NAHM Fall 2012: Ancient Egypt Meets the 1920s

The room was already buzzing when we arrived at the NAHM presentation. Piano music swelled in the background as we navigated past press, bloggers, and assorted fashion folk to get a good look at the fall collection. You could hear people gushing in conversation: “It's gorgeous,” “so wearable,” “I need those shoes exactly right now.” It’s hard to believe that it was only a year ago that Alexandra Hilfiger (yes, that Hilfiger) and Nary Manivong showed their debut collection, consisting mostly of shirtdresses highlighted with feminine detailing. But oh, how the brand has grown in that time.
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The room was already buzzing when we arrived at the NAHM presentation. Piano music swelled in the background as we navigated past press, bloggers, and assorted fashion folk to get a good look at the fall collection. You could hear people gushing in conversation: “It's gorgeous,” “so wearable,” “I need those shoes exactly right now.” It’s hard to believe that it was only a year ago that Alexandra Hilfiger (yes, that Hilfiger) and Nary Manivong showed their debut collection, consisting mostly of shirtdresses highlighted with feminine detailing. But oh, how the brand has grown in that time.
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The room was already buzzing when we arrived at the NAHM presentation. Piano music swelled in the background as we navigated past press, bloggers, and assorted fashion folk to get a good look at the fall collection. You could hear people gushing in conversation: “It's gorgeous,” “so wearable,” “I need those shoes exactly right now.” It’s hard to believe that it was only a year ago that Alexandra Hilfiger (yes, that Hilfiger) and Nary Manivong showed their debut collection, consisting mostly of shirtdresses highlighted with feminine detailing. But oh, how the brand has grown in that time.

This season, the duo presented a collection of boxy dresses with drop waist skirts, delicate blouses with ruffle trim, skirts with varying hemlines, and a cape or two to boot, in modern, youthful cuts. We couldn’t help but get a strange feeling of nostalgia for things we’d never experienced as we looked at the clothes. And our instincts were right—Alex Hilfiger told us she and Nary looked to vintage wallpaper prints and stylish, powerful women of yore to inform their designs: “A lot of different women in history inspired us,” she said with that toothy smile she inherited from her father. “A lot of women in the ‘20s, but also in ancient Egypt. There was a Pharoah, Hatshepsut, and she was not afraid to be the Pharaoh.” Fun fact: Hatshepsut is often depicted in male attire, making her an all-too-appropriate muse for NAHM, known for their menswear inspired clothes that possess a feminine charm.

They've been widely praised for their shirtdress offerings, but the young designers divulged that this season was all about showing their range, while staying true to the aesthetic that put them on the map: “We’re showing new silhouettes,” said Nary. "We’re showing that we’re growing.” Ally chimed in, “We’re pressing away a little bit from the shirtdress, we’re keeping the shirt and the shirtdress details incorporated in most of the looks, but we’re also adding trousers and coats, blouses, and capes.” All in all, it was a strong showing. I was swooning over two loose-fitting hieroglyphic print dresses, featuring tiny ancient Egyptians engaging in very modern activities: trimming hedges with giant shears, toting shopping bags, cruising on skateboards. I would like one of each in my size, please and thank you.

Before we dipped out of the presentation, we caught a tender moment: Tommy Hilfiger, swooping in like a phantom, arms open, moving in to plant a congratulatory kiss on his daughter’s cheek. Aww. Click through the gallery to see the full collection!