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What’s more fun than supermodels and the celebrity-laden front rows of Lincoln Center? Heading to a random address in Chelsea, walking upstairs past smartly dressed, smiling greeters, and entering a Band of Outsiders fashion presentation that feels like walking into a cool indie film (the fact that songs from Requiem for a Dream were playing also helped).
There’s no seating hierarchy here. Instead, everyone mills around the room from one group of models to the next. In one area, handsome young gents — some impeccably dressed in designer Scott Sternberg’s fitted wool suits (and snakeskin reconstructed boat loafers!), others in cozy pajamas — lounged on beds in a boarding-school dormitory. In other areas, the models played table tennis or hung out beside beach umbrellas. A pack of ladies stood in the bleachers, perhaps to cheer on their boyfriends at a football game (or maybe lacrosse is more the kind of sport a preppy Band of Outsiders guy would play).
Standout pieces in Sternberg’s women’s line called Boy. included a tailored military jacket and matching trousers, a sophisticated black tropical wool sleeveless coat dress with black satin lapel, and adorable gold saddle oxfords. In the most elaborate display, a group of young women, dressed in beautiful gauzy frocks (which were part of the new less-expensive Band of Outsiders line for women called Girl.), stood inside a misty greenhouse. Were they perhaps waiting for their lovers?
In short, Sternberg knows how to create a story around his collection that everyone wants to be a part of (and the line to get in was incredibly long). In the past, we’ve seen Jason Schwartzman, Kirsten Dunst, and Kanye West turn up at Sternberg’s shows. This time out, it was comedian Aziz Ansari who donned an appropriately preppy Band of Outsiders look and rubbed elbows with the crowd. Tavi Gevinson, the 14-year-old fashion-blogging sensation who is profiled in this week’s New Yorker, also came by to check out the collection. She was decked out in her signature oddball-cool that included a fuzzy white Sonia Rykiel purse, an oversize blue sweater, a skirt with lips printed all over it, and blue socks with white platform sandals. You couldn’t find a less jaded face at Fashion Week if you tried.
On Monday, the Zero + Maria Cornejo runway show took place inside a packed Hosfelt Gallery. Cornejo, who often says that she designs clothes that she herself would like to wear, presented another outstanding collection of beautiful, modern pieces that women can actually move in, such as cropped pants in stretch leather and loose, billowing dresses that are anything but restrictive. For the men, there were sharp blazers with the lapel cut out and washed-canvas pants and trenches. Bravo!