Back to the '80s with the king of fashion

Tommy Hilfiger unveils his spring line

Fairfield Daily Republic ©

After two decades of designing, Tommy Hilfiger is back where he started in clothing.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Fashion is cyclical after all, isn't it?

But it's probably a strategy worth the while if you think about. Reflect back to a time, not so long ago, when he was considered the king of urban styles, the founder of the I-want-the-world-to-see-my-underwear baggy pants, the common denominator between fashion and hip-hop music.

Doesn't ring a bell? How about Snoop Dogg or KRS donning Tommy gear or better yet, his name thrown into a rap songs, such as Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest?

"And others couldn't figga, how me and Hilfigga, used to move through with vigga."

Well, it seems like Tommy is trying to fade out of that scene, along with other hip-hop artists who realize that urban fashion is making a stage-left exit. And enter a cleaner and tighter look, such as that with which he started. And it's probably a smart move for the man, considering the year he's endured.

He's weathered tax reviews (promised to pay $15.4 million in additional U.S. income tax plus $2.7 million of interest), sale rumors and his very own reality show, "The Cut."

He also managed to have an upperscale spring 2006 runway show on the first day of Fashion Week in New York.

It was a warm evening on Sept. 9, where hundreds of people gathered at Bryant Park in beautiful Manhattan.

Reporters and fashion experts were planted everywhere while celebrities dotted the front rows - Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Sophie Bush and Garcelle Beauvais-Nielson are just a sample of who was there to see his the spring line.

It was an incredible event filled with energy and pizzazz, constant whispers and the who's who in fashion. People dressed to the nines filled the chairs while bright signature colors permeated the ambiance. What an evening!

OK, I confess, I only know this because my New York counterpart, Candace, attended the show.

As I received calls every 20 minutes from her, with small reminders of who was there and where I'm not, I was clued into the events.

Here's an excerpt:

"Oh my God, Fergie is here with her fiancé. Isn't that Paris?" she said before the show began. "Why aren't I sitting in the front row with them?"

20 minutes later.

"Andrea, guess who's here?"




"You won't believe it."

"Who?" deep breath.

"Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue. She's my favorite and she's wearing Prada. She knows fashion. I gotta go."

20 minutes later and the show is underway.

"Andrea, I don't like the clothes. Even Anna is bored with it. She keeps looking at her Blackberry."

"Her what?"

"Blackberry! Paris also looks bored. I totally understand."

20 minutes later.

"The clothes look very 'Gap.' Looks like he's aiming toward the 'American look.' Good thing he has a new designer creating a line for him. Gotta go."

Bottom line, his spring line has lots of plaids, khakis, stripes and nautical themes, such as anchors and patchwork.

"He used lots of Bermuda shorts for men and suits were paired with shorts instead of pants," she said. "Jackets had glittered lapels and garanimals were used on the pants.

"For women, lots of trench coats, long and short, flowy skirts with prints and topless women wore Bermuda shorts. I didn't like a thing," she admitted.

Well, to be honest, I'd rather have the patchwork pants, drawstring cargo shorts and pink trenches instead of the peek-a-boo pants. I welcome his extremely colorful line with open arms.

Gone are the days where oversized jerseys and baggy pants dominated the streets and enter a look that defines American spirit with a youthful vitality. And why not? This is America, after all.