September 10, 2008
Witnessing the posh scene at Tommy Hilfigershowgoers filing into the grand and airy environs of Avery Fisher Hall after draining glasses of Champagneit seemed almost unfathomable that this is the same designer who once packed the tent at Bryant Park to the gills because N.E.R.D. was performing. Spring is the fourth season since Hilfiger relaunched his label with a new grown-up bent, and today's collection moved even further in that direction, exhibiting a refinement in the designer's obsession with fashion iconography. Referencing the easy glamour of Angelica Huston in the eighties, the collection was clean, sporty, and elegant, with lots of billowy pale and navy silks. A multitude of trenchcoats, including one in silk gauze for evening, underlined a masculine thread. The look was finished with shiny gold headbands, mesh pumps, and tassel belts. A sartorial thrill ride? Not quite. But a drawstring jumpsuit and silk "sweatpant" were right on trend. And in fact, we could see one of Hilfiger's front-row girls like Diane Kruger or Charlotte Ronson putting her own spin on a perfectly lovely lemon-chiffon frock or a black cloque tunic and skirt. The mature vision might seem strange for someone formerly obsessed with youth culture, but with developments like a Fifth Avenue flagship in the works, Hilfiger seems to be settling nicely into the new space he's carved out for himself.