Monomania has gripped Tommy Hilfiger
. Some see spots; he's seeing stripes. Everywhere in his Spring men's collection there were stripes, and often there were stripes on stripes. Cuke-cool though he is, Hilfiger proves up to the task of teasing and worrying such an idea into submission. You can see why the thought would appeal. Stripes have a long and varied history to draw on—including every preppy's favorite, seersucker—and at present, they're enjoying a very long moment in the sun. So stripes are now also big business, and you can trust Tommy to go for a piece of the pie. When the results are as antic and fun as they were today, why not? This collection, designed with consultant Simon Spurr and styled by Karl Templer, had a whirligig energy on the runway but should have legs in stores, too.
Mash-ups abounded, like Breton-striped jerseys fused onto poplin shirts or backing cotton jackets, or seersucker blazers silk-screened with perpendicular lines. The marinière
top got redone in leather on leather and then, for good measure, paired with a matching jacket. Racing stripes, nautical stripes in rope, regimental stripes—there they were, everywhere you looked, zigzagging across shirt fronts, slashing the back pockets of jeans, the ones you couldn't miss and the ones hiding in plain sight like Ninas in a Hirschfeld cartoon. In the good old days of Simon Spurr's namesake collection, from which he's now separated, he had a fondness for stripes too, but he never used them as wonkily as he did here. They pepped up prep, Hilfiger's enduring and ever-present fascination. In wide usage though they are, here was a reminder that stripes aren't made, they're earned.