NEW YORK -- Scott Sternberg presented his fall and winter 2014 menswear collection in a SoHo storefront here Sunday, but his inspiration came from the West Coast -- the Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, to be exact.
The inspiration: Sternberg explained that the genesis of the idea came when he was using the Times building last year as the backdrop for an ad campaign photo shoot with Frank Ocean.
"[We were going] around this enormous structure -- most of which is empty -- and we just fell in love with being in those rooms, and all the stories behind them. And it was a little sad how empty the building was. ... And I'd wanted to do something very graphic-driven for a collection -- playing with prints and jacquards -- and this idea of the 'death of the newspaper' came to mind as a theme, with this sort of newsboy silhouette and it went from there."
The look: Heavy on the newspaper-appropriate black, white and grays, the fall and winter menswear collection was stocked with graphic-printed riffs on Band staples. Oxford cloth shirts and pajama pants were dégradé printed with halftone polka dot patterns that had been inspired by vintage classified ads. Punctuation marks made their way onto Oxfords and silk jacquard neckties.
In the pants department, the fall and winter collection was heavy on the sweatpant silhouette that's been a big menswear trend so far this week. Sternberg's versions come in black-and-white striped cotton terry, gray boiled wool with red-and-blue-striped elasticized cuffs and in a brushed wool herringbone wirth cargo pockets.
The scene: In a spare Wooster Street space the fall and winter 2014 collection looks were presented four at a time in a no-frills format against a backdrop bearing the same "Classifieds" polka dot print graphic as some of the pieces in the collection. The only bit of stagecraft in evidence was the rhythmic sound of printing presses chugging away on the presentation soundtrack, which, until today, we'd never realized sounded so much like a heartbeat.
The verdict: That Sternberg can find collection inspiration in the vacant offices and abandoned infrastructure of a newsroom is a testament to his creativity. That he could channel it into something that's black and white and worthy of being worn all over puts him in a class all by himself.