Inspirations can sometimes sound arbitrary -if not downright incoherent- when designers air them, but what's stood out in New York this season is how much backbone the influences cited have loaned to collections. Like Band of Outsiders, for instance. Scott Sternberg was turned on by TV Party, the public-access show that Glenn O'Brien made in the late seventies with a little help from friends like Fab 5 Freddy, Debbie Harry, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Word came they all looked so good all the time. Undone, but buttoned-up. O'Brien himself was on hand to remember wearing ripped preppy clothes. There were no rips in Sternberg's stuff, but the spirit of warped prep lived on in tiny short-sleeved shirts, overdyed in bright colors and printed with sailboats, or a double-breasted patchwork madras jacket with grosgrain binding. The 50s flavor of a tan poplin baseball jacket, a pink silk/linen suit, and a shawl-collared tux jacket in white linen evoked the retro styles that O'Brien and co would wear to the Mudd Club, but Hollywood baby Sternberg showed his own roots with a presentation that was anything but dated. On giant screens mounted around Milk Studios, he played arty, airy films of Max Minghella and rapper Charles Hamilton wearing the collection. A side note to those who have been following his collaboration with Sperry Top-Sider : Sternberg offered a new model made out of Velcro, and a safety-pinned boat shoe. A couple more twisted classics for his résumé.