Band of Outsiders impresario Scott Sternberg took this season off the fashion calendar, the better to focus on his first-ever stand-alone store, which opens in Soho on Sunday. And the new Band shop played an important role in shaping the brand’s latest collection, as Sternberg explained at an appointment today. Although his jumping-off point was a Louise Dahl-Wolfe photograph of two young women in short pleated skirts hanging out in Brazil, considerations of store merchandising and how the collection fit into the larger world of Band inspired Sternberg to be concise. “I want people to walk in and see one message, not a circus,” he said. Thus, lengths here were uniformly short, from the pleated silk-cotton skirts filched straight from Dahl-Wolfe to the knit short-shorts and the easy, tee-shaped dresses in seersucker and toile de Jouy. Sternberg also carried through just a few key motifs, such as lattice patterns riffing on his knee-high Roman sandals, and graphic zigzag and palm tree prints inspired by the covers of mid-century Brazilian jazz albums. Elsewhere, items such as a ladybug print bonded cotton mac added a whimsical touch. The additional whimsy hugged the border of cutesy-cute, but it was nice to see Sternberg investing in an upbeat tone so totally and wholeheartedly. The good cheer of these clothes will draw lots of customers to the new Band store—and they’ll stay for their impeccable fabrication and finish. One message, many lovely details.

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