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.

Tommy Hilfiger’s Upper Middle Class Bohemian Damsels

Godfrey Deeny
February 14th, 2011 @ 1:00 PM - New York

Haut bobo, complimentary cool French slang for haute bourgeois bohemian, would be an apt term to describe the latest collection from Tommy Hilfiger, so cleverly did it maintain such a smart balancing act between the demi-monde and polished preppy chic.

Staged Sunday evening, Feb. 13, at Lincoln Center, the main area for shows during the New York season, the models strolled out over a patchwork, shabby chic carpet, nailed down with huge studs onto a faux parquet floor.

Hilfiger opened with some great looking pants suits, mini power shoulder jackets, fluidly cut trousers and snazzy coat dresses in gray wool herring bone. But by replacing a wool jacket’s arm with a chiffon sleeve, or adding slouchy Depression era fedoras, the whole attitude was very “bohemian prep,” the designer’s title for this fall 2011 collection, and the Yankee equivalent of, well, haut bobo.

Kicking in red and black vertical stripe tights, waxy leather pumps and the odd hippie chic sheepskin jacket, Hilfiger ramped up the rocker chick quotient.

Moreover, even if the individual parts look familiar – in a chic a reassuring way – the combinations all looked snappily fresh. The whole collection managed to be classy yet cool, easy to wear yet all very accomplished.

Plus by revamping fabrics seen in his men’s show of last week – like, using a herringbone print in silk pants – the models had great authority.

“It’s the nonchalant style of a 1970s rock star’s girlfriend,” explained Hilfiger, who took his bow in faded gray jeans and a chalk stripe navy jacket, looking like a retired rock star himself.

Yankees' abroad outerwear such as mustard hued raingear and winter weekend cable sweaters all were in synch with the designer’s intention. The show had its nattiest moment at the finale with a selection of foulard silk print pajama tops, pants and blouses paired with the odd jaunty blazer.

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