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For spring 2010, Hilfiger takes a classic stroll down by the boardwalk

September 20, 2009 |  9:16 am

New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week officially wrapped Thursday night, and even though I've spent most of the time since wending my way back to Los Angeles, I couldn't enjoy the weekend without mentioning the closing show: Tommy Hilfiger, who sent a classy-looking collection down the runway in the Bryant Park tents (and, it turned out, would also appear as one of the guest judges on that evening's episode of "Project Runway").HILFIGER_WCFS10_421

According to the show notes -- which were provided on sturdy pieces of wood about the thickness of a place mat -- Hilfiger was "re-imagin[ing] the relaxed glamor of a Southern California boardwalk," right down to the wooden boards that formed the runway.

The clothes were so breezy and effortless -- especially the women's pieces; the strapless silk corset dresses flounced just so and the silk jersey gowns had an elegant drape to them -- that he needn't have bothered with the small birch forest of assorted wood accents. (The one upside was that the run-of-show provided a stable platform for my Flip video camera, and I was able to capture the collection from a pretty good vantage point.)

Like many of the collections last week, Hilfiger's drew inspiration from the oceans, such as navy double-breasted suit coats with gold buttons and blue-on-white nautical stripes of the sea-faring class, and a color palette that included a range of striking blues and the pale peach-and-pink hues one might see from the Santa Monica Pier as the sun dips into the Pacific.

HILFIGER_WCFS10_088

The men's collection felt less elegant but was equally as visually striking; brightly colored pieces -- a cobalt blue jacket here, a tomato-red pair of trousers there -- were paired with more neutral khaki, perhaps trying to telegraph the idea of a "California casual" wardrobe.

The front row was packed with celebrities -- many of them no doubt had attended the opening shindig at the new Tommy Hilfiger flagship store on Fifth Avenue a few hours before the show. On my way out the door I saw Rosario Dawson and Russell Simmons, to name just two.

But the belle of the ball clearly was Girl Interrupted Taylor Swift, who earlier in the week had been a victim of Kanye West's VMA invective. She stood in the midst of a throng of shutterbugs -- professional and otherwise -- in a red Tommy Hilfiger dress.

"Is this your first show this week?" I asked.

"My first show ever!" she replied flashing a wide, genuine smile right before disappearing into the paparazzi knot.

And with that, the books closed on another season in the Bryant Park tents. 

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Looks from Tommy Hilfiger's Spring/Summer 2010 runway collection, the closing show of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, on Sept. 17. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson for Los Angeles Times. Video below by Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times.


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