Reprinted with permission from www.hautetalk.com
We’re back, I guess. It’s been a tumultuous week, but it looks like XOX Betsey Johnson will be on the Style Network Thursday at 8:30 p.m., at least for now. This is good, because Betsey is ramping up for her first show under the Madden brand—a retrospective that spans her entire ninety-year career. Brandon brings in models for a go-see. The models have to “bring the party to the guests.” Betsey and Brandon are giving bizarre instructions, with Betsey yelling, “More! More! More energy!” as the girls clomp around the workroom. Betsey then teaches one of the models how to strut and be sexy in a tough girl way which involves ungulating like a giraffe on steroids after a few cocktails that may or may not have been roofied. After More party, more bigger, more smiles, more hips, more sexy, own it rock it! More! More! the go-see is deemed a “complete disaster,” and Betsey and Brandon go in search of strippers.
Bestey has a personal appearance at Nordstrom in Los Angeles. It’s her first public appearance since her bankruptcy, and Betsey is not excited about it at all because she does not like Los Angeles. LuLu, on the other hand, is excited about going to Los Angeles on Betsey’s dime because she is meeting with a licensing agent. But LuLu refuses to share a hotel room with her mother because she’s not seventeen anymore. I’m not sure what’s different about an adult unable to support themselves and a seventeen-year-old, but whatever.
LuLu meets with her assistant, Ashley, to pick up Ashley’s sketches that showcase all of LuLu’s looks. LuLu deems it, “just the confidence boost I needed” for the trip to Los Angeles. The sketches are…cute? They’re teensy tiny and LuLu says they are the first thing a licensing agent needs to see to know that LuLu knows how to put together a collection. Which is funny, because LuLu didn’t do the sketches, even a little bit.
Oh gawd, Betsey has a rooster bag that I want. It’s a yellow leather bag with a rooster face on the front, and even though every cell in my body is telling me that it’s ugly, I still want it. Give. Me. That. Bag!!! LuLu is annoyed because Betsey stores some of her clothes in LuLu’s guest closet. Guest closets are not something that normal New Yorkers have, by the way. And, as a reminder, this is the apartment that Betsey purchased for LuLu. So technically, this is Betsey’s closet and everything else is really the guest quarters. Also, guest quarters are not something that normal New Yorkers have, either.
After arriving in Los Angeles, Betsey and LuLu, visit Betsey’s old store on Melrose Place and Betsey laments over how the neighborhood has changed. Yeah. That’s why you went out of business, the neighborhood changed. She claims “the litigators” told her that she couldn’t put a sign in the window thanking her customers. Erm, I happen to be a litigator (for reals, not kidding) and, yeah, I’m guessing that’s not exactly what they said. LuLu is strangely happy that the glory days of her mother’s retail stores came to an end because now they have a second chance. You do realize that Betsey filed for bankruptcy, which is not a happy occasion? And that it’s still not about you? I guess maybe LuLu’s glass is half full (of booze).
Betsey and LuLu wake up super early with raspy, cottonmouthy voices and full faces of make-up. They talk about how nervous they are for their respective days. Then, Betsey starts looking through boxes for her “lucky gold lame tutu dress” which apparently is just like an American Express card because Betsey never leaves home without it. She wears it for the Nordstrom event with her best blonde wig and biggest shiny baubles, and the Madden people arrange for hundreds of women to be at the store to greet Betsey. Aw. It’s a nice event and ends in a split.
Over at ACI Licensing, LuLu and Allison meet with The Other Andy Cohen who mentions his client Cynthia Rowley and nobody else recognizable. LuLu presents the logo and “line sheets” which look like doodles. Andy watches like a professor flipping through a student’s portfolio, and although LuLu tells him, “We personally love, like, vintagey colors?” Andy is not thrilled. Allison mentions Bloomingdales as a store she would like to have her products in, but stores like that with their fancy clothes and walls are of no use to Andy. Instead, he is all about QVC and HSN. And you can almost hear LuLu’s pride shrivel up into a tiny little raisin that doesn’t even have a chocolate coating. Then, The Other Andy Cohen extinguishes the last shred of LuLu’s dignity and says, “The last thing somebody probably needs in the world is another pair of shoes and another sweater.”
With the meeting an unmitigated disaster, LuLu has to think fast. What does she have that nobody else has…what can LuLu Johnson offer to the fashion world…if only my mother was here to tell this Other Andy Cohen what a great designer LuLu hired with Betsey’s money….And then, with a deep breath, LuLu falls just short of snarling, Do you know who my mother is? while still keeping that, So you know who my mother is, right? vibe. The Other Andy Cohen nods his head and notes that LuLu comes from “a tremendous fashion heritage,” and promptly cuts Allison out of the picture by changing the company name to “LuLu Johnson.” Yeah. We hear you, The Other Andy Cohen. You’re going to use LuLu to glom onto the Betsey Johnson brand. Good on you, and goodbye, Allison. It was sort of maybe a little nice not really knowing you at all.
To add insult to injury, Betsey then convinces LuLu that Allison doesn’t really do anything, so it’s okay to cut her name out of the brand. And with that, the Johnsons head back to New York, where Betsey does an interview with Reuters (which she calls Rooters), about casting models for her fashion show.
Next week, the fashion show.by