Baja East returned east for New York Fashion Week on Saturday after a three-season hiatus. To the sounds of a string quartet playing Tupac Shakur’s “California Love” (which was as awesome as it sounds), Los Angeles designer Scott Studenberg made his case for the brand’s relaunch — with fresh funding and a new advanced contemporary price point.
“I don’t want just a few women to wear my clothes, I’m trying to bring this relaxed sophistication and versatile glamour to a more accessible price point,” said the designer, wearing white ribbed cotton knit harem pants and a top that’s part of an all-white capsule collection available now, and intended to be a spiritual cleanse before the brand’s rebirth with the full spring 2020 collection.
Inspired by Joshua Tree, the lineup was glam-leisure in shades of sunset and sky, with succulent, rattlesnake, crystal aura, desert bloom and wild horse prints made into easy-breezy, oversize satin shirtdresses, slipdresses, sarong skirts, drawstring jogger pants and softly structured, oversize blazers that would look equally chic worn barefoot by the fire pit, or with heels in Hollywood.
Bringing Baja East’s signature luxe cashmere knits down to earth, he showed super-soft cotton “sunset jaguar” patterned hoodies and dolphin shorts, tie-dye wrap sweaters and a “high priestess” tarot card intarsia coatigan that certainly read like a commercial hit.
To these he added athletic basics like bike shorts and bodysuits. And not forgetting the brand’s sense of whimsy, there were extras like crystal fringed bucket hats and Vans sneakers, plus hoodies emblazoned with slogans such as “Welcome to the Wild, Wild West” and “I Drove All Night.” (“Celine Dion is actually one of our best customers, so this one is for her,” the designer said.)
Rounding out the range was a rose quartz-colored lame jumpsuit, cascading gown with crystal trim, and matching boyfriend blazer. “All the colors were inspired by crystals,” said the designer. It was an auspicious — new — beginning.