Monday, March 1, 2010

Betseyville in Mexico is Whimsical, Wild and Crazy and It's All Betsey Johnson

I adore Betsey Johnson and her creative, funky and fun strong point of view in fashion design and in interior design. When I first saw her Manhattan apartment several years ago on TV (Homes across America?) before the recent redo, my heart skipped a beat (if anyone has the tape of this, please share!). It was beyond fabulous. I actually used to have a room called "Betsey" in which I painted the all the walls hot pink with florals, antique rose painted furniture, chandeliers and used bright shocking green & black for accents and displayed all my vintage clothing and wares in one special eye popping place. So, when I found out recently about Betseyville in Mexico I had to check out what Betsey has been up to.
Because no one does it quite like Betsey.

Betsey presides over an empire which includes 40 worldwide stores and is a budding real estate mogul as well. She owns the magical Betseyville villa in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. If you want to live the Betsey Johnson lifestyle, her villa is available for rent through the luxury villa rental company La Cure (the villa sleeps up to 10 people and the weekly off-peak rate is $5,500).The rooms are decorated in exuberant lime, lilac and hot pink- but what else would you expect from Betsey Johnson?

Here's an interview I found with Betsey Johnson on (i)travel (i)shop:
What is the last place you visited, and where is the next place you are going?
I own two completely different places in Zihuatenjo. One is my rentable-by-the-week villa Betseyville. Down south is my more glamorous Italianate style home, Villa Betsey. I was on hold for travelling for awhile when my daughter was pregnant. Her baby is now six months old so its time to travel again. I like to go to Betseyville and relax. If I can make sure to get my lace curtains hung at Villa Betsey then I'll rent it out. Outside of publicity trips to LA and junk like that, I really like to go back to Mexico. For Christmas this year we're going to a big hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico because my daughter's husband has never been there. Puerto Rico isn't my favourite thing to do but it will be easy. No stop, no customs, no geckos climbing the walls.
I also love to travel within Mexico. Next time I go I will make a pit stop at San Miguel De Allende, a great gothic cathedral town just north of Mexico City. Then I'm really getting the itch to do real travelling. Once the Mamounia has reopened in Marrakech I'll go there. Then I need to find a great guy and go travelling with him in the desert to find all those great oasis.
I'm always on the lookout for India or Morocco circa 1965.

I love to travel- I don't love flying- and I love to get out of New York City and the Hamptons.

How does travel inspire your designs?
It used to a lot in the 1970s when it was all the hippie-peasant stuff. I think its interesting to see what people are wearing. When I travel my assistant and I go vintage shopping in London and Paris. But fashion wise, we're all the same now. I think travelling anywhere is inspirational, even if you're just travelling a block in New York. But if I want to find the real ethnic, pleasanty stuff I need to go deep in the mountains of Mexico to see the women with their satin dresses and thick braids.

Where do you like to shop for vintage in Paris and London?
In London, Rellik is big time for us. We also hit the Portobello Market, Mary Moore and Virginia in Clarendon Cross. Steinberg & Tolkien on the New Kings Road is also good. I also like Alfies.
We've been making Paris an important stop. We go to Bridgets. We like to do the Sunday morning flea markets. You need to comb that joint when you go. I like the Palais Royale area and that's where Gabrielle Geppert is. In the Marais we go to Quidam de Revel. In Paris its also fun to go to the new designer's shops. We go to Colette, Chantal Thomas and Lanvin.
We're hoping to find some new cities to go shopping in- maybe Italy. I'd like to go to Antwerp and Prague too.
Oh yeah, in the sex store category we like Sonia Rykiel Sports Store. They have cute little rubber ducks and stuff. I also love Coco de Mer in London.

What kind of things do you like to buy when travelling?
Layla, my granddaughter, is my big focus now. I have to buy her anything that's great. For me, I do the vintage shopping and if I see something for my houses or Layla, I'll buy it. I don't usually find much for me though. See, I have my dressing formula down. I wear black jean cut-offs and a leopard skirt. So if I shop its in the shoe category. It's so easy. I'm so lazy but I know visually that it works. It's very rock and roll. I did pick up a great girlie pin-up t-shirt at Chantal Thomas in Paris.

