As his red, white and blue mainstay prepares to turn 40, Tommy Hilfiger paid tribute to New York as a leading character in his journey to the design big-time as the city’s fashion week got underway. To a hip-hop and disco-heavy soundscape curated by DJ Questlove evocative of the city’s recent past, Hilfiger showcased a strong campus look set off by book bags, varsity ties and nearly ubiquitous baseball caps. Under Rafael Guastavino’s tiled vaulted ceilings in New York’s Grand Central station oyster bar, 72-year-old Hilfiger dazzled Manhattan’s glitterati with a stream of blazers and chunky knitwear over crisp cotton button-up shirts with wide 90s collars. “We’re coming out of the baggy era,” said one fashion observer after seeing the offerings of fitted skirts and flared trousers that were less flared than those of past Autumn-Winter collections.
Such was the appeal of Hilfiger’s return to contention in the Big Apple after missing last year’s fashion week, one gatecrasher in a beige overcoat was bundled out by security. Organizers promised “A New York Moment,” which pulled into the station when Jon Batiste of Stay Human came out sporting a preppy sports jacket with leather arms, going on to sing his hit “FREEDOM” to a cheering crowd.
He was followed by Hilfiger himself who was greeted rapturously and wore a jacket emblazoned with the words “Empire State” — New York’s nickname — and the names of the eponymous city’s five boroughs. Outside, and in honor of the railway setting, station staff in train conductor’s hats kept the crowds at bay as homebound commuters bustled past the full-to-capacity show. — AFP