Monday, February 16, 2009

Boy by Band of Outsiders

Boy by Band of Outsiders unveiled their Fall 09 Ready-to-Wear collection this week, and a serious bump up in quality was evident from the first look. Producing the new collection in conjunction with an Italian mill renowned for working with some of the top Parisian design houses, the sharp tailoring that is a staple of Band of Outsiders' men's line was finally made a part of their women's collection. Designer Scott Sternberg revealed that the partnership "affords us to approach things properly", a statement definitely echoed by the clean and expertly cut pieces the brand debuted at NY Fashion week.

Inspired by the May 1968 student revolution and its influence on popular French culture, the collection featured schoolboy and schoolgirl looks with a high-fashion flair. Simple schoolgirl stripes and minis were dressed up with basics such as smartly cut wide-leg trousers in tweeds and corduroys, elegantly tailored trenches and peacoats in various textures, and slouchy harem pants.

Sternberg hinted that his primary influence was the revolutionary 1967 Jean Luc Godard masterpiece La Chinoise. The French New Wave film that follows the story of a group of bored bourgeois students who begin to indoctrinate themselves into the radical revolutionary teachings of Maoism proved to be a major visual influence on the direction of Boy by Band of Outsiders line. One of the major themes of the film revolves around the way in which fashion attaches itself to various political and social ideologies in an effort to make a statement. However, the film goes on to suggest that any political statements become obsolete as the counter-culture statements are popularized for mass consumption in a consumerist society that has little to no interest in familiarizing themselves with the ideology behind the visual (think Obama t-shirts galore-- Go Obama! But how many can confidently discuss his stance on Darfur?).

As evidenced by the trailer above, Boy by Band of Outsiders definitely did their research. The film's costuming choices such as newsboy hats, fitted mohair sweaters, and primary colored basics are reflected in the line. The lack of visual arrogance (all of the designs are clean-cut and minimalist) ascribes to the philosophies of the students in La Chinoise--fashion free of political presence can look just as hot!

Peep some of out favorite looks below, and you can check out the rest of the line here.

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