NEW YORK, United States — At Tommy Hilfiger, everything comes together to form a cohesive package, from the show invitation, to the set design, to the clothes. The references are straightforward to say the least, which is probably what Hilfiger's clients want. You certainly do not come here for conceptual or complicated fashion. Ease, that's the keyword, universally linked to the relaxed American lifestyle that Hilfiger taps.
The only problem is getting your hands on the actual pieces. Although the collection is available in more than 30 Tommy Hilfiger stores and at a handful of multi-brand retailers, given the global footprint of the brand, the availability of the catwalk collection remains limited. And even then, only 40 percent of what is on the runway, makes it into production — which makes the show mostly a marketing exerciseThere is a small selection of pieces that can be ordered, on-demand, straight off the catwalk — this season on offer was a satin varsity jacket — but is this really enough?
Island life — think Mustique, complete with crochet hats, slides and skimpy bikinis shown to a reggae soundtrack on a runway circling a mock lagoon — was on Tommy's agenda this time round. This made for a happy line-up of striped dresses, baggy printed fatigues, cropped bombers and an avalanche of mini-dresses. It all looked fabulously un-designed: easy, timeless staples served up with the Hilfiger name attached, which, in a way, is what an American brand like this is all about. But the problem with this approach to fashion design is clear: the line between straightforwardness and obviousness can be perilously thin.
Today, Hilfiger walked this tight rope surely and swiftly. The embroidered oxford dresses, in particular, looked highly desirable. Lets hope they make it into production.