"We always want to be preppy," Tommy Hilfiger said on the phone yesterday. "But we always want to make preppy fresh." To do so, Hilfiger invoked the raucously stylish spirit of the rock star's girlfriend of yore, women like Britt Ekland and Anita Pallenberg.
Though neither reference (prep-dom or the chic groupie) is a departure for Hilfiger, tonight's show felt luxurious and sophisticated in a new way. Beyond the mere use of expensive raw materials, like shearling, leather, and fisherman's knits, there was real depth of design and detail. That shearling was cleverly printed with tweed and tartan patterns that echoed all the menswear suiting in the line. That leather came in a beautiful burgundy and was cut into a skirt inset with navy piping, and paired with a boatneck cashmere sweatshirt. And that fisherman's knit was beaded in a couple of looks (worn with great ponyskin wrap skirts) and cleverly crafted into a cape with leather buckles in a few others.
Walking down a runway of patchworked kilims with great brass chandeliers hanging above, these floppy-hatted girls with their long, center-parted hair looked jet-set, natty, and at times, unbelievably cool. It made you think back to earlier shows in the current incarnation of his label, which felt clinical by comparison. Whereas once Hilfiger defined sophistication as excising everything until clothes became, well, boring, this had real meat.
Between the well-received men's collection he put together with Simon Spurr earlier this week and today's collaboration with Peter Som (their third), Hilfiger seems to have a winning formula on his hands.