March 05, 2008
"We've elevated all our fabrics, and I wanted people to be able to touch and feel the clothes up close," Tommy Hilfiger said when asked why he chose a presentation over a proper runway show for his fall collection. And the fabrics were luxurious. A safari jacket was made from a brushed flannel that could have easily been mistaken for camel hair, while a twill black trench with leather accents brought new levels of conspicuous consumption to the line. "I'm always interested in nautical preppy and the international sophisticate," the designer added, and it's hard to imagine a Hilfiger collection without the former archetype in full effect. His "sophisticate," meanwhile, was represented in the noticeably more continental cuts. (What else is Tommy interested in? Bow ties and cardigans, apparently: Each of the 23 looks featured one and/or the other.) Elsewhere, Hilfiger offered a primary-color palette (gray suiting punched up with a yellow scarf, say) and plays on pattern. A wide-striped duffel coat over a narrow-striped knit in the same shades of navy and gray made a statement, while tartan pants with a tux jacket and a diagonal-striped bow tie showed a sort of proud dandyism. And the overkill inherent in a vertical-striped cardigan paired with matching tartan pants was entirely intentional. Said Hilfiger's stylist for the collection, Jeff Mahshie: "We were the originals for mismatching, so it's almost bolder in a way to match these days."