Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear
September 19, 2017
I rocked up to my final LFW show, Tommy Hilfiger, like it was just another event on the schedule. Had I time to read the cheat sheet sent in advance, I would have a) arrived earlier, and b) brought my ticket. I didn’t realize the crowd outside Camden’s iconic venue, the Roundhouse, would be a roadblock, with over 2,000 people including consumers heaving to get in. I was relieved when I saw the longest lines behind signs that said “General Admission” and looked for the press line. There were two: one for people with tickets with no one standing in it, and another for all the idiots that had forgotten theirs. That line was significant. Two PR people jabbed away at iPads, index fingers a-blur, but it still took 20 minutes.
To say there was a lot going on once inside that venue would be like saying Hilfiger global brand ambassador and collection collaborator Gigi Hadid has been a bit busy so far this season. On entry, there were waiters brandishing bottles of Bud and glasses of wine, and others with three kinds of burger (crispy chicken, classic beef, or spiced halloumi). When I walked into the center of the arena and stood under the gigantic Jumbotron, I read the flashing bulbs all around me: “TommyNow RockCircus.”
There was a pop-up shop with wares from the runway available for purchase, Tommynow concert merch, and a True Vintage setup for attendees to explore Hilfiger classics. Apparently, there was a TommyxYou Lab offering customization, and something called RockCircus Records where you could purchase Tommy’s favorite tracks, but I missed those—honestly, you’d need a week to take everything in.
When the audience, including Pixie Geldof, Lady Amelia Windsor, Yasmin Le Bon, Poppy Delevingne, Daisy Lowe, Lottie Moss, and the usual crew of fashion glitterati-slash-cognoscenti were seated, Gigi opened the show in a long plaid overcoat with a padlock and chain round her neck—rock-chic for sure.
If our senses weren’t overloaded enough already, what followed was dizzying choreography. Remember that scene in the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, when Pierce Brosnan baffles detectives and Rene Russo by leading a deluge of doppelgangers in black suits and bowler hats around that gallery? Tommy hired the same choreographer for this!
Lolz, just kidding—similar, but different. For starters, this deluge was lead by Gigi, with no black suits and no bowler hats. These models were wearing a lot of ’90s-inspired grunge, like plaid shirts wrapped around waists, distressed denim, and outerwear like puffer jackets and one gorgeous navy suede and red wool shearling that reminded me, after two weeks of Spring 2018, that this was Fall 2017, immediately shoppable for both retail and wholesale, through e-commerce and other digital platforms.
Given the temperature has only just dipped, this is the perfect time to invest in an floor-length plaid puffer or a poncho. Gigi Hadid’s collaborative collection, one of four that walked the runway this evening (the other three being Tommy Hilfiger (core), Hilfiger Collection (women’s), and Hilfiger Edition (men’s), had her name stamped all over it, most notably in a similar death metal font to the merch Justin Beiber made a thing for his Purpose tour. It will all sell out.
When I said there was a lot going on, I wasn’t mincing words, and with this concept celebrating Tommy’s love of rock, it was a bit surprising to hear the ’90s hip-hop soundtrack that accompanied the runway show. The ’90s influence on the collection was more from grunge and skater tribes than Snoop Doggy Dogg or the Notorious B.I.G. I’d be surprised if Gigi et al. are particularly familiar with even half the songs they played, let alone the repertoire of rock bands like The Rolling Stones who were the inspiration for the event. Nevertheless, they all looked great, and as Gigi and Tommy took a victory lap, circus aerial performers fell from the sky. I’m not kidding. And then The Chainsmokers performed—checkmate.
There are a lot of brands doing some of these things that we as an industry look to as the future—celebrity, cool kids, pop-up shops, millennials, post-millennials, brand ambassadors, social media stars, see-now, buy-now, A.I.-powered personal stylists…the list goes on, but Tommy—well, he’s really giving us everything.
Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear