Saturday, August 27, 2011

...A Count Down to Fashion Week - The Bike Show

The Bike Show as it is fondly known around the showroom, but more formally known as Le Tour De Betsey, is the second show I did with Betsey and by far one of the most exciting and in your face shows.


Yes, Bikes... cue crickets...

When it comes to fashion bikes are not exactly the first thing to pop into my head, maybe like ten years ago when it was ultra fashionable to date a BMX'er or a skateboarder but that was so ten years ago (believe me I was one of those girls)

So we are back to Bikes with a big fat question mark at the end of it?

Here is how it all happened...cue flash back screen fade...

This theme came early to Betsey this time, really early, like three months before show early. Usually we are biting our nails and asking for deadline extensions before Betsey finally settles on a theme. You can imagine our surprise when Betsey came into work one day in June and announced that she had the theme for the show. We all breathed a sigh of relief and then she announced the theme...

Bicycles! ...ummmm...wha?

A series of coincidences occurred to help her get to the theme of Bicycling and ultimately her show being called Le tour De Betsey. First her daughter was really into soul cycle exercise club, second her hair dresser would go away for cycling trips upstate which they would always talk about while she was getting her hair done and third while walking up Madison Avenue, Betsey wearing her loud Warhol - esque tile print in primary colors and carrying the matching bag, was trying to figure out what part of the population she dressed like, when a cyclist with all his own matching gear pulled up to the vary same corner where Betsey was standing. They looked at each other and laughed cause their outfits were so similar yet two completely different circumstances. And so it was…the birth of Le Tour De Betsey!
Usually there are two meanings to every Betsey show and this year's duality was the celebration New York fashion week’s tents moving to Lincoln center.

Needless to say, this idea grew on us and here is what we came up with...

...The Elements...

The invite…a pink bracelet a la Lance Armstrong style

The program …a bike map of Manhattan which led the audience through each vignette which took place in a different location on the island.

The production – LDJ production company for the tents installed an amazing LED screen upon which we played a video of traveling through the streets of Manhattan from a cyclist's perspective!

The Runway - Down the center we had LDJ put reflective tape to simulate road lanes

Jewelry - Necklaces that read "Ride Me" in huge rhinestone letters.

We even attempted to have bikes form Bowery Bicycles on the runway. But because of music cue mishaps we had to pull them at the 11th hour, no big deal because we did get a skateboard on the runway!

During this show I met a lot of new friends who do really cool things...

First cool new friend I met is Peter Gray! He is a hair stylist who was sponsored Redken for our show and is now my friend and one of my favorite people I have met since I moved to new york city. He spent long hours with us at the showroom perfecting the hair look until we were all happy with what turned out to be a teased and matted little pony tails held together with tiny rubber bands that look like the brightly colored bicycle tire spoke beads. Since the bike show I can’t imagine working on a runway show with any other stylist who would have his conviction to see a vision through. I also owe my white hair to Peter.

Second cool person…the very talented Sarah Lucero with Stila Make-up!  The previous show we worked with Stila, so it was a treat to get them back for a second year! Betsey was sure that she wanted a green eyelid and Sarah gave us a very cool thick green racing stripe lid and highlighter pink lipstick. I love working with Sarah, she gets Betsey through and through.

This was my second time on Betsey's runway! I wore this amazing orange dress that another designer and I were huddled over still sewing the morning of the show!

Later Zink Magazine did this amazing editorial with the dress 

One of the best things that happened during the preparation for this show was Betsey hand air brushing dresses. Heather, our airbrush expert gave Betsey a tutorial on how an airbrush works and once she got the hang of it there was no stopping her! So much so that we had to convince her that not everything in the show needed airbrushing. Needless to say we trashed the showroom and for about a month after the show we were finding paint and glitter everywhere. 

This beautiful hand painted dress was worn by Katy Perry to the People's Choice Awards 

One very special element to a Betsey show is the "bye-bye"! For each show there is always a different saying, VOTE, LOVE, etc. This years was RIDE ON! Betsey takes this part very seriously and we practice with the models in the showroom. When the models who will be in those last looks come for their fittings Betsey will jump up from her chair and start singing this stripper song and we will get in line  to practice the dance on stage and then the contagion of turning around to slowly reveal the "bye-bye"! Usually everyone does a good job of getting it right! 

I am the "N"

Hope you enjoy reading this! Starting Monday it will be two weeks till showtime and I will be keeping up with you all by posting a daily status of how we are surviving fashion show preparation!
Let's get ready to rumble!

X - Stef

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