NEW YORK — Tommy Hilfiger taught a lesson on mixed messages to the New York Fashion Week on last week.
At first, the looks at the Park Avenue Armory, staged like a movie-set library, looked like they were built on the Savile Row-styled menswear and Ivy League prep-school uniforms that Hilfiger has played with for almost 30 years. There were houndstooth prints in every scale imaginable — on a coat, turtleneck, tuxedo pants and even a dickie — and probably even more plaid.
"Classics receive an unexpected twist," was Hilfiger's mantra, putting some newness on the catwalk while maintaining a relatable ease that would appeal to his broad audience.
He turned traditional penny loafers into knee-high boots, and one bomber jacket moved the cozy lining to the outside and put the traditional Prince of Wales plaid as the lining. He put a bonded, almost rubberized, leather on the front of cable-knit sweaters.
His plan, according to his notes, was to have collegiate prep meet an "irreverent take on British sartorial tradition."
But when he put all those looks on the catwalk at once for an impressive finale, the editors, retailers and stylists saw mod for 2013. The leather argyle pattern shifts and shirtdresses could reintroduce his muses — and fashion icons — Twiggy, Mary Quant and Marianne Faithfull to a new generation.