Are we having fun yet?

Betsey Johnson brings a smile to the face of New York Fashion Week

New York takes its fashion seriously or, rather, fashion in New York takes itself very seriously. Clothes here tend to be beautiful rather than experimental and designed to sell, not to shock.

Thanks heavens then for Betsey Johnson, who doesn’t appear in the least bit worried if anyone likes her catwalk collections and seems far more interested in having a good time.

Yesterday in the Bryant Park tents, she opened the show not with a model or anything so conventional, but by herself, accompanied by (or rather carrying) her two granddaughters, Layla and Ella, the youngest of whom is so tiny the girl next to me mistook her for a doll.

With a mix of Sesame Street and The Troggs providing the soundtrack, the show that followed featured everything from a drunken pirate and naughty brides – forced to walk the runway with handcuffed wrists behind their backs (the only way to persuade them to wear their see-through confections, perhaps) – balloons, bloomers and crinolines, and then Betsey again, this time dressed as an Irish leprechaun.

Yes, she’s obviously barking mad, but what we wouldn’t give to see Carolina Herrera or Vera Wang cart-wheeling down the catwalk in a green leotard.

Report from Carla Bevan in New York

ALL THE LATEST FROM NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE TO ATTEND FASHION WEEK

Reading now

Popular fashion stories