Dhani and John both spent yesterday afternoon praising at the church of Sternberg, an experience deserving of more than one review. Here are their takes, starting with Boy:
After standing in line anxiously for about 20 minutes (behind Tavi and a girl who I thought was her same age but is apparently her agent), I was overrun with anticipation. I walked in to find six or seven girls on risers wearing black sunglasses (by Illesteva) and Boy’s signature preppy with a twist staples. I was instantly obsessed with a pair of platform wooden espadrilles. I thought I was in for a pretty typical presentation, perhaps with some sort of collegiate theme. That was until I realized how large the room was and suddenly felt like I was in the rain forest.
I turned to my right and saw what looked like a bunch of girls standing in a shower. Indeed, there was the inaugural presentation of Girl, Sternberg’s new lower-priced line for women. The models were being misted with water against dim lighting and a backdrop of windows and trees–which might sound weird, but was actually really beautiful. Out of each setting, this one may have fit the best with the haunting music by composer Thomas Newman, instantly recognizable if you’ve ever seen American Beauty or Six Feet Under. Despite the haze, Girl was really cute. While Boy has always been an interpretation of Band’s menswear, Girl is, fittingly, unmistakably girly. Everything was soft, pale, and drapey.
After that, the sun came out and six more ladies, more pulled together than Girl’s rain-drenched ghosts, and more dressed up than the tomboys on the risers, stood in front of big orange umbrellas wearing Boy. I was in love with the sheer white button-downs, especially paired with a matching tuxedo blazer and softly pleated skirt.
As usual, Sternberg made everything I want to wear next spring and hopefully, with the introduction of Girl, a few things I can actually afford.
There is more art in Scott Sternberg’s Band of Outsiders presentations than on any runway show at Lincoln Center. The LA-based Sternberg knows how to put on a show, and not just with the immaculate and cheeky pseudo-camp-for-wayward boys set up he’d constructed, or the waves of mist he had spraying over his girls, but in the clothes, which are far from theatrical, but carry more weight than anything Universal, Warner, or Fox released this year.
Once again, Sternberg has nailed it.
It’s hard to imagine anyone else making jackets-over-pajamas not only work, but look cool. His taught yet inviting suits made me covetous, and his cotton pants, rolled up to the knees, in the most endearing shades of grey and khaki, made me consider a move to Cali.
There are drawstring cotton shorts, which make the very best out of the novel greens, maroons and blues Sternberg has chosen. Above the maroon number was a matching, immaculate hoodie, boasting its piping and calling out to you to come cuddle by the beach fire. Another look featured a black leather bomber on the top half, and another such short, also black, on the bottom. It shouldn’t work—a leather jacket and shorts—but it does, amazingly well. A more traditional, checkered short, with light blue lines on grey was so subtly patterned you had to look twice to see that the checks were there.
The power of Sternberg’s collection isn’t in the coherence of his vision, the absolute certainty with which he makes his statement, the intelligence behind his presentation, or even in the wearability of each piece—it’s in its ability to make men rethink the way we dress.