As one of the few prominent U.S. designers who opt out of New York residence, L.A.-based Scott Sternberg is early and often pegged as an oracle of California design. Maybe it's in homage to that tag that he built his Resort collection for Boy, Band of Outsiders' mainline women's collection, around LACMA's recent California interiors show, which traces the evolution of Golden State homes from the thirties to the early sixties, beginning with Bauhaus, ending with Eames. Maybe, knowing the slight skewering Sternberg prefers to give those who fall prey to easy platitudes, it was a takedown of same—what is California design, anyway, when you show your wares in Florence and NYC, make them in Europe and Brooklyn, and sell them as far afield as Tokyo and Taipei? He shrugged that he'd moved into a new house last fall, built in 1936. Maybe that's enough with the maybes.
Resort at Band plays up variations on house classics. Here, they came in upholstery fabrics, like the perennial bandage skirt that got twisted for the season in linen hopsack. But Resort, Sternberg reasoned, is always about "boats and stripes," so he offered plenty of both, too. The former were woven into sweater intarsias and printed on a playful poncho that migrated over from the men's collection. The latter were represented by a primary-colored mini-collection of dresses, blazers, tops, and anoraks, playfully young and more than a little retro—esprit d'Esprit, so to speak. There were winners throughout. A patchworked leather hoodie hit the Band blend of smirk and sleek head on. Leather also lent a little charge when it got zipped onto the hem of a seersucker skirt.
The fun never stops at Band, and if there's a rub, it's that in bulk, it can get a little giggly. The palate cleanser came in the form of simple, graphic black and white eveningwear, returning after its introduction for Fall. "I was just screwing around having fun," Sternberg explained, "but then everybody bought it." Food for thought.