Nary Manivong made waves a few seasons back for his jump from relative obscurity (and, uh, homelessness) into the heart of fashion darlings. Among the converted fans was designer Tommy Hilfiger's daughter, Ally Hilfiger, who met Manivong in 2008 after the show for his eponymous line. The two became fast friends, and Hilfiger started styling for the new brand.
It wasn't long before Hilfiger's recessive fashion gene kicked in, and after two seasons the two fell into a styling-cum-design partnership, with the eventual result being a joint collection: NAHM, an it-girl-cool line influenced by Poe's "The Raven" and centered around the classic shirt dress.
The pair presented their line last night at West Village boutique A Man and a Woman to a host of friends and fashion insiders, with musical accompaniment by DJ Chelsea Leyland and champers by Nicolas Feuillatte. Raised platforms in the center of the space showcased the sheer asymmetrical button-downs and burnt-sienna dresses that fell like water off the mannequins.
While the basis may sound difficult to elaborate on--after all, how many ways can you interpret a shirtdress--the concept works well. Store owner Erin Crandall described it as "perfect, timeless pieces that fit into your wardrobe. Very versatile. It's just like DvF has the wrap dress; the shirt dress will be the foundation for the collection, and [it] will evolve from there."
Friends in attendance included soiree host Byrdie Bell and model Georgia May Jagger, both of whom are Hilfiger's longtime friends. Jagger cited the velvet as her favorite and has already purchased a few pieces from the collection, including the long pumpkin-hued jacket she was sporting during the event. Bell, too, has known Hilfiger since childhood and mentioned that despite her friend's desire to break from the family mold, she wasn't surprised by the decision to design. "She's got great personal style and I've always known her to be so creative. She's really talented. This definitely didn't come out of left field." Bell was the model for the brand's look book and is an enormous fan of the clothes. "That was one of the most amazing things, I didn't even see the clothes until I went in to model and it turned out to be absolutely amazing stuff."
Hilfiger and Manivong describe the line as "very organic," the product of an entirely mutual collaboration. Hilfiger Sr. is apparently a fan, although the younger duo did say that they stick with their own vibes--you won't see much preppiness here. The future is vague but hopeful, continuing the line as it's begun: with innovative design and careful execution, and that perfect dash of tousled urban Americana.