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Monday Muse: Lee Miller Inspires L.A.’s Band of Outsiders

Band of Outsiders Fall 2014

When Scott Sternberg and his brand, Band of Outsiders, was just starting out, he opted to host quirky presentations in lieu of full-on fashion shows, but this season, he returned to his roots, and in turn, showed a collection that brought Band right back to the beginning. He name-checked the inimitable photographer Lee Miller as a touchstone, but the collection was full of modern clothes that fans of the brand will be clamoring for once Sternberg opens up the very first U.S. shop in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.

Lee Miller by Man Ray

Sternberg chose to show the collection inside the Wooster Street space that will soon be the first Band of Outsiders shop and a neon sign that read “This is where you should be for Band of Outsiders.” The same words are on a small plaque at the brand’s New York offices, but soon, that sign will be moved to this space, because the entire Band of Outsiders operations will be moving to Soho later this year.

Inside, the models stood tableau-style against black-and-white illustrated backgrounds that were inspired by the surrealist photography that Lee Miller inspired under the tutelage of Man Ray (she later became his lover as well as his muse), but there were touches of Elsa Schiaparelli’s surrealism and Man Ray’s work on the walls and on the clothes, too. Miller’s work includes war reporting for Vogue alongside photographer Roland Penrose, and the pair’s wartime photos might have inspired a few of the coats and more prints that appeared in the collection.

There were vintage-inspired floral dresses, slouchy knit sweaters that might have been borrowed from a boyfriend that was off at war and plenty of the Band of Outsider’s staples that are sure to fill the store when it opens.

Band of Outsiders Fall 2014

Surrealist touches included off-kilter prints and slight asymmetrical shapes in dresses and skirts thanks to zippers and curvilinear seams. Sternberg also debuted the first shoe for his brand, a saddle shoe inspired oxford that is sure to be popular with the Zooeys Deschanels, Ellen Pages and Rashida Joneses out there. Trompe l’oeil touches on the clothes included details on Band of Outsiders’ signature bandage skirts and knitwear, but it was the usual button ups, secretary skirts and menswear-inspired outerwear that will really win fans over with the collection. Because even though Sternberg stays separated from the fashion crowd by staying in Los Angeles, he’s knows exactly what girls everywhere want to wear when they’re not at cocktail hour or strutting down a red carpet. Real clothes for real girls? Band of Outsiders might sound like an exclusive gang, but Sternberg’s crafted a label where anyone who’s a fan of wearable clothes is more than welcome.

Shop our favorite Band of Outsiders looks: