Leather was the guiding principle of Todd Snyder's Fall collection. "What we wanted to do was mix in a lot of leather—as much as we can," Snyder said, which is a heady remark for a 9:30 a.m. presentation. There were leather pants, leather peacoats, leather blousons used as layering pieces, leather motorcycle jackets. Badass was the word that most frequently passed Snyder's lips in describing it—a badass take on gentlemanly dressing; everything made more badass. Snyder himself happens to be one of the nicest guys in menswear, a tie-wearing father of two with a house in the 'burbs. "I'm a kid from Iowa," he shrugged. "I guess I'm trying to live vicariously through all these other people." What is fashion if not the accoutrements of that dream?

Incorporating all that skin ended up elevating a collection that's long been expensive in make but not always in outward appearance. And it made for Snyder's most successful outing to date. The clothes and styled looks still have the feel of good vintage. (In this case, there's a good reason: The collection grew out of a 1950s leather jacket Snyder found in a thrift store in Leeds.) That vintage aspect can occasionally make the collection seem stilted. But it also lends a rediscovered-treasure quality to the individual pieces, one Snyder is careful to cultivate: These things don't distress themselves. In any case, a few items without such weight of history pointed to intriguing new possibilities. The glen plaid suiting in jersey knit, for example, was resilient and pliable, but fully constructed (at Southwick, the Massachusetts factory where all of Snyder's tailoring is made) and subtle enough to pass.