With the preppy circuit a hallowed seedbed of loud color and louder pattern, one might expect its sartorial guru, Tommy Hilfiger, to blend right in this season. Yes and no. The engaging show he presented on Sunday night felt perfect for the moment, yet stood out on the strength of Hilfiger’s approach to patterns. Rather than outsize florals, he chose magnified men’s wear checks and subtle shirting stripes. As expressions of the Pop motif, the former came bright (orange and blue; pink and green) in Modworthy cuts, and were shown in matchy-matched ways that looked charmingly contrived — swimsuit matching skirt, matching bag matching shoes.
While swim proved an important theme, this was no beach-blanket bingo, as there were plenty of shirt- and T-dresses, bicolor Macintoshes, and on the soft side, terrific knits and mixed striped silk separates. Less strong: the camouflage. However one feels about the military-combat staple prettied up in pink and blue (it resonated awkward on the 9/11 anniversary), it went on too long. As for the voluminous Mondrian-inspired caftans, preppy girls don’t want to look fat, either. But these played like mere afterthoughts to an overall engaging collection.