Is there anything Zooey Deschanel can't do?
She even has her own term to describe the collection's aesthetic: "Modical," as in a marriage of '60s mod and Hilfiger-heritage red, white and blue nautical.
Called To Tommy, From Zooey, the collection includes 16 dresses, two purses and assorted jewelry and shoes. It has a retro collegiate feel, with lots of special collar, pocket and button details. A white boucle sleeveless shift ($149.50) has a red sideways patch pocket and a row of red dome buttons down one side, for example, and a navy-and-white diagonal colorblock jersey shift ($98.50) has a hidden side pocket with red lining peeking out.
"I made a dress with box pleats that had a hidden pleat detail like this when I was a kid," Deschanel, 34, said earlier this week at the Tommy Hilfiger store on Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood, pointing to a blue-and-red box pleated tennis dress ($129.50) with stripes peeking out from the folds. "It was my crowning achievement."
Deschanel's distinctive quirky-preppy-feminine style is what attracted Hilfiger to her. "It's unusual and spirited. She doesn't take herself too seriously, which is nice," he says. "We love red, white and blue; she does too. We love the vintage look; she does too. So it was a marriage made in heaven."
Also in the collection? A red, white and blue "penny loafer purse" with chain handle ($99), an enamel wheel pendant necklace ($39) and a white enamel braid bracelet ($49).
For Deschanel, a lifelong DIY-er, part of the appeal of collaborating with Hilfiger was getting to adapt details from her favorite vintage clothing to today. "Most '60s shift dresses are really boxy, but ours are more A-line and flattering. They are designed for women, not just coat hangers," she says. (Dresses come in sizes from 0 to 14.) "And modern fabrics are soooo much better and more comfortable."
Deschanel's "New Girl" costumes have spawned style blogs devoted to cataloging her colorful Kate Spade dresses and cheerful parrot-print pajamas.
On the Season 3 finale, to air May 6, Deschanel will be wearing three dresses from the new Hilfiger collection. "It happens to take place on a cruise ship, so it was perfect," she says. "I asked [costume designer Deborah McGuire] if it was OK to put them in the mix, and they look great. People didn't even know they were my dresses."
To Tommy, From Zooey Collection, $35 to $199, at Macy's and Tommy Hilfiger stores, Tommy.com and Macys.com.
[For the Record, 9:03 a.m. PDT April 12: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the collection on first reference. It is To Tommy, From Zooey, not To Tommy, From Zoe.]