“It’s about color,” Tommy Hilfiger said a few days before his Spring 2004 show. “Color and fun.” He might have added “ease,” too, because there wasn’t a stiff fabric or a tricky cut in his cheerful, carefree collection.

The show did have a few anxious moments: There was a rock star–worthy crush at the door due to the presence of Pharrell Williams, who performed the runway music. But once the beat kicked in and the clothes streamed out, the tension evaporated. Who could be stressed by a pair of light-as-air drawstring pants worn with a tummy-grazing silk pique tee, or a clean white taffeta dress with brisk orange grosgrain ribbon? Hilfiger has made his name—and considerable fortune—by dusting off preppy classics, and he repeated the trick tonight via hot hues like apple green, neon pink, orange, and blue, all played off white basics. He loosened up the silhouette, too, with full-leg jeans, billowy sheer hoodies, and silky pleated skirts.

While most of the styles were daytime-specific, the designer didn’t completely neglect the nightlife. A fluttery pink gown, or a hot-pink chiffon dress, its bodice wrapped in multicolored ribbon, kept the mood upbeat right to the end.