Hilfiger shows Rock 'n' Rock, whilst Herrera opts for modern elegance

Tuesday, 09 September 2014
It was Rock 'n' Roll on the catwalk for Tommy Hilfiger's New York fashion show Monday, festival chic melded with preppy Americana and trail blazed by British muse Georgia May Jagger. "She's not only a model but she's a humanitarian and an incredible young woman," Hilfiger told AFP in pre-show interview when asked why Jagger was the woman who most inspired him. Hilfiger once again selected the Upper East Side grandeur of the Armory on Park Lane to showcase his look for spring/summer 2015, transforming its central hall into a 1970s rock festival fantasy.

There was a giant stage where two drummers performed a high-energy crashing set as models paraded down a runway of green astroturf, bordered with silk gerberas and carnations. In the center, blue, purple, yellow flowers were fashioned into American stars and fairy lights were strung from the ceiling, recreating a make-believe, nostalgic festival gig.

The theme even extended to the invitations, crafted in the form of vinyls, the seat number poking through the record sleeve. Jagger led the show dressed in a burgundy regimental stripe sateen cape, matching shorts, a gold mesh tank and red metallic leather boots. Stars and stripes, true Americana, were a major theme. There was sharp tailored shorts and trousers, paid with waistcoats and jackets, with brass buttons and metallic collars.

Rock star chic

There was patchwork denim, seersucker skinny trousers, a plethora of flat caps. Sweaters were emblazoned with motifs such as a skull, a butterfly or with "rock and roll" printed on the back. There were cute suede mini dresses with cut-out stars at the bottom in both red and black, paired with ankle platform boots.

The show closed with Kendall Jenner in a floaty, barely-there chiffon dresses with stars printed on chiffon and matching capes in navy and red. Hilfiger told AFP rock music was in his DNA and that he wanted to bring rock-star chic to the consumer, having been inspired by great musicians since starting out as a teenager in 1969.

"For many years it meant collaborating with people like Lenny Kravitz, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones," he said. "I wanted to show the public what it would be like to develop a collection of rock star clothing that people could actually wear," he added.

By segment, revenue in the Tommy Hilfiger rose nine percent to 870 million dollars for the quarter that ended August 3. Hilfiger attributed his success to great clothes, great quality and a great price. "I think there's always a place for kind of preppy style and it's something they do really well," said British model Alexa Chung, who took over the brand's Instagram account on show day.

The show was streamed live and Hilfiger invited a group of "digital influencers" outside the fashion industry to cover the show on social media with a fresh perspective.

Across town it was a very different look from Venezuelan-born Carolina Herrera, who has been celebrated for timeless elegance spanning generations since launching her label in 1981. She revealed in a pre-show interview that the inspiration for her spring/summer 2015 came from "the color code of the flower."

'Techno pique'

But the surprise was her use of a new fabric, which she called "techno fabric" or "techno pique." "It is a fabric that you usually use more or less for scuba diving, but you mix it, in a modern way," said Herrera. "It's fascinating to work with it, because it molds in such a way and make the woman very seductive and feminine."

The fabric was put to use in a white skirt suit with softly rounded shoulders, a sunglow strapless gown, a dress with white organza inserts and a suit with three-quarter length sleeves. Last week Herrera was given the 2014 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion given out by the museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology during a star-studded luncheon.

"It is a great honor for me to be recognized, after all these years," she said. She laughs when asked the secret of her success over so many years despite the fickle world of fast-changing trends. "My secret is that the women for whom I design like the clothes, they like the collections."

She said elegance is down to what women wear. "It is a combination of many things." For example: "The way you move and the way you choose your clothes to wear." Her advice to young designers was to be passionate about their work. "Because it is not only the glamor, that they see at the shows. "It is a lot of work, and you have to put your heart and your instincts." (AFP)

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