Tommy Hilfiger RTW Fall 2011

What stood out about the collection, which had a “bohemian prep” theme, was how remarkably controlled and expensive everything looked.

Here’s guessing that any of the 600-odd people sitting in Lincoln Center’s big studio on Sunday night at eight o’clock would have bet the rent that the Tommy Hilfiger show would be themed to some variation on preppy. The money goes to whoever had “bohemian prep,” as confirmed by Hilfiger a few days prior to his show, before launching into a list of his beloved rock ‘n’ roll influences. Yes, there were shades of Patti Hansen and Marianne Faithfull in the maxi coats, velvet blazers and fedoras. But what stood out more was how remarkably controlled and expensive everything looked. Hilfiger dug into men’s wear — mannish tailoring, heavy-duty utility wear and foulard prints — and blew them out into an array of Ivy League threads with a subtext of cool. Navy, burgundy and gray were the big colors on chunky knits, such as waffled capes that were cropped in the front and toggled down the back. Two cashmere cableknit sweaters were paired with dark, pony hair skirts for a look that was positively rich. Likewise, the extra-long, extra-wide leg trousers and herringbone printed silks done as blouses and shirtdresses. Hilfiger got creative with fabrications, showing coated trenches and plaid printed shearlings — a neat trick — but stopped short of overdoing the kitschy accessories. There was a wink-wink with the penny loafer pumps and kilty shoes — but not one wink too many.

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