A year ago Tory Burch was showing her first runway collection in New York. In just twelve short months she has been able to deftly channel the power of the medium to her best advantage.
At first the mise-en-scène of the show looked a bit doubtful. Canary yellow benches and matching program notes were fine in and of themselves but on the first page of those notes was a message from the designer talking about one-of-a-kind hand-dyed fabrics. Did this mean we were in store for some sort of psychedelic tie-dye return to the hippy style of the 1970s?
“She is an American preppy woman who has a global travel sense, “ said Burch when asked to describe the women she envisioned while designing the collection. “She is sort of a magpie who just picks things up wherever she goes.”
Burch must have had a crystal clear vision of who this woman was because the collection was -from top to bottom, first look to last- an exquisite sartorial voyage to far-flung lands. From the handbags and shoes to the chunky jewelry and understated makeup this show was a fully formed entity. One example of the harmonious touches in this show was the way the wispy braids in the models hair echoed the golden wheat print used at the beginning of the show on everything from dresses, jackets, shorts and bags.
There is always a risk when incorporating an ethnic flair into a show, that it will look costumey. Like clothing that has been bought on vacation, which always looks good on vacation, but are out of sync when worn back in the real world. This was not the case with this collection. Every colorful touch, beaded trim or crochet element had a city sophistication to it.
And what about that tie-dye? Not only was it incorporated in a controlled, tailored and structural way it also had a feel good back-story. Women artisans from the Kindia region of Guinea in Africa made the fabric exclusively for the brand. Making this collection one you want to invest in for a number of different reasons.
- Jessica Michault