Joan Didion celebrated her 80th birthday on December 5, and the writer’s writer has been much in the news lately, what with the buzzy Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary about her life and work. Anyone familiar with Didion’s oeuvre will not be surprised to learn that she is a Scott Sternberg muse: Who else would the Band of Outsiders man call on for inspiration as he daydreamed about waning summer days in ’70s-era Malibu? It had to be Didion. On offer were maxi skirts; paisley sundresses; a touch of crochet; a boiled-jersey blanket coat and dense Peruvian shawl-collar cardigan, perfect for wrapping up in as the sun sets and the temperature drops on the shoreline. Sternberg was in a romantic mood for Pre-Fall, but—like Didion—he didn’t get carried away. This concise collection also featured strong tailored pieces such as an inky suede blazer and trim Italian denim pants, while the signature Band preppiness revealed itself in little striped sweaters and felt peacoats trimmed in shearling. Perhaps no single item summed up the label’s vibe this season better than a pair of shoes: Sternberg’s still-young range of footwear looked pretty great, but the standout kick had to be a Dr. Scholl’s-like wood-soled slide with penny loafer detailing. Hippie and preppy, at peace.

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