The Odeon, a New York institution since 1980; for Tory Burch the TriBeCa bistro is also a nostalgic reminder of living in the city just after college, often frequenting the locale with friends. The love of New York City is one that is closely felt and often referenced in collections by New York designers, especially over the last year. For fall, Burch reflected on how much the city has done for not only herself, but everyone. “It gives and gives.…I was thinking what can we do to give back in our own small way?” she said over Zoom. “Number one: let’s shoot in an iconic place.”
So Burch shot her sharp fall collection within the walls of The Odeon; simultaneously, she worked with Daniel Arnold to create a film highlighting and supporting eight individual women entrepreneurs and their businesses.
“Women have been hit so hard during the pandemic, disproportionately so, so we wanted to do what we could…that’s one thing we’ve been trying to work on, a lot of businesses that are really on the cusp of going out of business because of COVID-19. I think so many women have done great jobs of pivoting but a lot, a lot are struggling.”
The film will make its debut with donations for to-be-determined organizations, alongside the opening of Burch’s SoHo flagship on Mercer Street with the collection launch in July.
Fall’s fashion concept, too, revolved around New York: its opportunities, memories, creativity, diversity, dreams and reality of possibilities.
“One thing I love about New York is the diversity. To me, that’s what is truly beautiful, is having people who are different, who have different perspectives, different beliefs. That’s something I thought of when we were working on the collection,” Burch said.
Her focus on “less is more and everything with more integrity: more elevated fabrics and proportions” through luxe American sportswear with a ’70s flare continued from spring and pre-fall. Burch pared down crafty, artisanal details even further, leaning into versatility through seasonless dressing and layering, namely through her takes on modern suiting. For a return to the office post-pandemic, she offered classic men’s suiting that was sharp and clean, but not stuffy, due to feminine, softer details and youthful fabrications. For instance, earthy brown corduroy suiting — a blazer and pants worn with a sharp-collared cotton poplin shirt and knit mock-neck or vest worn atop a purple cotton poplin shirtdress (both accessorized with 151 Mercer hobo bags, which will launch for the SoHo flagship). Skirted suiting felt fresh in Japanese raw denim (a blazer and wrap skirt with cotton poplin plaid shirt, ribbed knit turtleneck, Eleanor bag and curved-heel buckle boots), as well as in twill crepe with Japanese floral wall covering-inspired and Indian block prints with button details made of glass, resin and horn.
For fall, Burch was not only inspired by the diversity seen across the city’s neighborhoods, but also the ways in which its tourists dress.
“One thing I love about New York is people come from all over the world, but people also come from all the different states in the U.S. It’s so fun to watch because you can tell exactly where they’re from. This is my nod to a bit of western, someone coming from Texas,” Burch explained, referring to her cotton poplin shirtdresses and Lee Radizwill Western bag.
Subtle western detailing could be seen throughout while classic American workwear was femininely refreshed in new fabrications (best seen in a beautiful leather barn jacket lined in bouclé paired with moleskin sailor pants). The idea of the dickie continued for fall alongside new outerwear (a great water-resistant faux patent trench), new hand-knits, tunics and dresses. Even Burch’s most artisanal, dressy looks were designed in humble fabrics: minimalistic, long cotton poplin frocks with slight bubble hems and long silk chiffon fringed decoration.
Overall, the designer’s fall collection offered a polished, luxe look at versatile, modern masculine-feminine American sportswear — perfect for striding along those New York City streets in the months ahead.