Tag Archives: Tommy Hilfiger

The Global World of Preppy

Last Fall, Tommy Hilfiger gave a talk at Oxford College, in England, the native country of the “Preppy”. And he loved it: the mahogany wood paneling, the Christ Church dining room immortalized by… Harry Potter, with students dining on tuxedos. It was all there… Now Tommy Hilfiger is taking preppy to the global world. “There are  preppy styles in Tokyo, in Paris, New York, London and they are all different.” As demonstrated in preppy pop up stores that will show capsule collections – fashion and accessories  to be launched in Paris, London, Madrid, New York, LA, Tokyo and Stockholm in the Spring. The interview took place in Tommy Hilfiger’s renovated apartment at the Plaza in the Eloise room, hand painted by Hilary Knight, original illustrator of Kay Thompson’s Eloise series. Hilfiger commented on my preppy look: navy blue corduroy pants, double-breasted wool cardigan and J Crew checkered shirt. The 3 “C” :Comfort, Color and Continuity or the new tradition as Hilfiger puts it. And tonight for the show: Bohemian preppy look. Can’t wait!



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Updating Vintage Preppy

On November 4th the captain Tommy Hilfiger will set sail to Paris, opening a flagship store on the Champs Elysees (n. 65). 

Tommy Hilfiger is also celebrating this year his 25th anniversary. A good time to reflect on  the world “preppy”, this American East Coast college style that had become the aspiring style of a generation in the late 70’s, early 80’s.The preppy hand book came ou in 1980. Remember!

  • Every preppy woman has a friend who is a jewelry designer. (real or fake diamonds?)
  • No man bags. ( Oops! not so sure)
  • Preppies don’t perm their hair.( Highlights maybe…)
  • Preppy men do not believe that comb-overs disguise anything.( All men are bald now. It makes it easier.)
  • You can never go wrong with a trench coat. (yes if a Burberry )
  • Thou shalt not fly first-class. (L’Avion will do)
  • Thou shalt use thy frequent-flier miles whenever possible. (Who does not!)

Things change a bit and college kids are not the same. Tommy’s today Preppy is not yesterday’s. Looking at the 2011 Spring RTW show, it  is sexier, less conservative,  and the stripes have been used in many different ways.

Be aware of vintage words!

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Saint Tropez : a piece of fashion nostalgia

“Do you know the way to Saint Tropez?” asks  Women’s Wear Daily on the cover its May 12th edition reporting on the recent presentation of  Chanel 2010-2011 Cruise collection on the port .

The Cruise collection

“There is something magical about Saint Tropez. It is so easy and it does not require complicated clothes”, said Karl Lagerfeld to WWD. He favored chiffon dresses for a Hippie revival look.

Fashion was always part of the mythology of Saint Tropez. Paul Poiret might have been the first couturier to make Saint Tropez his home, preferring  the secluded calm of his Villa Treizaine to the bustle of the port. Today many fashion designers including Tommy Hilfiger or Catherine Malandrino vacation in Saint Tropez.  Yet, Karl Lagerfeld is right . Saint Tropez has invented a certain type of style, a laid back, lazy fashion that happened on the port, in the late Sixties, somewhere between la Plage de la Ponche where real Tropeziens loved to go and the “new “port where elegant Chris-Craft competed with pristine yachts.

When the Rock and Roll  stars invaded Saint Tropez, Martine Vachon had her Vachon store planted on the left side of the port when looking at the sea. She designed unpretentious and rather conservative collections with lots of knitwear and marine dresses and jackets. Her designs did not make it in the history of fashion but her shop was a must. Parisians (In the late Sixties it was mostly Parisians and celebrities who visited  Saint Tropez) who enjoyed all the fashion in the world year around could not help buying a few items “ for the Summer”. There was also “Choses”. The store still exists. It was the place to find tee-shirts before the name even existed and espadrilles that lasted – if lucky! – for the Summer months. But the best was Lothar’s. This German maker had opened his store in 1969 and specialized in faded tie-dyed cottons. Pale blues, washed out greens and discolored pinks were the basic colors of his collections that included trousers, shorts, long dresses and simply cut shirts. Nothing was more sexy than a blue Lothars shirt largely opened on a tanned chest. Lothar’s men resembled the Blue Men of the desert.  Gunther Sachs, the volatile husband of Brigitte Bardot,had adopted that dégaine.The total look was still trendy and there was no shame in buying the green trousers matching the green skirts or the same burgeoning top worn without a bra. Between the thin layer of Lothars cotton and the skin, there was nothing. An impeccable figure was required. Jane Birkin was the reference. Shopping at Lothars meant avoiding stops at Sennequier for a café Liegois or at the boulangerie for a slice of Tarte tropezienne.Miam, Miam!

Miam! Miam!


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