There was a happy dissonance at tonight’s unveiling of Band of Outsiders’s Fall collection, which marked creative lead Daniel Hettmann and designer Angelo van Mol’s third effort for the label.
Picture: the grand Neoclassical courtyard of Somerset House, filled with mulled cider–sipping attendees waiting under the thrum of “Jungle Boogie,” which played over the speakers. In the middle of that atrium was a skating rink (Somerset House keeps it open to the public throughout the season), which Band of Outsiders took over to host its unconventional . . . let’s say, skateway show. As more disco music kicked up, a mix of hockey players and figure skaters took to the arena in what was Hettmann and Van Mol’s best collection yet—full of idiosyncratic but wearable pieces, and well edited in terms of continuity and cohesiveness. It brought to mind all sorts of pleasant memories: skating on frozen ponds in New England as a kid; watching my dad play hockey; listening to “Brick House” on repeat in elementary school, Soul Train, the extraordinary I, Tonya. If anyone is worried about the dissonance outlined, don’t be—remember that Scott Sternberg’s BOO was recognized as having dorky East Coast prep and aspirational California surf vibes, in tandem.
Emboldened by colors self-named as Verbier Grey and Telluride Red, among others, the athletes flew by in long-john track pants, camouflage-pattern cords, shearling jackets with multi-tonal neck tabs, and what Hettman called “loosened up” suiting. Each did a little freestyle, and somehow, the clothes looked at home on the ice—adding credence to their direct winter sport (or simply wintry) inspiration (there were lots of prints of skiers and polar bears). One highlight was a collaboration with Stutterheim, the Swedish raincoat manufacturer. The piece—rubbery navy, with thin white lines banding its cuffs and angling across its hem—brought a few oohs and aahs from the crowd. And, one last point: Though the winter theme was about as direct and obvious as it could have been, Hettman and Van Mol were able to make it fun, especially so with the help of their staging. It might’ve even slightly warmed LaVona Fay Golden’s icy heart.
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