Tory Burch is going through a renaissance. Her latest collections are just so, so good. “You can only control so much in your life at the moment, and one of the things you can control is the way you dress and how you look. I think that’s an incredible creative outlet. Individual creative expression is what I’m really interested in right now.” A year ago, the experience of the pandemic led Tory Burch to Claire McCardell, a post-war designer celebrated for the chic functionality of her dresses. Fast forward to 2022, Burch is leaning into more eccentric and freer style, which is still in dialogue with McCardell’s design ethos. Resort 2023 is all about details: the plastic charms fringing the waistline of cropped jackets; the parachute lining peeking from underneath a-line skirts (it’s removable); the lurex fuzz of popover knits. These are the building blocks of the Tory Burch wardrobe, but they’re not square or boring. Quite the opposite. A sense of play permeates the season, whether it’s the raffia tassels that accent the baggy cargo pants she paired with a sleeveless tweed peplum top or the two-piece dress consisting of a little wrap shirt over a yoke-waist skirt with lots of volume (padding at the hips and hem give it shape). Most experimental are a pair of party looks whose tops and skirts are cut on the round with zig-zag edges trimmed in beads. In mismatched but complementary floral prints, these outfits put the emphasis on craft and quirk. Though it’s rooted in American sportswear, with its mix-and-match possibilities, the collection wears its utility lightly. It looks like a lot of fun.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki. Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!
I kind of can’t believe it, but yes – I loved a Tory Burch collection. I actually don’t remember when was the last time I even looked at her collection. Details from autumn-winter 2022 line-up sneaked into my Instagram feed, and then I browsed through the runway photos, and… it’s really great. The offering sprung from Burch’s observations of New Yorkers’ style throughout the pandemic. The freedom of expression was what she noticed – not trends, but characters. “I see women in New York taking more risks, they’re more creative with the way they put themselves together,” she said after her show. “It’s all ages, and that’s something I really appreciate.” Burch tapped into that energy for her latest collection, which she set against a backdrop of midtown Manhattan, with red light from the New Yorker Hotel sign glancing off the runway, like neon reflecting on rainy streets. The idea, she explained, “was to give women a toolbox; I want them to feel they can take this collection and create their own personality with it.” The variety was the thing. This collection had range: there were tech-knit track jackets worn with high-waisted, tapering pants and voluminous jackets and skirts reined in with dramatic belts. The designer, as many designers in New York this season, doubled down on outerwear. Sasha Pivovarova wore a wool coat on top of a hooded raincoat. Bouclé coats had drop shoulders, for easier layering. All of it skimmed out on low-heeled mules or boots, another reflection of real-life chic. There was nothing as predictable as a cocktail dress. Instead, embellished T-shirts were layered over jersey turtlenecks and Lurex-shot full skirts. Burch also paired embroidered bustiers and baggy pants in a cotton-linen shantung with day-to-night versatility. In all likelihood, it’ll be the lively colored geometric pattern jersey dresses – clingy, cut on the bias for ease – that become the collection’s big movers. For the days when the closet is too daunting, or there’s just not enough time for putting together a look, they’re a one-and-done solution for channeling a confident New York vibe.