Band of Outsiders Mines Spaghetti Westerns and the Southwest for Fall

For fall, designer Scott Sternberg gave the Old West a fresh appeal with urban accents and cheeky prints.

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Looks from the Fall 2012 collection of Band of Outsiders.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
A crackling spaghetti western anthem and a flaming red sunrise set a cinematic stage for Scott Sternberg's inspired romp through old southwest style. "It started with a trip to Mexico City," Sternberg told us backstage. "I was looking a lot at markets -- all that good stuff that gets us designers excited. Blankets, embroideries, bracelets and shearlings. I wanted to take all of that kind of spin a new tale."
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For Sternberg, that translated to a blend of more literal southwestern references -- woven blanket detailing, a sunset-like palette, nods to "Little House on the Prairie" -- mixed with urban accents and more tailored pieces.
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"Sometimes I think to myself, 'God, I love the past' -- and it's not nostalgia, even, it's almost anthropological," says Sternberg. "But you can't just replicate things, you have to make something new."
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Indeed, while the designer took a more literal approach to his reference material with the Band of Outsiders menswear, it never read "American Heritage" or overly precious. This chunky double-breasted blazer, for example, gave an Old Western look a touch of downtown cool.
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A few cinematic looks drove home the spaghetti western mood, in particular this sweeping black frock coat and lumpy black hat.
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Warm desert colors of red, orange, and yellow gave the men's line-up a decidedly cheery, playful vibe while staying true to Sternberg's southwestern inspiration.
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Sternberg described "Boy," Band's higher-priced women's collection, as being "a bit more mature. It has more overt references to the men's [collection]." Here, the designer took a different approach to the Old West with a series of day dresses and gowns that called to mind Laura Engels Wilder. Here, a long-sleeve cotton dress with soft floral embroidery.
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While Band is generally been better known for its menswear than its womenswear collections, the emphasis of the Fall '12 show was clearly on the ladies. This simple one-shoulder dress felt appropriately "peasant" in the context of the collection, but still elegant and wearable.
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With a flowing, asymmetrical hem and subtle draping at the bodice, this sweeping floral-print gown was a highlight of the "Boy" line-up.
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Inky, over-dyed fur accents like this plush gilet added a needed wintery element to the otherwise spring-ready collection.
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Plaid has been a favorite of Sternberg's in seasons past, but he incorporated the motif with a light hand for fall. We were particularly intrigued by the ombre-like treatment on this red plaid dress.
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"Girl is really what is sounds like," says Sternberg. "It's about soft dressing, draping, prints and 'pretty,' really. It's sugar and spice and all things nice." Visually, the Girl collection was immediately distinguished from Boy by its more vivid color palette -- bright oranges, pinks, greens and cobalt blues.
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Girl also seemed to have an emphasis on day-dressing where Boy has an overall evening-appropriate feel. Here, a simple floral-print sundress with an asymmetrical hemline.
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The contrasting navy and bright blue heart-print drove home the playful, cheeky aspect of Girl, but still felt chic and sophisticated on a buttoned shirt dress.
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This season, Girl also seemed to cater more to current trends and general sidewalk-readiness -- in particular this look, which paired a bright red blazer with a baggy, heart-print trouser.
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A modern take on the poncho silhouette, rendered with a graphic stripe and color-block skirt.
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