What's your pet peeve about fashion? Do you think people have taken the fun out of it?
I think people put in or remove the fun of it themselves, whether its about fashion, cooking or decorating an apartment. We're in such a trendless time right now that anything goes. People look best when they make their own decisions. I do encourage experimentation, whether it's trying a new lipstick or a t-shirt.

How would you describe your personal style?
It's easy! My hair extensions are done four times a year. It's a piece of cake. Then my dressing formula is easy and statement-y. It's all hot wash and hot dry. Everything is folded and put on shelves and labelled. It works. The skirts are leopard and the t-shirts are colourful.

The masterbedroom

Favorite hotel in the world?
I used to like the Mamounia when it was the palace. Then they redid it and ruined it but now they are doing it again so and are supposed to be putting it back together. Hmmm. I don't remember anywhere I stayed in Japan or India. I used to have a boyfriend who lived at Round Hill in Jamaica but then I got quite sick of it all.
I loved the beauty and the elegance of the Palais in Biarritz. There were all these old Italian ladies who were just gorgeous and elegant. Everyone there really seemed to like their jobs. The weather sucked though. I like the old, decadent palace-y type places. Since I tend to travel alone a lot, I need things like good music and good flowers. Since I am by myself I notice these things more.


What do you always pack when you travel?
I always pack just carry-on. I love funky chiffon dresses that you can roll and twist- imagine a Fortuny fabric. I do my t-shirts and my leopard skirts and I'm good to go. I think my makeup bag takes up more room than my clothes. It's the damn shoes which take up all the room. So I wear my funky espadrilles on the plane. I also try to pack an eye mask and ear plugs, and a close makeup mirror so I'm not sitting in the sink to put on my makeup.


Betseyville is for sale!
- The most colorful and whimsical small beach getaway you will find anywhere ... totally designed and "staged" by Betsey Johnson as only she could do it. A setting of tropical gardens with one lap pool and one large pool, 4 kingsize bungalow suites w/bath, 1 al fresco suite with double bed under palapa roof w/bath, 2 lounge areas, 1 dining area, 1 kitchenette and 1 full kitchen, laundry room, and caretaker's quarters. Can be run as a bed and breakfast or used as a retreat for your family and friends. Very private and walled with entrances from the road and the beach.
Ready for the good times to roll!

Listed at $600,000

Wow... what a dream come true this would be. Even just to stay a few nights. I could pack a few bathing suits, a straw hat, a beach wrap and be on a plane in no time...
What do you think of Betseyville?
Could you roll with it? Then, grab that bikini or trunks!
Let's do it in Betsey style!
Ha.. Ha..


MrJeffery said...

omg. i had seen her manhattan pad on a tv show. i love this!


I adored every single thing from your wonderful post. How clever of you ! Have a wonderful week.

Unknown said...

i love a home where somebody's personality shines through! Betsey's home is exactly that...a bit much for my taste, but the colors and patterns really are a visual treat!
xoxo alison

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Christina,
Betseyville definitely fits her colorful and quirky personality. Her clothes are lots of fun, I have a few of her dresses and I always get lots of compliments on them, very girly and feminine.

Conquer The Monkey said...

first your blog is looking better than eva!!!
2nd, great interview and even better PICTURES! thanks for sharing the beauty!!!!

Fashion Court said...

i ADORE her!

you totally have to watch this video with her doing cartwheels on the news! haha

DolceDreams said...

Oh what a Betsey deja vu!I am in with you, this looks like a blast... great post, thanks for sharing,

Style, She Wrote said...

Great images and interview. Love her use of color.

sewa mobil said...

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Crave said...

Fun post! Love how she styles everything in her home. Especially love the hot pink chairs and the oversized florals!

Couture Carrie said...

Gorgeous manse!
Love that pool!


Unknown said...

She is amazing, it looks and feels as if she just wants to live to the fullest - rich pallet and textures give away that wonderful spirit of hers. Thank you for the amazing, wonderful post! Wishing you beautiful week filled with inspirations and joy!:-)

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

OMG. How fabulous! I adore Bestey. One of my very favorite dresses is a tulle confection of hers via 2004!

tattytiara said...

Oh Betsy, how I do adore you. My Betsy Johnson dress is one of my most absolutely favorite things in the whole of the wide world.

villa estartit said...

The pics are awesome!I really like your post..Great Job!