September 11, 2010 New York
The new life in last season's collection was evidently the result of bringing in designer Peter Som to splash a bucketful of his uptown-eccentric sensibility over Hilfiger's rotating library of classics. The partnership continued on the Spring catwalk, where the new contender for coveted shoe is a leather Top-Sider raised onto a blocky platform heel. The theme, in case you hadn't guessed yet: Twisted Country Club. At this madcap Maidstone, a girl can wear her khakis as a backless halter dress, and no one frowns on a flippy tennis skirt in Pepto pink silk.
Meanwhile, her rocker-wannabe boyfriend isn't afraid to express himself by the color of his socks, which will inevitably be visible between the hem of his rolled-up chinos or skinny pegged trousers and the top of his (possibly leopard) loafers. He can take a bright hue in bigger doses, too. You say powder pink double-breasted blazer, he says canary and magenta madras trousers.
It was a peppy, preppy vision that, at times, neared the far boundaries of Hilfiger's codes. Yet it never spilled into something that felt untrue to his spirit. Before the show, a disembodied voice announced crowd-control directions for Hilfiger's very lavish post-show party in celebration of his 25th anniversary. Then came the promise that this was the first collection of the next 25. Not a bad start at that.