450 West, the venue where Band of Outsiders staged its first-ever runway show, wasn't set up like a movie set. But Los Angeles-based designer Scott Sternberg did pull a stunt. At the beginning of the show, with The Doors playing in the background, male models popped out of boxes suspended from the ceiling, crawling down to the runway on thick rope.
This set the stage for a hiking-inspired collection, but what it also did was make the audience ooh and ahh, biting into our lemony Momofuku cookies with the excitement of kids at the cinema. What came next were three separate runway shows. First, Band of Outsiders for men, then Boy for women, then Girl, a lower-priced line also for the ladies.
For Band of Outsiders, Sternberg sent out a set of oxford cloth windbreakers in red, purple, and yellow, then a green quilted pea coat, bringing true warmth to winter. For us, these sporty classics were the standouts, along with the always-solid Sperry Top-Siders. (This time, Sternberg collaborated with the shoe brand on climbing boots, boat moccasins, and waxed wool shoes.) I also loved the rabbit pea coat, although it takes a special man--Jason Schwartzman, maybe?--to pull that off without looking like a pimp.
Moving on to Boy is an easy transition. Sternberg opened with Tati in a rabbit pea coat dyed navy blue, a pair of traditional cargo pants, fantastic hiking boots tied up with red laces, and a single strand of pearls. What an easy styling trick that looks so good! (Thank you, Tina Chai.) What came next was a selection of preppy '70s-ish suits and trousers, as well as '70s-ish ponchos, layered sweats, and a variety of camper's clothes. We'd love to say it was Ali McGraw in Love Story or Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, but it wasn't. Sternberg's story is very much his own, which means cinematic references don't pack the same punch in writing.
Girl also had a '70s tinge, circumventing The Virgin Suicides and Gunne Sax. (Again, nothing with Sternberg is too literal.) Our favorite was the silk habotai bird print blouse-the caplet collar was both sweet and interesting.
To live in Sternberg's world must be wonderful. And given the clout and celebrity of those attending the show--from Kanye West to Barneys buyers--we're not the only ones who wish to buy into it.
**All photos by Imaxtree.