Confirming the ever-expanding friends and family of Born X Raised‘s community, the 9th Sadie Hawkins Winter Formal has evolved into its largest venue to date. Inspired by old school, traditional dances in Los Angeles, the annual affair has everyone (from local celebrities to top-charting artists) preparing for the rare opportunity to really dress up and celebrate one another. With the recent passing of the brand’s founder Spanto, this year’s party brings the greatest tribute through style, spirit and surprise performances.
Outside the Palladium, patient crowds of creatives, both veterans and newer faces, leave their egos at the door to maintain the sweet, sappy air that defines the city’s historic party. Inside, co-founder Alex “2Tone” Erdmann notes that Anna Printup, Spanto’s widow, was responsible for key elements like large-scale wall projections of Spanto and a moving kick-off speech.
Faced with the challenge of planning a star-worthy surprise for a guest list with celebrities like Miguel, Paloma Elsesser and Danny Trejo, 2Tone landed on a traditional mariachi band performance, by Julian Torres, and quick set by YG. Hoping that all their party guests are recovered, 2Tone says to stay tuned, “We will carry on in the tradition of BXR and continue to evolve and change… we have a few more tricks up our sleeves.”
Since the brand proudly reps Venice and the Westside, guests incorporate classic California-inspired airbrush or gothic script fonts into long evening gowns and adorned two-piece suits. Ozzie Juarez, artist and Tlaloc Studios founder, finds beauty in the transformation that studio-bound creatives undergo while preparing their looks, “Sadie’s serves as a platform for us to break free from the everyday and celebrate the artistry of dressing up, fostering a sense of camaraderie and shared appreciation for the finer things in life.”
“Sadie’s serves as a platform for us to break free from the everyday and celebrate the artistry of dressing up, fostering a sense of camaraderie.”
He recalls how Spanto drew inspiration from a “pachuco-style zoot suit [he wore] for NYFW, designed by Lujo Depop x Georgina Treviño” before commissioning a suit by Eric Kim and Jon Lee of Firmé Atelier. While they wore similar suits at last year’s party, Juarez shares that Firmé Atelier also created the suit for Spanto’s final resting place. “In a gesture of respect, I wore a suit from the same design duo,” says Juarez, “Eric and Jon’s exceptional work deserves recognition, and they have continued their design journey with BXR, a testament to Spanto’s eye for greatness.”
Another expansion to this year’s party included a strong bi-coastal presence, which speaks to Born X Raised’s influence beyond local audiences. Victor Vegas, of Awake NY and Primer Rebelde De America, is drawn to the way the brand’s party represents real LA culture. “There is nothing more real than this on this side of the coast,” adds Vegas, “As a New Yorker I admire that realness.”
From the co-signs to the collaborative garments, only Born X Raised can cause this much authenticity to congregate on Sunset Boulevard. For photos from its iconic photo booth and updates on apparel releases, check out Born X Raised’s Instagram.