Meanwhile, in Los Angeles on Friday, still riding high from dressing Billy Porter for the Grammys as a disco diva in turquoise fringe bodysuit and retractable fringe veil hat, Scott Studenberg staged an afternoon “desert disco drag ball” at Ian Schrager’s West Hollywood Edition Hotel.
He had reason to celebrate. “It was on Russian TV, Seth Meyers flew it to New York to be on his show!” Studenberg said of how the look, which became a fashion meme thanks to the mechanical fringe, has affected his brand awareness.
At the show, underneath a ceiling full of mirror balls, the designer built on the glam-leisure signatures from his first collection (skirt-pants, liquid-silk halter dresses, fringe…lots of fringe) after relaunching for Spring 2020 during New York Fashion Week with an advanced contemporary price point.
“I don’t think the collection needs to be brand new every season because the client needs a chance to get into something,” said Studenberg, who worked in a darker palette of navy, brown and black for fall with pops of coral and blush.
The Baja hoodie that started it all was reimagined for fall as a vegan leather dress, and the brand’s drop crotch lounge ribbed-knit sweatpants were glammed up with crystal drawstrings. Crystals, from Swarovski, were a recurring theme, on bolo ties, dotting the models’ nails and faces. And an oversize washed lavender fleece sweatshirt edged in crystal fringe looked West Coast right with Brother Vellies fringe boots and a Gigi Buris hat. The Western vibe continued through a Mojave blanket-print cashmere poncho, mocha jaguar patterned knits and navy lame wild horse print pants.
Keeping it casual, the 1990 “Paris is Burning” drag queen doc inspired “House of LaBaja” slogan T-shirts, hoodies and sweatpants, and Studenberg added lace sweatshirts and leggings as layering pieces over and under satin slip dresses and high-slit satin skirts.
Some pieces weren’t quite ready for prime time; a knit bandeau top, for example, was clumsily fastened with safety pins. And the subterranean lighting, or lack thereof, made it hard to make out some of the details, and was a reminder of why runway shows started being staged in New York Fashion Week tents in the first place.
In the crowd were lots of friends, a handful of editors, Porter’s stylist Sam Ratelle, and buyer Dawn Klohs from Amaree’s in Newport Beach. “I came to support Scott,” she said. “I can’t believe how hard he’s worked.”
Studenberg seemed pleased with his decision to move his show to L.A. “I am going to New York tomorrow…and I actually prefer to do [the show] before, because it helps with sales appointments. When I do a show and sales happen the next day, it doesn’t give anyone a chance to come see it because they are already booked.”