SS18 MENSWEAR VOGUE
SPRING 2018 MENSWEAR: Band of Outsiders
Band of Outsiders’s story is a little hard to follow; it was relaunched three seasons ago under new ownership, post-Scott Sternberg, by Belgian investors. The designers for BOO rebooted season one were let go after their poorly received debut collection. Then, brand director Daniel Hettmann and designer Angelo van Mol were brought aboard. Spring 2018 thus marks their sophomore outing, and, while not quite sailing smoothly yet, the Band of Outsiders comeback looks to be on course.
Those nautical references are purposeful: Hettmann and van Mol’s new lineup was inspired by seafaring, with a workwear lean. (Their rst eort for Band of Outsiders recalled Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums; Spring might vaguely be linked to the director’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.) “We looked at sailing and utilitarian garments,” said van Mol, “and at the same time we tried to have the funny accents. . . there’s a killer shark print, as well as a print of a smelly deck cat. On all sailing ships, there was always a cat, to take all the vermin o.” Band of Outsiders was always known for its geek-chic quirk, but that’s now missing. Van Mol and Hettmann would do well to bring back a little more of that original slyness—though such isn’t to say that their vision isn’t appropriately playful. Those schooner-sleuthing felines were all-over embroidered on a khaki car coat; those murderous makos on a mid-length bathing suit. What is most promising is the duo’s energy. Spring is a much larger collection than Fall, with 110 new SKUs, and there was plenty of range (also, they showed the clothes with a bona de complementary comedy show—all of the performers wore BOO. Neat idea). PVC-coated cotton rain jackets stood out, as did a Bahamian blue gabardine topcoat lined with a twist on the classic nautical stripe. “We added a bit of a wave,” said Hettmann, pointing to the wiggly bars. “We’re sticking to the original DNA, but adding our own spin—we’re not doing exactly the same thing,” he added. It’s on its way toward working, but the calibration isn’t yet 100 percent there.