I’m not sure which ELLE.com editor has ties to the NSA, but someone had to have read my June 2021 text message response to Heidi Gardner when she asked me what designers were my go-tos for dresses. Among my responses was Staud, so when I was invited to sit front row at the brand’s spring 2022 show, I was equally excited to see the new ready-to-wear collection and confident that my phone had been tapped.
I arrived at 7 p.m. on the dot, like a true fool. Of all times to be punctual, fashion week shows are not it! I know it’s fashionable to be late, but maybe I was simply too eager to strut down Varick Street in a Staud argyle sweater vest and matching cropped pant set with yellow leather boots. Once I arrived at the entrance of Spring Studios, I immediately saw another person rocking the exact same set, but with a heeled sandal. I thought, Okay! Shout-out to versatility.
Apart from that, there was complete mayhem outside. I’m talking several different lines: a very long one, a shorter one, and then a small crowd of people trying to skip both. I could immediately tell that getting into the show wasn’t exactly going to be a smooth operation. Claire arrived and we devised a loose plan to make our way through the first checkpoint. I could feel myself getting calmer, not to mention growing increasingly grateful that I opted for a sleeveless number so I wouldn’t have to worry about pit stains.
Once we were upstairs, I took in the sight of a bright yellow rug across the surface area of the terrace, matching bright yellow seats, and a giant lemon-shaped disco ball in the center of the floor. I mean, how could you miss the lemon? I’ve simply never seen a better dressed lemon, and probably never will. Everything about the ambiance made me feel like summer wasn’t quite over, and it wasn’t even 7:15 p.m. on a Sunday night in mid-September. I loved it. Summer forever!
Claire and I made our way to the bar and a few kind, rule-bending bartenders poured us canned sparkling tequila cocktails into champagne flutes. We toasted to summer. (Okay, we didn’t, but I wish we had.) I got to my seat and there was a beautifully dressed dog perched on a lap next to me. Even dogs come dressed to impress for fashion week. I’m learning.
The Staud show was all about beachwear, crop tops, crochet, and mini and maxi skirts. The show began with lights that could resurrect a dead man, what I think was house music, and gorgeous models strutting to the beat. It felt like they were dancing, but they were, in fact, walking. I was mesmerized. I felt like I was front row at a summer party. Toes and bellies were exposed, baby! Again, I say: summer forever. My favorite pieces were a hot pink feather-trimmed mini dress, a navy crochet maxi dress, and a colorful patchwork maxi.
The show was capped off with surprise fireworks. Some people wondered if the fireworks were part of the show, and I knew that they were because a person who I presume was a producer let a few of us know the show would be ending with “surprise” fireworks. I was kinda salty because I wish I could’ve shared in the confused awe at the end of the night. Alas.
For a minute, all the bursts of colors almost made me forget a moment right before the show started when a rumor made its way down the front row to me: Larry David was there—and possibly because the new line was made in collaboration with him. One of these things seemed far-fetched to me, but I thought, Cool! I’d rock L.D.-designed fashions. I never confirmed the collab rumors, but after the show, I laid eyes on Mr. David himself. I can’t say whether he was having fun or not, but afterwards, more rumors swirled that he was having the time of his life.
This last year and a half certainly gave us lemons, and in my case, a lil’ social anxiety, but the vibrancy of the Staud show reminded us that the light at the end of the tunnel just might be fireworks.
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