tommy hilfiger helms a party boat for fall/winter 16

In a fashion week obsessed with attempts at spectacle, Hilfiger takes the wheel.

by Hannah Ongley
16 February 2016, 8:40pm

Photography Jason Lloyd-Evans

Jackets were big, heels were high, and pants were optional on Tommy Hilfiger's fall/winter 16 party boat. "Imagine a girl finding her grandmother's favorite dress from the 40s, throwing on a boyfriend's coat a pair of sparkly shoes before dashing out the door," read the shownotes. But imagination wasn't really even necessary. The T.H. Atlantic party boat left none of the hundred-something people packed into the Park Avenue Armory behind as it plunged full-steam towards… well, wherever we were going, it was certainly somewhere far away from a dreary Monday morning on the Upper East Side.

In a fashion week filled with attempts at and critiques of creating a spectacle, Hilfiger's yacht party was one that simply sailed in all its glittery, extravagant glory. Strings of fairy lights connected two towering smokestacks emitting real clouds of vapor, while Michael Jackson's "Can't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock With You" blasted over the speaker system. Hilfiger is New York Fashion Week's King of Spectacle, or at least of spectacular set designs. And ain't nobody taking his crown. But the dress code onboard the T.H. Atlantic, a flirtation that gave a new facet to the designer's nautical love affair, was plenty share-worthy all on its own.

In a collection heavy on opposites, the most interesting tug o' war was between masculine and feminine. Gender codes were scrambled rather than erased, creating a pattern that pulled heavily (and cheekily) from two opposing stereotypes. Oversized military jackets, rendered in heavy vintage wool, were thrown over structured little silk dresses with cap sleeves and collars. Chunky fisherman sweaters were woven with bits of tulle. Towering T-bar heels and glittery socks met the hem of wide-legged cropped trousers in sturdy velvet. Sometimes the exchange played out in one outfit, while other looks were perfectly confident in their flamboyant femininity. A pair of sequinned hotpants and shrunken silk shirt didn't exactly require a pearl-caked tiara, and ditto with the gauzy dress and matching pussybow that comprised catwalk queen Gigi Hadid's (second? third?) outfit. But since when has fashion been about needing things?

One of the most intriguing facets of yesterday's show, if not the most Instagrammable, was the approach taken to textiles. Tommy's staple Breton striped T-shirt was rendered in durable leather, feeling so wrong it was right when paired with a whimsical silk skirt light enough to blow away. Leather had another scene-stealing moment on a piece of element-battling outerwear perfect for staying out far too late. The whole effect was cinematic yet grounded in reality; looking to the past while living in the now. You'd be crazy not to climb aboard. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Jason Lloyd-Evans

tommy hilfiger
New York Fashion Week
jason lloyd evans
autumn/winter 16
aw 16
nyfw fall/winter 16