Last season, Tommy Hilfiger set his S/S 14 show on a boardwalk surrounded by sand to give everyone that feeling of being at a beach. This season, Hilfiger brings back the exact same boardwalk runway, but this time it is surrounded with snow and there’s a ski chalet in the background. While, at least on paper, the concept sounds appealing, when it comes to having to sit around looking at snow, most people have had quite enough, thank you very much.
Unfortunately, the same feeling kept crossing my mind as I was watching the show: Haven’t we had enough? Yes, I understand that Tommy has a certain brand image to uphold, and that image is very rugged and outdoorsy and that limits the parameters of his looks. Still, at the end of the day, what did we take from this show? The same thing we take away every fall and winter: denim and plaid.
One can hear the Tommy faithful screaming now, “But he did something different with the denim and plaid this year!”
Yes, he did. The skirts are shorter and some of them have frayed edging. Shirts are longer, both tail and sleeve. Some dresses button down all the way from a collar that reaches up to mid-neck. Yeah, that has to be comfortable. Oh, and don’t forget the knit caps with the fuzzy little balls on top (call them beanies and I may just have to slap you). They’re cute. They’re adorable. And they’ve all been done before.
Here’s the thing, though: Hilfiger’s audience doesn’t really want anything drastically different from what they had the year before. Part of the brand’s value is the sameness that comes with being able to walk into the store season after season and know exactly what can be found there. If one were to find silk and lace on a Hilfiger shelf, someone might think a sneak had slipped in product from Victoria’s Secret.
So, there are coats lined with sheepskin and ponchos made of heavy wool. Western boots as well as hikers lined with fleece are in abundance. There are three dresses tossed in at the very end of the collection that want to look like tasseled blankets from a Native American reservation, but one has to wonder why Hilfiger bothered. The spaghetti-strapped tops render them totally impractical for the season.
Tommy Hilfiger gives his faithful exactly what they want in a fall/winter collection. Everyone else can just go shop another store.