Tommy Hilfiger’s traveling fashion extravaganza roller-skated into Paris on Saturday night, turning the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées into a ’70s time capsule of sorts, complete with lighted disco dance floor, retro-inspired threads and surprise show-closer Grace Jones, who hit the runway in a silver metallic, rainbow-striped blazer, gold bodysuit, gold metallic belt and a pair of over-the-knee leather boots.
The see-now / buy-now show marked the launch of the brand’s partnership with actress, singer and global brand ambassador Zendaya, similar to Hilfiger’s recent multi-season deal with model Gigi Hadid (who took in this show from the VIP section not the runway), and the debut spring 2019 Tommy X Zendaya collection took inspiration from ’70s pop-culture icons generally and the 1973 Battle of Versailles fashion show specifically. (That now-famous fashion face-off between French and American designers was held at the Palace of Versailles and raised funds for its restoration.)
In addition to Jones (who was also on the runway – in spirit – at Rick Owens’ show earlier in the week), models of note included Pat Cleveland, who actually walked in the original Battle of Versailles runway show, and Beverly Johnson, the first black model to appear on the cover of U.S. Vogue.
It was such stellar stunt-casting that it almost – but not quite – overshadowed the ’70s-meets-modern-power-dressing collection, which included groovy zodiac graphics swirling busily on sultry wrap dresses (and screen-printed — one zodiac sign at a time — on T-shirts) and a range of tailored suiting that pulled references from menswear including strong-shouldered linen blazers in a Prince of Wales check . (Even though this collection hit retail immediately, the abundance of menswear references put it on-trend with the fall and winter 2019 collections of labels Dolce & Gabbana and Balmain, among others.)
There were lots of high-waisted trousers with flared legs (some with generous pleats that pumped up the volume even further), horizontally striped dresses, tops and swimwear (both one- and two-piece), smart-looking pinstriped knee-length coats, and suits, jackets and wide-legged trousers in wide vertical stripes of light and dark denim. Other nods to ’70s style came by way of platform shoes, leather midi-skirts, halter dresses, and gold and silver metallic dresses and separates.
The collection was so much straight-up, unabashed, retro-lovin’ fun, somehow it didn’t matter a whit that the 1970s were nearly two decades in the rear-view mirror when Hilfiger’s collaborative partner was born.