This Up-and-Coming Designer Learns How to Dress Up in L.A.

Our clothes are more than fabric on our bodies. What we wear becomes part of our lives in an emotional way. We all have a moment in time that's marked by what we were wearing: our first job interview, first kiss, first bad haircut … Welcome to "What I Wore When," a series that asks our favorite women what they were wearing during a memorable moment in her life. Today's account: designer Sarah Staudinger on what she wore to an important art event.

What To Wear to An Art Party
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It’s really fun getting dressed up when you live in L.A. because I feel like there aren’t very many events here that you get to dress up for. It’s always very casual. If there is a dressy event, people tend to dress sexier, not necessarily fancier.

Each year at the MOCA gala, an artist is honored with a black-tie event. You get to walk around the museum and look at all the beautiful art that’s on display after hours. You have dinner, then you dance … it’s all amazing people and amazing artists. Last year, the event honored Ed Ruscha.

Because it’s a MOCA event, people bring out their more artistic style. It’s always really fun. I [wish] there are more events like that in L.A., where people feel free to dress up.

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I had nothing to wear for the event. I randomly found this vintage store and something inside told me to go in. The dress I found has no designer. It’s this beautiful silk organza, bright orange, completely color blocked dress with wild piping. It came with a belt—which I chose not to wear. Instead, I wore Céline portrait earrings; they have little faces on them. I wore my own shoes, lace sandals, but no one could see them.

What To Wear to An Art Party

The dress has a very renaissance feel to it. It felt very artsy. Everyone else at the party was in black (including my date, my mother, who arrived in a vintage Thierry Mugler), so it was fun and felt different to be bright. I got so many compliments and felt very special. I wore a floral embroidered clutch that I got in Mexico on a recent shoot for my brand, Staud. It was so random with the outfit but it worked at the same time.

What I wore impacted my experience that night 100 percent. I think that happens every day … it’s the way that I relate days to each other.

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