“Savile Row Meets Ivy League.” If it sounds like an update on the proverbial preppie-with-a-twist — bingo! It made for a fun, feisty Tommy Hilfiger collection. For the women’s lineup he showed on Sunday night, Hilfiger drew from the same inspirational pool as for his men’s show — and not to get more bang for the buck out of his set at the Seventh Regiment Armory. (But if a guy can make a space work the second time around, why not?) Rather, the pond-crossing motif had ample cross-gender appeal. A key inspiration: Tommy Nutter, the man who gave Savile Row a swinging Sixties profile, dressing all the cool kids — Beatles, Jagger and Twiggy types included.
Nutter was nutty for fabric mixes — mash-ups of plaids, checks, tartans and more. Hilfiger took note, opening his show with a terrific group of coats and separates in various combinations, the mannish tailoring often offset by Mod-ish mini kilts. One look piled Prince of Wales–checked coat over houndstooth vest over striped shirt to charming effect. The impressive outerwear message continued with printed shearlings, ponyskins, bonded khaki mackintosh coats and cozy toppers made of Steiff teddy-bear fleece. Hilfiger’s penchant for pattern continued as well, turning up in cable knits (one was bonded to leather) and an imaginatively rendered argyle story.
Throughout, Hilfiger proceeded savvily, his models delightful but not cloying in their prep perfection, finished off with fedoras and knitted caps by Albertus Swanepoel and faux knee socks and penny loafers (they were, in fact, boots). It was all delivered with those most essential of preppy traits — snap and polish.