Tommy Hilfiger thinks the great American outdoors could use some fashiony explorers. He made that point with plaid and panache in his strong fall collection, which nodded to grunge, filtered through the designer’s signature preppy lens.

After spring’s surf-and-sand theme, Hilfiger created another impressive set by transforming the Park Avenue Armory into a rugged wintry scene replete with mountains capped in fake snow, charming ski lodges and a wooden-plank path as runway. There was no mistaking that this was an all-American scene, down to the first riffs of the soundtrack: Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl.”


Then came the parade of models in a variety of numbers that were fun and feisty in attitude: a striped plaid shirt with a matching ruffled skirt, a youthful shirtdress in a Technicolor check.

The outerwear was equally strong, delivering a cool spin to mountaineering staples. Hilfiger liked the concept so much, he took his bow dressed in a vest, woodsy plaid shirt, jeans and hiking boots. His models, meanwhile, worked an utterly charming take on the motif — all plaids, puffers and teddy fur and pom-pom beanies. Pretty rugged — and then some.

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