09/10/2012 07:31 EDT | Updated 11/10/2012 05:12 EST

Hilfiger takes NY Fashion Week on his 'American Voyage' with nautical themes

NEW YORK, N.Y. - A different set of rules apply when you're out on the high seas, and that goes for fashion, too. Tommy Hilfiger embraced the sailing life and nautical themes for his spring women's collection, infusing a relaxed attitude into his favourite tailored shapes.

Menswear-inspired pantsuits were done in a playful rope print and swimsuits got waistbands — one even got a shirt-style collar. Time for evening cocktails? The choices are a flowing red trapeze dress with an open back and braided straps, a school-boy navy blazer and slim Bermuda shorts or an oversized varsity cardigan that goes right over a bikini.

"This is the American voyage. She's travelling the world and it's about sea and land. It's about nautical and safari," Hilfiger said Sunday in a backstage interview.

The designer said he could imagine Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lauren Hutton types in this wardrobe. They like luxury but nothing too fancy.

Hilfiger also gave them washed denim trousers, tie-waist shirt dresses and a navy-and-white hooded leather jacket to work into her closet.

The runway, staged perfectly on the High Line, the outdoor, above-the-concrete outdoor walkway on Manhattan's West Side, was almost entirely red, white and blue — Hilfiger's hallmark colours. "Just going back to my roots and celebrating it again," he said.