When you think Band of Outsiders, you think L.A. So it makes sense that for spring 2014, designer Scott Sternberg took us to his hometown and constant source of inspiration. More specifically he took us behind Hollywood–as in literally behind the iconic Hollywood sign, up in the Hollywood hills with an LED-lit view of L.A. at nighttime. (Fittingly, Hollywood starlets Greta Gerwig, Lake Bell, and Rashida Jones sat front row).
“It was my silly idea,” a humble Sternberg told us of the set, adding that they worked with the same “lighting guy” they’ve worked with since their first presentations many years ago. “Not to sound like some… rich person ass, but I look at that view all the time,” the designer said. “That view is very much part of our brand.”
And of course, the clothes had their own brand of L.A. coolness. Sternberg told us he was inspired by Hollywood noir movies, from watching Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye. “It’s not like a great movie, but it has this amazing female heroine, played by Nina van Pallandt, and she’s just this vision of bohemian etherealism. ”
Bohemian etherealism is a hallmark of Sternberg’s design–and it was evidenced on the runway in the floaty, lilac frocks, halter gowns, and scarf print motifs. But there was definitely other influences at play–and for a Band of Outsiders show, they were pretty unexpected.
“I was super into [van Pallandt's character in The Long Goodbye] but I was also super into doing something totally different in terms of a reaction into what I’d just done,” Sternberg said. “Which is why I thought I’d do something sporty and crisp. So I just sort of set out to make those things, which can become cliche in the preppy world feel new and feel fresh.”
The sport that immediately came to mind was sailing. The sandals (which were worn with socks) were made from nautical rope. There were anoraks, rain ponchos, and white dresses that recalled billowing sails. The palette also seemed to belong somewhere near a sailboat: Bright blues, greens, and optic whites.
Of course, every season we look forward to seeing which young ingenue Sternberg will tap to star in the collection look book. We couldn’t resist asking if he had anyone in mind yet. “I know who I want it to be very, very clearly,” Sternberg told us. “And we’re trying to get on a much better schedule, and I want to ask her tomorrow.”
Any hints? “She’s….she’s really pretty…I don’t know what I can say that won’t give it away,” Sternberg looks up at the PR, who is shaking her head no. “I don’t even know if she’ll do it yet!”
Somehow, we think she will. “She’s very, very famous. No, I’m kidding. I can’t say. No hints!”