The music that welcomed guests into the final show at Bryant Park hinted at the kind of easy, classic sportswear Tommy Hilfiger would put forth. Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Neil Young — all-American and appealing, the clothes played like the tunes. In his show notes, Hilfiger said the collection channeled a young Katharine Hepburn, which meant lean and soft silhouettes. Trousers were cut wide or very narrow, and suits, such as a navy wool number with a cropped jacket, struck a balance between feminine and slightly boyish. Not all of Hilfiger’s customers have a cubicle life, thus the references to a girl who hasn’t quite let go of the ivy-wrapped quad: folded A-line skirts in kelly green and navy and brocade orange, as well as cashmere Henleys and turtlenecks. Not so practical? The sleeveless trenches were a misstep amongst a series of slouchy, cozy stadium toppers and cable knits. There was a dash of debutante, too, in the sleeveless bell-skirted dresses and creamy palette — camel, light gray — which worked the chic side of retro. Their charm and versatility should be friendly to retailers (pearls not included).
For men, Hilfiger pushed a wholesome, suburban sensibility. Suits and raglan-sleeve overcoats, cut from classic checks on tan backgrounds, delivered professionalism without intimidation. Knitwear included bright ribbed turtlenecks and preppy sweaters with snappy accents such as ribbon-striped edges. At the end of show, the designer grabbed the microphone during his bow to salute the 18 years of New York Fashion Week at Bryant Park. “Onward and upward!” said Hilfiger, who actually didn’t show at the tents for many years, opting instead for venues like, yes, Lincoln Center.