The nifty carabiner-clipped show invitation and an elaborate, wintry set (complete with craggy peaks, powdered snow, fir trees, ski chalets, and even a chairlift overhead) clearly communicated that Tommy Hilfiger was inspired by the great American outdoors for Fall—even before the first model stepped out onto the wooden plank runway. Drawing on a range of rugged references, including technical mountaineering gear and Western workwear, Hilfiger explored his adventurous theme in a compelling, modern way.

Considering the arctic cold front that's descended on New York fashion week, the designer couldn't have chosen a better season to roll out a collection chock-full of high-performance parkas lined in fleecy shearling (equipped with fun bungee-cord details) that had need-it-now appeal. Hilfiger stirred up an equally cozy feeling by mixing together Technicolor plaids on soft shirtdresses and fringy wool skirts. "We've always done tartans. We've always done outdoorsy," he said at a preview, pointing to one of his early ad campaigns from the late eighties that turned up on Fall's mood board. Without a doubt, this strong outing occupied familiar territory for the brand.

Hilfiger wove Western elements throughout the lineup, showing raw denim pieces and utility jumpsuits that suggested "real heartland America," according to the designer. Meanwhile, suede "Marlboro Man jackets" and leather cowgirl boots channeled Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl," which played on the soundtrack.

Rich textures played an important role here. Hilfiger added bonded treatments to plush velveteen (found on puffer vests and sweatshirt dresses) and a tan leather shearling coat. For evening, he sent out a pair of plaid mohair blanket gowns featuring delicate, slightly bohemian embellishments. They were just the kind of thing you could picture a young actress wearing to her film premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.