NEW YORK (AFP) - Tommy Hilfiger transformed the New York catwalk into an ocean liner Monday, opening and closing his trans-Atlantic, voyage-inspired collection with model of the moment Gigi Hadid as snow fell outside.
"Years back, in the '20s, the '30s, when the people would travel trans-Atlantic they would get dressed properly," Hilfiger said in a sneak preview of the collection ahead of the show.
Hilfiger, who has turned affordable but fashional apparel into a global empire, is known for his flamboyant Fashion Week shows, which each season transport the Armory on Park Avenue into a spectacular set.
The models wearing his fall/winter 2016 collection strode the deck of the ocean liner, which pumped steam into the air through giant funnels against a night sky backdrop glittering stars.
Hadid, who has collaborated with Hilfiger on a capsule collection to debut in September, opened the show dressed in a bias-cut, silk print dress, walked second in an embellished silk blouse with black retro briefs, and closed the show in a gold sequined sailor dress and tiara.
The daughter of real estate developer Mohamed Hadid and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster, Gigi is currently dating Zayn Malik and has more than 13 million followers on Instagram.
The supermodel and Los Angeles "It" girl, aged 20, and her millions of adoring fans are precisely the customers that marketing savvy Hilfiger is keen to snap up.
Hilfiger, dressed in a captain-style navy jacket, made a victory lap at the end of the show for which he created a special "InstaPit" for the instagram creators transforming the way fashion is consumed.
French navy featured prominently on captain-style jackets and coats, embellished with braiding, and there was a sprinkling of 1970s styles and shapes thrown in, such as high-waisted bell bottoms.
Hilfiger said the collection was made sexy with whimsical, fun print dresses and crepe de chine, which would be layered up in winter with a sweater or a jacket, or paired with a stunning black leather coat.
A standout was a black patent leather trench coat finished with lines of gold braiding at the hem on the cuffs. The models wore ankle socks and gold loafers in an almost grungy look Hilfiger said was optional.
Hilfiger summed up the look as "the epitome of the modern woman with a vintage feel," highlighting navy and nautical details but with jackets fashioned into a new shape - a bolero cut.
"We made it sexy by doing a lot of crepe de chine," he said.
"At the same time even her shoes have a wink and a nod and the wink is the sense of humour and the nod is to the navy and military influence.
"The socks we thought were appropriate for a young woman of today who wants to have some sort of a nostalgic look in her wardrobe," he said. "We just think it completes the look of the trans-Atlantic voyage." Trousers were finished with a lot of braiding and button detail, there were high-waisted wide shorts and wide-legged jumpsuits, vintage swim pants and a modern motorcycle jacket was given a nautical feel.
There were bomber jackets, capes, a smattering of denim, navy velveteen and very detailed cashmere sweaters.
"If they're special pieces people will want them right away," Hilfiger said.
In September, the label will allow customers to buy clothes straight from the catwalk, doing away with the customary six-month lag that Instagram has undercut by zapping images across the world in seconds.