When Tracy met Betsey!

Author’s unabashed devotion to her Fashion Patron Saint Betsey Johnson

By Tracy Dizon
New York or bust!
There is no one else in the world who has salivated, daydreamt and fantasized about New York more than I did in my lifetime. The Universe conspired and also with the help of Good Karma, our U.S. petition finally came through after waiting 11 years. Now here I am finally settling down with my son as a New York City legal resident. I am finally checking my boxes one at a time!
My New York fashion love affair started two decades ago. Half of my life I have looked up to the New York Fashion icons — from the flamboyant Club Kids: Heatherette (Richie Rich & Traver Rains), Patricia Field’s Sex and the City genius, The Accidental Icon: Iris Apfel’s Legendary Maximalism at its best and of course every girl’s (especially me!)  Fashion Patron Saint: The Betsey Johnson!
In a New York minute!
So first thing’s first in the New York Fashion Life. Lesson #1: Always be in the loop!New York City lives by its saying “in a New York Minute!” So as soon as I heard The Betsey Johnson is coming to NYC for her latest Spring-Summer Collection 2019 launch in collaboration with Urban Outfitters, I was there! It was also Betsey’s first public appearance after her successful open-heart surgery just this Spring. I know we have not met yet but learning about her health and how closer I am now to Betsey Johnson proximity-wise I couldn’t help but feel I had to show my full support to our Fashion-Mother-of-all-things-cute-and-girly!
I had this all planned out for a very long time. I have a list of my New York Fashion icons for whom I have prepared a special gift when I get the chance to meet them. Betsey Johnson is on top of that list! I had been inviting Betsey Johnson to watch my NYFW Shows since I had my first show in Fashion Week Brooklyn. What I like about New York is how everyone can just try and go for things. Just do it, and that’s what I have been doing! Weeks before the launch, I was doing dress rehearsals at home wondering which would make a great impression. Or course I had to carry along my iconic “Camera Purse” which always brings along a nice conversation anywhere I go.
It was still a little bit rainy as May was coming to an end, but the Urban Outfitters Herald Square was filled with so many cute and quirky fashion girls (and some few boys) waiting patiently and excitedly for Betsey to show up! I never thought there are many serious contenders out there showing some Betsey-lovin-support! I have never been inside a place where so many girls have seriously dressed up, plainly having fun, and expressing themselves, embracing how fun it is to be a girly-over-the-top-fun-girl-girl!  

The Urban Outfitters Herald Square store was filled with cute candy cocktail snacks and drinks, ear piercing booths, photobooths and graffiti tote bag painting booths. Betsey truly is the queen of all quirky cute things and we are her girl squad!! I am seriously getting a lot of fashion tips just seeing how it is done by the Legendary Betsey Johnson!
I must admit I was getting so impatient waiting for my turn. I was worried someone might be cutting the line but I think what is a few more hours when I waited half of my life! But as soon as Betsey Johnson came down the stairs with her blue hippie hair, she was almost floating and so ethereal! You would genuinely feel she was so happy to see her loyal fans! She was throwing rose flower petals going down stairs! You can’t get more whimsical as our Kween Betsey!
Best validation for a young designer
As soon as everyone saw her the whole party got more lively! I got more excited as I got my turn! It just literally happened so fast. I had prepared my cute Tiara by Tracy Dizon gift. But the best most unforgettable moment in all of this whole epic moment is as soon as I sat down, Betsey touched my dress and whispered, “I love your dress, it reminds me of Harajuku. I love it!” I was completely dazed and ecstatic! 
I proudly showed her I have prepared her a gift and she was so gracious and happy that we opened it right away! Literally a dream come true that she grabbed the two millinery pieces I made and she tried it on right away! Hey, when your fashion icon likes what you designed, I believe it is a good sign that I am on the right track! I told her a little about Harajuku, how she inspired me to keep on going and I even said jokingly if she could adopt me haha! Betsey adorably answered “I wish honey!”Isn’t she the sweetest ever? 
Later that evening I got a lovely thank you message from Betsey Johnson herself. She thanked me for her hat and for coming. Oh Betsey, I will always aspire to be as awesome and as kind as you are. I was so blown away how genuinely sweet she is.
The fashion world is filled with many fickle characters and fleeting trends and styles. It is cutthroat as hell! But just knowing that a steadfast legend in her fifth decade in the fashion industry remained true and genuinely sweet and whimsical as her design is such a comfort and inspiration for many quirky fashion dreamers out there! I am just happy to live to write a genuinely good-vibe New York Story!

The Tracy, Betsey look

Tracy Dizon, a 36-year-old fashion designer and milliner, is often coined to be “The Filipina Betsey Johnson” by many fashion enthusiasts. She recently migrated to New York with her son to pursue her New York dream of becoming a world-renowned fashion designer. For more about the “Pinoy Pop Life” creative, visit her vlog https://youtu.be/sxWZD0jO9Eg.

© The FilAm 2019

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