By Anna Sekula Posted February 17, 2009, 12:35 PM EST
NEW YORK The mood at Fashion Week might be a bit more somber than in previous seasons, but that hasn't removed all of the whimsy from the shows. Yesterday, tent regular Betsey Johnson opted to forgo Bryant Park, switching out a 1,000-person show for a more intimate viewing at her Seventh Avenue showroom. The cheerful backdrop and Johnson's trademark playfulness kept the spirit upbeat. Opposite the tents, designer Stacey Bendet once again showcased her Alice & Olivia collection inside her store, complete with sweet treats, champagne, and vignettes loaded with props.
For those who stuck to the traditional runway format, the setting was more modest. With a substantially reduced guest list, Marc Jacobs took over the 69th Regiment Armory for an exhibition of '80s-style clothes, hair, and makeup. And although reviews criticized the impracticality of the collection, the celebrated designer did take a straightforward approach to the set. In a similar vein, the first Bryant Park tent show for William Rast—the label Justin Timberlake cofounded with Trace Ayala and creative directors Marcella and Johan Lindeberg—had an uncomplicated look dominated by a black-and-white backdrop.