STYLE
02/13/2012 11:11 EST | Updated 04/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Hilfiger does 'town and country' by bringing some country to town at Fashion Week

NEW YORK, N.Y. - You can convey a refined-yet-sporty elegance with double-breasted coats, suede field jackets and scarf-print silk dresses. Or you could just create an elaborate set for a fashion show with a brick-path runway, park benches and ivy-covered walls. Tommy Hilfiger did both.

Not leaving anything to chance Sunday night, Hilfiger brought the hunt club to Park Avenue, creating a set inside an old armoury building that complemented every look worn by the models. There was a lot of oohing and aahing as the often-jaded crowd of stylists, retailers, editors and celebrities — including Uma Thurman — walked in the door.

"The whole message is town and country," Hilfiger said in a pre-show interview. "There are country tweeds and a mix of suedes, leather and quilting. It sort of looks like hunting, but it's not hunting foxes, it's hunting for fun."

An uptown element was added through cashmere, fine details such as braiding and a sophisticated colour palette rooted in plum, Dijon yellow, navy, dark green and burgundy.

"Fall is rich and luxurious. It's about quality and detail, fit, form and function. ... We are paying a lot of attention to detail. Every pocket lining, every zipper has been thought about," Hilfiger said.

Other than the obvious military references, Hilfiger also hit on a few of the other trends catching on during New York Fashion Week, including high necklines that draw the eye upward, long gloves and tactile fabrics. Of course, he said, it's all been skewed a little to fit his usual preppy esthetic.

Hilfiger's womenswear show marked the halfway point of the previews for next season; he debuted his men's clothes last week. But he's not quite done yet: He also closes the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents Thursday with a closed audience of American Express cardholders.