NY Fashion Week: Hilfiger sets sail with a nautical theme

The Associated Press

NEW YORK – The Associated Press is all over New York Fashion Week, from the runway designs to the celebrity-filled front rows. Here are some recent highlights:


If you’re going to fill the cavernous, spectacular Park Avenue Armory wall to wall with guests, you’d better give ’em some pretty big scenery to look at. And Tommy Hilfiger always does just that, whether it’s building a winter wonderland, a beach, or a football stadium. At Monday’s nautical-themed runway show, his models strutted the decks of a steam liner, no less – with actual steam coming out of the stacks.

The clothes displayed on the, er, T.H. Atlantic combined formal nautical wear -navy jackets with gold buttons and brocade – with more whimsical, feminine elements, like delicate print dresses, or sheer navy skirts through which one could see sequined short shorts.

There were plenty of sailor coats and dresses, Breton striped tops, wide-legged pants with gold stripes down the side, even nautical overalls. Footwear included chunky-heeled loafers paired with ankle socks. A number of models wore tiaras in their hair.

Tiaras? Well, Hilfiger’s production notes offered some help there, describing a sensibility where the designer’s “signature love of nautical” is “seen through a nostalgic filter where formal naval influences collide with the romance of a bygone era. It’s masculine and feminine …with unexpected combinations that offer a playful sense of irreverence and cinematic flair.”

The show closed with some of that cinematic flair, sending its marquee model, Gigi Hadid, down the runway in a sparkling gold-sequined sailor dress.

– Jocelyn Noveck


Don’t let the soft palate, mod designs and ethereal feel of Carolina Herrera’s fall collection fool you: it is packed with techniques using modern technology. “The way I use the new technology is in embroideries that are just beneath the print of the collection,” Herrera, who introduced her first collection in 1980, said. “The embroideries are all floating. I call them 3D. I’m always fascinated by the new technology we find in fashion.” Along with those embroideries, textured layers were seen throughout the collection of cocktail dresses, pants, coats, skirts, sweaters and Herrera’s signature floor-length gowns.

Despite the layering and intricate designs, the clothes still have a delicate feel.

“This collection is my perception of beauty,” Herrera explained. “I think women should look beautiful and feminine with whatever they wear.”

Emmy Rossum was among the celebrities attending Monday’s show at The Frick Collection. “It always feels wonderful in Mrs. Herrera’s designs,” Rossum said. “They’re chic, elegant, beautifully made, feminine and she is such a wonderful, strong woman I admire and I have a lot of affection and respect for.” The show was also streamed online where viewers were invited to watch with virtual reality viewers for a 3D experience.

-Alicia Quarles and Nicole Evatt


Prabal Gurung says his muse – that vision of a woman he designs for year after year – has gone a little stir crazy this season, and needs a break. “I’ve been taking her out of the city and into the woods,” he said in an interview before his runway show Sunday evening, “because I think she wants to celebrate solitude, away from the noise. She’s a very curious, intrigued and intelligent woman, and this season she’s coming slightly undone.

Nothing crazy, just a little tension.”

For Gurung, whose designs have become a huge red carpet favorite for women-of-the-moment like Amy Schumer and Tina Fey, this “tension” resulted in a forest-themed collection with soft silhouettes and even softer materials, like the show’s opening look: a wool duffel coat in the color of “snow,” or white, with a white fox fur trim, worn over a braided silk blouse and a silk crepe skirt – all in the same white hue. Another inviting coat – certainly in these frigid February days in New York – was an oversized shearling and lambskin paneled coat, paired with ivory crepe trousers and a Nepalese cashmere cardigan, evoking Gurung’s home country.

Gurung, who’s been seen as one of fashion’s most creative minds ever since he launched his label in 2009, said he was inspired this year by Henri Rousseau’s painting “Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest,” along with Lord Byron’s poem, “She Walks in Beauty.”

Each outfit represented, he said, something his imaginary woman might see along her stroll in the forest: colors like sky blue, cherry, blackberry and pewter, and prints reflecting leaves. Hand-embroidered Guipure lace from Switzerland was employed to mimic tree branches. Despite a number of oversized garments, some of the nicest looks were sleek dresses in satin or soft leather.

Backstage, Gurung also spoke about how much he enjoyed dressing Schumer recently for the Golden Globes, in an elegant black-and-white gown that drew her praise.

“When I met Amy I could not stop laughing, she was just so witty,” he said. “She said, ‘I’ve never felt so beautiful.’ And you know, as a designer, to work one on one and … to make someone feel that great, I will always cherish it.”

Gurung also spoke about dressing Laverne Cox, the transgender actress of “Orange is the New Black,” who wore a filmy, one-shoulder Gurung gown in red recently to the SAG awards.

“I’ve just loved to celebrate women of different sizes, colors, sexual orientation, and gender, because I’ve always wanted to be inclusive,” he said. “I’m aware of the fact that I design at a price point that’s not available for everyone. However, whatever I put up there, I want to make sure that the message is very clear about inclusion.”

– Nicole Evatt and Jocelyn Noveck

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