Tommy Hilfiger takes his roadshow to London
Tommy Hilfiger staged the biggest show in London on Sunday night, taking over two giant holding tanks inside Tate Modern, the former power station that is the most visited modern art museum in Britain.
This was to present Hilfiger’s latest See Now Buy Now show – and his fourth with Lewis Hamilton – named TommyXLewis, and indeed most of the collection featured their combined gothic script L and H logo.
Tommy has previously teamed up with the likes of Gigi Hadid and Zendaya in a string creative collaborations, all of them to date highly successful. All told nearly 10 collections, of which the two best were Zendaya’s Blaxploitation ideas, presented in Apollo Theater in Harlem, and Hamilton’s show with Hilfiger in Shanghai.
However, before these collections all came across as kicky revamps of the diverse Hilfiger iconography, which ranges from elegiac preps and hipster homeboys to New England rockers and downtown WASPs.
On Sunday evening in London, however, Hamilton seemed to take over – at least in the first half of the show – and the result felt more like a pastiche than a fashion position.
The biggest problem was that this show reduced the argument to day-glow versions of athleisure. Precisely at a moment when that tide is waning faster than a galloping horse at Mont Saint-Michel.
Nor did a change in stylists help, not even shifting to Katie Grand – an enormous talent, whose works for Miuccia Prada, among others, and her own magazine Love, rank her as one of the half-dozen best in her profession. But what quite frankly was the point of a quintet of veteran models – Naomi Campbell, who opened the show in a yellow yachting splash top and pants, followed by the likes of Yasmin Le Bon, Jodie Kidd and Erin O’Connor – and then dressing them in clothes designed for their nieces? Bulky lemon nylon jumpsuits, oversized denim jackets and nuclear plant outfits. Oversized T-shirts are not ideal 40-something gear.
By the way, one had to love the giant Stars and Stripes parkas, great chalk-stripe Hamptons homeboy shorts and shrunken A-line cricket blazers. Plus, the casting was inclusive and pretty excellent, including uber catwalkers Winnie Harlow and Halima Aden, and Lottie Moss, and starring rock royalty such as Lucas Jagger, James Turlington, Ella Richards, Sonny Ashcroft, Pixie Geldof and Georgia May Jagger.
Though the best moment went to Jasmine Sanders, the German-American model raised in South Carolina. Expect to read more about her. Moreover, the wide variety of physical size and silhouette was a powerful clarion call for inclusivity.
All told, another show and collection sure to drive business, though not one to burnish the remarkable legend of Tommy Hilfiger, a small-town boy from upstate New York, poised – if trends continue – to become the biggest American designer brand worldwide later this decade.
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