“Making war beautiful.” In three simple yet powerful words, Scott Sternberg summed up his thinking behind the Boy by Band of Outsiders collection for spring—easily one of his strongest to date. Citing such films as “Hunger Games” and the Japanese thriller film “Battle Royale” as cues, the coupling of this notion of cinema with the brand’s overall relaxed, West Coast vibe resulted in a daringly subversive mood that, at times, startled.
As daring as the show got—see-thru macramé, anyone?—the overall aesthetic remained restrained. Often, the suggestion at violence was noticeable via a simple streak of under eye paint. After all, what’s so brooding about a lotus flower pajama print silk dress? “I looked into the military during World War II Japan,” offered Sternberg, “but never forgetting that California surfer, Topanga Canyon girl.”
Indeed, while the collection had its darker moments, on the whole the cinched, relaxed day pants, strapless jumpsuits, board shorts and seersucker dresses—many of which were paired with fitted blazers worn ever just so—lent themselves more to the boardwalk than bloodshed. What was perhaps most evident in the collection was the use of fabric treatment. Moving into more complicated patterns, Sternberg explored Shibori dye techniques, of which three different ones were used to stunning effect.
At first glance, the all-white finale lineup of separates and dresses appeared innocent enough—complemented by lazy strokes of watercolor hues. It may have looked like a day at the beach, but the show notes begged to differ: “war paint.”
- Jim Shi