Tommy Hilfiger pays tribute to New York as fashion week kicks - GulfToday

Tommy Hilfiger pays tribute to New York as fashion week kicks

Models walk the runway for Tommy Hilfiger's Fall/Winter 2024 collection.

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 honour 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.

Across town in Brooklyn, bubble wrap, balaclavas and puffy jackets took center stage at the Helmut Lang show that kicked off New York Fashion Week a few hours before Tommy.  “I feel like living in New York, a lot can happen in a day. So I feel like I want to provide a tool for you to be ready for whatever it takes,” said Vietnamese-American designer Peter Do following the show.

An in-demand designer who also heads his own line, Do was tasked with reinventing Helmut Lang’s chic and minimalist aesthetic, which shaped fashion in the 1990s and 2000s, before the Austrian designer quit.

Now the brand belongs to Japanese giant Fast Retailing, which also owns Uniqlo.  Under the dome of a former bank in the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood, Do revisited the inventions of his artistic ancestors, including colored bubble wrap made from silk worn as pants and jackets.

Oversized wool coats, quilted jackets, turtlenecks, hoods and balaclavas reinforced the collection’s “protection and projection” themes.  Some were inspired by space suits, while the color palette echoed the bright, almost fluorescent orange of the past. “I just want to see the street represented,” Do said.

With a dozen shows a day until mid-week, the Big Apple heralds the start of the Autumn-Winter 2024 ready-to-wear fashion weeks, ahead of London, then Milan and Paris. 

Agence France-Presse

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