New Girl 323 Style 03
Credit: Fox

Though New Girl‘s third season has reached its end, star Zooey Deschanel is embarking on her own new adventure as the finale, “Cruise,” shows off several looks from “To Tommy, From Zooey,” the capsule collection Deschanel co-designed with fashion titan Tommy Hilfiger.

Hilfiger notes that Deschanel’s “modical” (mod + nautical) looks — including the dress above — make for a “serendipitous” addition to Tuesday’s episode, which sees the loftmates roped into a high-seas farce after exes Jess (Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) realize the couples cruise they booked while drunk is non-refundable.

“I didn’t even tell Liz [Meriwether, New Girl‘s creator] I had a fashion line,” Deschanel says about her pieces’ appearance in the show. “I showed several samples to Deborah Maguire, who’s our costume designer…and put them in the mix for Liz and the powers that be to review.” She adds with a laugh: “When I walked [on set] in them, I got so many compliments. People had no idea.”

Below, see two more of Deschanel’s designs from tonight’s episode, plus a few teases about how the finale will play out for the exes and their reluctant shipmates.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Hilfiger says the collaboration with Deschanel appealed to him because “she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She lives her life with a sense of humor. Certainly [anyone can think of] a lot of Hollywood actors and Hollywood types who take themselves very seriously — and certainly in the fashion business, people take themselves very seriously — but we don’t.”

The 16-piece collection includes Deschanel’s trademark flouncy dresses, as well as handbags and playfully nautical accessories, all in Hilfiger’s signature red-white-and-blue palette. The singer-actress was “very involved” in the design process, Hilfiger affirmed. “She knows very well what she likes and doesn’t like. She loved this vintage, ’60s/’70s look inspired by Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton,” as well as the “sense of humor” toward style displayed by Lucille Ball. Hilfiger and Deschanel both noted that the collection has a Mary Tyler Moore-esque sensibility, and she added that some of the pieces could fit in at a David Bailey photo shoot or among the work of French New Wave filmmakers Claude Chabrol and Jacques Demy. “If you look at these items and these dresses next to all the other things out there in the stores, they don’t look like what is out there,” Hilfiger notes. “We like to zig when others zag.”

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

But Deschanel’s enviable style isn’t the only thing over which fans will lust tonight. The end of last week’s “Dance” saw Jess and Nick share a moment that hinted they were moving past their post-break-up awkwardness. Could romantic activities and confined spaces below deck serve as a catalyst for the roomfriends to rekindle their relationship? Teases executive producer Dave Finkel, “Things happen when you’re caught in the middle of nowhere.”

“A lot of people were attached to [Jess and Nick] being together,” acknowledges Deschanel. “We have a history with these characters together. We know they love each other because we’ve seen it.”

Finkel says he’s gotten across-the-board feedback about Jess and Nick’s relationship status. “We hope the audience is along for the ride,” he says. “The people who are passionate, I hope they stay passionate and keeping wondering when or if [Jess and Nick will get back together]. We want these people to play out like real people that have flaws. They clearly love each other, they just may not be ready for each other yet.” Then again, he adds, “They may end up back together. Who knows? We let the story tell us.”

Which isn’t to say the show’s group dynamic will take a backseat. One major question for the finale, says Finkel, is: “Can they make things peaceable amongst all people while locked in a giant vessel in the middle of the ocean?” He continues, “As a writer, I particularly love [episodes] featuring everybody in the same story together. That‘s the show. That’s where [the heart of the story] lives. We conceived the show as six broken characters who need each other to make each other better. Getting back to that core thing is really paramount for us.”

New Girl‘s season 3 finale airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET.

Episode Recaps

New Girl

Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.

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