Tommy Hilfiger pulled out all the stops for his 20th-anniversary show. After the year he's had, during which he successfully weathered tax probes, sale rumors, and his own reality show, there was just as much reason to celebrate 12 months of survival as two decades of achievement. Either way, the prevailing air of triumphalism, culminating in a blast of "We Are the Champions," was at odds with the breeziness of the clothes themselves.

It came as no surprise that Hilfiger stayed true to the red, white, and blue preppy spirit on which he founded his empire, but it was a shame that this career overview sidestepped the urban styles that made him for a time the incongruous king of hip-hop fashion. A little street would have added some spice to the parade of smiley young Americans—all 100 of them.

As it was, Hilfiger's audience added the edge—Paris Hilton was on one side of the catwalk, and Lou Reed on the other made some kind of statement about the designer's cross-cultural and cross-generational appeal. The building blocks of the collection were multi-plaid patchwork and khaki (clearly the new denim for this designer), both shown every which way, from suits to shorts. Preppy pink was another leitmotif (one double-whammy look had it as the lining of a khaki blazer).

Hilfiger took his bow to the strains of "It's Only Rock & Roll," by his beloved Stones. But, if anything, the garish rock-star sparkle of beads on the lapel of a navy-blue frock coat (or as an anchor motif on another blazer) suggested that the subtlety of seersucker and chambray should shape his next 20 years.