Town and Country. That was the name of Tommy Hilfiger's Fall collection, which broadened his preppy girl's world to include the horsey world of the hunt club in addition to Park Avenue. It's an inspiration you'd expect to yield a polished look, but seeing how this collection very closely traced his military-themed menswear collection shown a few days ago, the result was supremely precise. The trio of high-necked, double-breasted coats with bullion trim that opened the show almost demanded that you stand at attention.
The show was at its best when Hilfiger remixed the various elements of the upper-class equestrienne's world. The quilted suede of a field jacket was fashioned into a slyly sexy skirt with a semi-attached panel of colored leather. Fisherman's cables were printed on silk dresses, and an actual cable-knit sweater came trimmed with quilted suede on the shoulders and little buckles at the sleeves. The highlight? A trio of scarf-printed dresses with bridle motifs that had a loose, seventies sex appeal. They stood apart from various looks that were, by turns, schoolgirl prim or a bit stuffy. When taken piece by piece, the collection's luxurious materials and, yes, precision, were beyond reproach. But after a few strong seasons with this team at Hilfiger—stylist Karl Templer and designer Peter Som—we had gotten used to having a little bit more fun.