can we break from the recap for a moment? Here’s something I’m calling Real Talk With LuLu:

LuLu. Hon. I’ve lived in New York City for a good 25 years, and I’ve never needed a car. You know why? Because I walk. With my feet. And when I don’t walk with my feet, I take the subway. And if someplace is too far to take the subway, I take a train. Or a bus. And do you know why I do that? Because if I took a taxi every time I had to get somewhere, I’d be broke. And so would you, if not for the generosity of your mother. So when she says “LuLu I need you to go to the Hamptons with me to find my Fluffer Dress,” just shut up and drive the nice lady to the Hamptons without making it all about you! 

Okay, back to the recap. There’s a lot of yelling and slamming on of the brakes, and finally Betsey gets behind the wheel. More yelling, and Betsey pulls over so that LuLu can call a driver. Sigh.

So this “little house in the woods,” it’s massive. And mind-numbingly boring looking. But oh right, I almost forgot, this is about LuLu. She is not ready to be in the house yet, so they go out for dinner. LuLu talks about how much she misses her kids, but seems to have forgotten to take them with her to the Hamptons. After not eating their food, the ladies go home to sleep so that they can start searching for vintage in the barn. Because yes, the “little house in the woods” has a barn.  The next morning, Betsey and LuLu start picking through boxes. LuLu stops when she gets a cobweb on her face, leaving Betsey alone in a barn with a lifetime of boxes. Betsey eventually finds her Fluffer Dresses and tosses them down onto the half-acre of gravel driveway where LuLu is waiting for her mother to finish.

Back in Manhattan, LuLu introduces us to Daniel, who is “my interior decorator, who has just become such an amazing friend….” He brings her a chair. While meeting with the amazing friend she pays to be there, LuLu gets a call from a licensing agent named “Andy Cohen,” who is not the same Andy Cohen as the Bravo Andy Cohen. This Andy Cohen is “like, the God of licensing.” Apparently this is the first real step in creating a fashion line, which doesn’t say much for the entire design process.

XOX BETSEY JOHNSON Episode 3 3 XOX BETSEY JOHNSON, Episode 3: Right Hand for the Job (or Hoarders and Fluffers)

Meanwhile, Betsey and Brandon are finalizing the vintage looks. She has her intern try on a “boob job” dress, which is two hands at about chest-height with the word “job” in-between. That’s just how deep Betsey goes. After all that work, it’s time for Betsey to feed her child again. Over lunch, she tells LuLu that she is seeing Bobby again, and LuLu flips out. Betsey says that Bobby is crazy about her and loves her and…yeah, so he’s spending her money. But that buys her love, and that’s good, right? I mean, it’s always worked for LuLu. As if on cue, LuLu makes it about her. She’s not outraged about Betsey seeing Bobby. Rather, she’s pissed because Betsey didn’t tell her about it. In the end, Betsey explains that she needs to see Bobby one more time to tell him that it’s over. And how does that go? Great. He tries to work her for a bit, but when it’s not getting him anywhere, he leaves.

Next week: Betsey continues her prep for the show and LuLu meets with the big licensing agent out in Los Angeles.

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