Pret-a-Reporter

Band of Outsiders Marches On Without Scott Sternberg

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Band of Outsiders spring 2017 collection

The label's “Class of SS17” collection, the first under a new trio of designers, was an LA cliche.

At Band of Outsiders, class is back in session. 

The L.A. brand, whose fans once included Hollywood cool kids Rashida Jones, Frank Ocean and Kirsten Dunst, returned to New York Fashion Week Saturday night, with a trio of new designers from Antwerp trying to revive the collection founded by former CAA agent Scott Sternberg in 2004.

While Sternberg's inspirations were often quite nuanced and brainy (Robert Altman's noir film "The Long Goodbye," the photojournalist Lee Miller), Niklaus Hodel, Matthias Weber and Florian Feder served up a collection that hit you over the head with a cliched Beverly Hills prep school aesthetic.

The trio took the reins earlier this year, and Sternberg walked away after the brand filed for bankruptcy in 2015.

Flannels tied around the waist, varsity jackets ironically accentuated with question marks rather than jersey numbers, and white Velcro gum-soled sneakers felt too obvious, especially considering you can find the exact same offering by walking into any Urban Outfitters store at this very moment.


"SOMEBODIES": Looks from Band of Outsiders "Class of SS17" collection at New York Fashion Week. (Photos: Getty Images)

It was also clear that the designers were reaching to recreate the brand’s signature apathetic, “outsider” aesthetic, though the execution felt a little unoriginal. For example, the “Class of SS17” theme was stretched to its limit by reworking prep-school uniform staples in a manner you might expect from a flippant eye-rolling teen: the sleeves of a cream cable knit sweater hung below the finger tips, swingy limply at the model’s sides; a periwinkle blue bathrobe over a graphic tee; a feminine white lace skirt styled with an oversize hoodie.

In the end, the collection left us a bit confused, much like the show’s tagline: “Los Angeles is America, but it is also everywhere.” 

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