Pret-a-Reporter

Betsey Johnson Doesn't Want You to Come to Her Shows for the Clothes

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Betsey Johnson

The designer, who is featured on the new documentary film 'American Masters: The Women's List,' says her fashion shows are about so much more.

Betsey Johnson will be showing her spring 2016 collection during New York Fashion Week this Friday, but she hopes that her audience is there for more than just the opportunity to see some fancy threads walk down the runway.

"The last reason in the world people should come to my fashion show is to see me show my clothes," said the designer while filming Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' new PBS film, American Masters: The Women's List. As one of 15 women featured on the hour-long special, which also stars Edie Falco, Margaret Cho, Alicia Keys and Madeleine Albright, Johnson is being honored for her lifetime achievement in the realm of fashion. But to her, the show itself is about so much more than just the clothes.

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"Before a fashion show, I have to have a theme, I have to have a story, I have to have a reason," she said, adding, "I'm too terrified to ever show my clothes straight so I have to come up with the whole little party around them."

Though it's difficult to imagine the 73-year-old, who is known for her over-the-top, eccentric looks and doing splits on the runway, would be terrified of anything, it appears that fright can get to even the best of us.

The full American Masters special premieres Sept. 25 on PBS.

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