About two years ago, Scott Studenberg appeared at New York Fashion Week with a salon-meets-QVC-style presentation for Baja East. He stood in Milk Studios with a mic, in an all white cashmere sweatsuit, and narrated the entire collection as models came out in fringed bias dresses and slouchy knit trousers, snapping wisecracks like a New Age Joan Rivers. Meeting with Studenberg on Zoom has been an enjoyable ride, but I miss seeing his schtick in the flesh—especially when his fall 2021 collection lookbook, starring RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Gottmik and reigning winner Symone, seems like such a hoot. Maybe they can all hop on an Instagram live? Just an idea.
For all the campy glory of the imagery, Studenberg’s clothing is a touch more serious than usual. Not to say there isn’t a derrière-exposing ski onesie made in collaboration with Eddie Bauer or any shortage of crystal fringe, but he is more exacting about his SKUs. For fall, it’s really a loungewear fantasy for the Baja East customer, with stallion-printed leggings, billowing leopard pants, and pastel velour intimates that call back, albeit abstractly, to Mariah Carey’s generation-defining episode of MTV Cribs. If you must stay at home, why not do it with flair?
Elsewhere, Studenberg repurposed pieces from previous seasons, dip-dyeing leftover separates in his yard and finding new ways to experiment with materials he already owns. It’s definitely not the crafty aesthetic of other upcyclers, but that’s the point. The Baja Babe, as he lovingly calls his muse and customer, loves glamour and a sensuous drape. The season doesn’t really matter.
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