Polka dots, pleats and pockets: Those are only but a few delightful details on Zooey Deschanel's first-ever apparel collection -- a collaboration with American designer Tommy Hilfiger -- which hit stores Monday. For the New Girl star and producer, every decorative feature on the 16 Americana-inspired dress line was just as important as the way the clothes were cut.
"They're all designed to look good on a variety of body shapes, because there are a lot of shapes that only suit one type of women, and I really wanted this [collection] to suit a lot of different women," Deschanel, with her distractingly pretty blue eyes, told Pret-a-Reporter in a sit-down interview at the Tommy Hilfiger store on Robertson Boulevard. "The details were really fun. We talked about every little detail -- buttons, pockets, collars, cuffs and piping." The line -- which retails from $98 to $199 -- features quirky, flattering silhouettes, from a tweed "Red Pocket" dress with a peek-a-boo pocket and red buttons lined on one side to a shift "Sailor" dress in a watercolor print, which was inspired by her co-star Hannah Simone.
The actress, who grew up sewing a lot, worked with Hilfiger for two years before finalizing the "To Tommy From Zooey" collection of apparel and accessories (adorable purses and delicate necklaces included), as she wanted every piece to flatter women of all shapes and sizes. And speaking to the flirty frocks' high-quality designs, Deschanel joked that even her tailor was surprised by how the dresses were so well-trimmed. "It was funny because I had some of this stuff tailored before I have to go on my press tour and wear all the clothes. And the tailor was like, 'Oh my gosh, it took me an extra day because the clothes are so well made. I didn't expect it.' "
Thanks to Hilfiger and his hardworking team, Deschanel's first foray into fashion was one she described as being "really collaborative," with a group that was "very meticulous." It also helped that the American clothier's design aesthetic aligns perfectly with the Hollywood starlet's signature preppy look.
With a mutual love for the red-white-blue palette, the pair created "this line inspired by '60s and '70s shapes, with a very American nautical vibe," said Deschanel, citing the styles of Twiggy, Catherine Deneuve and Audrey Hepburn as inspiration. "A lot of this reminds me of any movie stars in the '60s and '70s going on vacation." Hence, the nautical theme of sailing out to sea and relaxing on a boat. (Hepburn in 1954's Sabrina, anyone?)
Although Deschanel is done working with Hilfiger on this particular capsule collection, it won't be the last time they'll be designing together. Their next project? Collaborating on the outfit for this year's MET Gala, where the She & Him singer-songwriter will accompany the designer on May 5.
"We're working on [the look]. It's going to be exciting -- it's a fun theme this year," said Deschanel, who celebrated the launch of her collection with a rooftop soiree last Wednesday with New Girl co-stars Simone and Max Greenfield, among other Hollywood faces. Adding: "We're going to collaborate on it."
Deschanel's "To Tommy From Zooey" line is now available at Tommy Hilfiger stores and online.