Last season, we were on the beach in California. For Fall, Scott Sternberg took us to the snow-covered Manhattan suburbs. A chunky camel cardigan and scarf worn with brown plaid cuffed trousers and oversize blue-lens sunglasses gave off an Ice Storm vibe, though Sternberg said the writer Joan Didion was his muse for the paisley print blouses and dresses. He developed that print, by the way, by manipulating Polaroid images of silk ties. The designer's favorite REI hiking socks were another source of inspiration: He found a mill that produces a mélange wool that's not itchy, and he turned it into a turtleneck, a skirt, and even pants with reinforced knees. Among his other quirky ideas were platform sandals made from watch straps, a skirt sewn together from actual neckties, and… cutting a Jaguar in half for the set? This last element didn't, in fact, come to pass—too expensive—but Sternberg did pay a woman from upstate, with whom he connected on Craigslist, to borrow her old Jag for the night.

All fun and games? Not completely. What keeps people coming back—aside from the entertaining sets—is Sternberg's knack for tweaking (quite liberally at times) preppy American classics. Two examples: a sharp-looking double-breasted gray flannel jacket was paired with terry sweatpants, and a checked flannel shirt, buttoned to the neck and worn with slim corduroy trousers, came topped by a peacoat cut from silver fox. What Manhattan suburb was that again? We want to move in.