Zooey Deschanel has teamed with Tommy Hilfiger to
create a line of clothing.
ANGELES — She’s the star of television’s "New
Girl" series, She & Him singer and
HelloGiggles.com creative director. Now, Zooey Deschanel
is adding fashion designer to her considerable list of
talents, with a new collection of dresses for Tommy
Hilfiger that hit Hilfiger and Macy’s stores last
distinctive quirky-preppy-feminine style — on-screen,
on red carpets and in real life — is what attracted
Hilfiger to her.
unusual and spirited. She doesn’t take herself too
seriously, which is nice," he says. "We love
red, white and blue; she does too. We love the vintage
look; she does too. It was a marriage made in
34-year-old actress-musician is a down-to-earth
California girl. She grew up in Los Angeles, the
daughter of cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel
and actress Mary Jo Deschanel. She made her film debut
in 1999 in "Mumford," was featured in Cameron
Crowe’s "Almost Famous" and starred
alongside Will Ferrell in "Elf."
2007, she and singer-songwriter M. Ward released their
first album as indie rock duo She & Him. They have
recorded three subsequent albums. And since 2011, she’s
been the lead character on the Fox comedy "New
Girl." (Sister Emily Deschanel stars in Fox’s
has also been in the spotlight recently for being
featured on a new single by Prince titled
"Fallinlove2nite."(Viewers of "New
Girl" will remember that Prince guest starred in an
episode this season during which Deschanel’s character
Jess sings with him.)
made a remix of the song, mixing my vocal in and
released it," she says. "And now, all of a
sudden, I’m being played on pop radio, after I’ve
been so used to indie radio. It’s great."
the years, Deschanel has developed her unmistakable
personal style signatures — a warm chestnut hair color
with a fringed curtain of bangs; make-you-smile nail
art; red lips (Chanel Rebelle, although now that it’s
been discontinued, she’s on the hunt for a new shade);
and retro-feminine frocks with a nod to 1960s and ‘70s
icons Audrey Hepburn, Catherine Deneuve and Mary Tyler
the red carpet, where Deschanel favors ladylike looks by
Oscar de la Renta and others, it’s refreshing that she
never seems to be trying too hard — or letting it all
you first start out, a lot of people are telling you
what you should and shouldn’t do," she says.
"It took a little bit of time for me to speak out
and say, ‘I kinda want to wear what I like.’ It’s
freeing to be able to express yourself that way."
she’s been compared to a modern-day Lucille Ball,
which she says is the ultimate compliment.
timing was so perfect," Deschanel says. "There’s
that episode where she’s at a chocolate factory, and
she starts realizing everything is happening too fast.
You know everything that’s going on just by looking at
her face. It’s a great education to watch someone like
"New Girl" costumes have spawned style blogs
devoted to cataloging her colorful Kate Spade dresses
and cheerful parrot-print pajamas.
despite all of her glittering Hollywood success,
Deschanel has always been a down-to-earth DIY-er at
heart. Her mom taught her to sew at an early age, after
catching her trying to wrap thread around a straight
relationship with fashion started with shopping for
fabrics at F&S and Michaels stores and sewing her
own clothes. Then it progressed to a love of vintage.
have a huge vintage clothing collection," says
Deschanel, who lists Shareen and American Rag Cie among
her favorite L.A. sources. "But I’ve also had the
privilege of touring and shopping in so many cities.
Last summer when I was on tour, I had to ship two giant
boxes home. I went to Goodwill, Salvation Army, any
thrift store in any town we were in."
of the appeal of collaborating with Hilfiger was getting
to adapt details from her vintage favorites to today.
She has her own term to describe the To Tommy, From
Zooey collection: "Modical," as in a marriage
of ‘60s mod and Hilfiger heritage red, white and blue
‘60s shift dresses are really boxy, but ours are more
A-line and flattering. They are designed for women, not
just coat hangers," she says. "And modern
fabrics are soooo much better and more
collection — which includes 16 dresses, two purses and
a handful of jewelry and is priced from $35 to $199 —
has a retro feel, with lots of special collar, pocket
and button details. A white boucle sleeveless shift has
a red sideways patch pocket and a row of red dome
buttons down one side, for example, and a navy-and-white
colorblock jersey dress has a hidden side pocket, with
red lining peeking out.
made a dress with box pleats that had a hidden pleat
detail like this when I was a kid," Deschanel said
recently at the Tommy Hilfiger store on Robertson
Boulevard in West Hollywood, pointing to a blue-and-red
box pleated dress with stripes peeking out from the
folds. "It was my crowning achievement."
Season 3 finale of "New Girl," to air May 6,
will feature Deschanel wearing three dresses from the
new Hilfiger collection.
happens to take place on a cruise ship, so it was
perfect," she said.
sweet and easygoing as she comes across, there is a
serious side to Deschanel, which prompted her to launch
the lifestyle website Hello Giggles in 2011 with
producer Sophia Rossi and writer Molly McAleer. With
recent articles about the ins and outs of swearing,
religion in the age of the Internet and American Apparel’s
controversial miniskirt ad that shows a woman bent over
and exposing her panties and crotch, the site is
designed to be an empowering place "where young
women can go and feel safe and supported," she
other words, positive thinking, not Kimye gossip.
certainly can think in a snarky way; I’m capable of
snark," Deschanel says. "But I have the
discipline to not engage in it because I see that it’s
destructive. … I’ve realized that if you try really
hard, you can spin anything in a positive way. It just
takes creative thinking."
Tommy, From Zooey Collection
Dresses, handbags, shoes and jewelry
Macy’s and Tommy Hilfiger stores, tommy.com and
$35 to $199