BURCH IN BROOKLYN

On an early Sunday morning the New York Fashion Week flock flew across the bridge for one of the season’s most established names, Tory Burch. The move to have the show in Brooklyn is significant and emblematic of a changing world – and a changing fashion landscape. The high strung, high brow, inextricably Upper East Burch woman is loosening up with new trends mixing high and low and increasingly seeking comfort alongside statement. 

 

 

Despite its more modest location, the Brooklyn Museum is still an institution and an ode to culture and the arts. Thus it made for the perfect space for Burch to dip her toes into more explorative venues. Set in the circular Beaux-Arts court with the seats laid out in a cross formation, the runway reflected the Tory Burch logo when filmed from above. The light-filled room was sparsely decorated with ivy columns and a mouth-watering, high-tea inspired breakfast spread. As we were ushered to our seats I caught a glimpse of Anna Wintour, Emily Blunt, Hamish Bowles and Alexandra Didario – the usual mix of fashion and celebrity royalty in attendance. 

Atmospheric drum beats started and one of the original supers, Natalia Vodianova, opened the show in a floor-length white slip dress apparently inspired by antique handkerchiefs that Burch found while vintage shopping in Brooklyn. Interestingly, the tea party appropriate attire was styled with sensible suede sneakers. Following looks featured more flouncy florals and slouchy suits styled with classic Tory Burch loafers, stilettos and more sneakers. Oversized bows and pouf sleeves were in abundance alongside bold prints and colors, albeit more chic and subdued than their 80s inspiration points. The hairdos were sleek and pinned back with ornate hair accessories echoed in dangling pearl earrings. 

 

 

Burch pinpointed Princess Diana as a reference point for the collection. The late Princess of Wales has recently been a widespread source of inspiration considering the proliferation of bike shorts and bold suits in fashion editorials and streetstyle alike. Yet, for Burch it was more of a vague aesthetic concept than concrete citation. This Americana take on the 80s English rose made for an interesting aesthetic result, conjuring up a sort of conservative Alice in Wonderland tea party – sans madness. 

Burch’s wade into more adventurous waters is certainly tentative, but there is a notable point of departure from the preppy girl to a woman of more ease and nonchalance – perhaps a nod to the Philophile in Burch. While the collection played it safe, there was something warm, comforting and appropriate about it, like a Spring breeze. The pieces were undeniably wearable. The collection spoke to both the lady of leisure and the power dresser – in short: the modern woman.

 

 

Words & Graphics: Yolanda Senekal

Photographs: Yolanda Senekal

Runway Images via Vogue.com