L.L Bean Fall 2010 women

L.L. Bean Signature's fall 2010 line gets an urban polish. Photo courtesy of L.L. Bean

Creative director Alex Carleton gave StyleList a preview of his fall 2010 L.L. Bean Signature line. We were happy to see retro inspirations flicker throughout the women's and men's lines, which stemmed from Carleton's focus on New England's legendary autumn scenery and the L.L. Bean sportswear archives.

He also thought of 1960s and 1970s touchstones like Ali MacGraw, "Peyton Place," and "those really cool '70s moms."

After successfully launching the higher-end Signature line this spring, Carleton amplified its tailored, yet still getaway-weekend-casual, style.

The women's line takes a bigger step away from the traditional L.L. Bean look. Trimmer silhouettes, lush fabrics and thoughtful embellishments make most items better suited to a café than a canoe.

Carleton deftly mixed-and-matched his way through the racks, pairing separates in dusky purple, teal, deep yellow, navy, and forest green.

The demure offerings also include a striped shirtdress and a puffed-sleeve blouse in a filmy silk. There are plenty of classics you can't argue with, like fine-wale cords, a midnight tweed jacket and MacGraw-worthy plaid pants (fully lined, hallelujah!).

L.L Bean Fall 2010 men

L.L. Bean Signature's men's line hews closer to tradition. Photo courtesy of L.L. Bean

A handful of fully urban-chic items, like ankle-zip skinny jeans, play well with the rest. Carleton chuckled over a "crazy blend" tunic sweater, fuzzy with mohair.

The expanded accessories line helps it all coalesce. The shoes bring all eyes to the floor: moccasin wedges, perfectly matte tall boots, forest green pumps, even sexy-secretary high-heeled brogues in glossy patent leather.

Another standout is the new "picnic tote," a narrower version of the trademark canvas bag.

There's even a heap of jewelry, with chunky bracelets, chain necklaces and strands of olive and peacock pearls.

The men's collection stays closer to the L.L. Bean archives. The plaid shirts, shawl-collar sweaters and the replica vintage duck-hunting jacket could have sprung right from a mid-century catalog.

Even among the menswear, though, you'll see some surprises, like a safety-orange felt fedora. That's the sharpest way we've seen to usher in hunting season!

See what other mass retailer is stepping up their style game for fall.