Staud RTW Spring 2024

Los Angeles designer Sarah Staudinger brought a vibe to the runway Sunday night at The Plaza hotel, with hubby Ari Emanuel; famous pals Jeff Bezos, Lauren Sanchez and Jeffrey Deitch in the ballroom seats, and models throwing it back to the 1990s, smiling and twirling in ballskirts and T-shirts on the runway.

The feeling was contagious, with the Endeavor chief executive officer and much of the crowd smiling, too, as they watched the girls come out arm-in-arm, laughing and dancing in Staud’s affordable barefoot glamour.

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“That was the essence of what we wanted to do here at The Plaza and training the girls to do it was another layer, but they wanted to do it so bad,” = Staudinger said of the very Isaac Mizrahi moment, noting that her favorite film is the 1995 documentary “Catwalk,” which followed Christy Turlington during Fashion Month, and features Mizrahi among many other designers.

Staudinger instructed the models to make the audience want to “touch, smell, feel, smile — that’s the essence of our whole thing, shoes off, very grounded,” she said, adding that they all tried on various looks, choosing the one that suited them best to wear down the runway.

“Thank you for highlighting the qualities of what really is important about this industry, I’m so proud and so grateful,” one model said, embracing the designer backstage before leaving.

Certainly there were nods to Mizrahi in the taffeta low-waist ballskirts worn with tanks or cashmere shells and the silk Dupioni column dresses. Beach glam came in the form of crystal mesh dresses worn only with briefs, a black starfish motif crochet dress, sequined trousers and cropped Ts, and flower dotted bikinis. Meanwhile, drapey three-piece suits, and denim from the Staud x Wrangler collaboration had a California ease.

“It wasn’t about a spectacle; every single girl in the show wore flat shoes, it was unfussiness,” Staudinger said.

She definitely has an instinct for what people want. While it will take some work to polish the execution, the brand has plenty of connections and capital to keep fueling the momentum.

“Someone will be crazy enough to convince me to do this again,” she said, “and I will probably show fall, I’m thinking in L.A.”

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Launch Gallery: Staud RTW Spring 2024

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