When Tory Burch arrived in New York in the late 1980s with the dream of working in fashion, she called Zoran, the Serbian American designer who built his business on deluxe minimalism.
It’s that spirit of daring simplicity she seems to have returned to with her recent collections, which have marked a creative renaissance — and a more directional approach — for the designer long associated with country club prep and print-heavy bohemianism.
For resort, she took a bold stance with volume (Tory does crinolines, ball skirts and balloon hems!), channeling the buoyant feeling we all have experienced since pandemic restrictions have started to ease.
“I’m feeling secure in taking more risks,” said Burch, noting it has been two years since her husband Pierre-Yves Roussel has taken the chief executive officer duties off her hands, giving her the freedom to focus solely on product. “I have been thinking a lot about what is American luxury. For me, it’s about quintessentially beautiful pieces that are timeless and people can interpret in their own way.”
That could be a smile-inducer of a black-and-white polka dot anorak, cinched at the waist, over a matching ball skirt (crinoline optional underneath) and charming polka-dot pumps, or a pair of fabulous chocolate brown taffeta balloon pants with an Op art wavy blue stripe T-shirt and golden yellow ribbed knit cardigan. Separates, but special.
“It’s this idea of utilitarian glamour,” she said of the collection.
A navy duchess satin quilted ottoman jacket, edged in black beads, which reverses to ivory, was a great piece, as was a petal pink velvet jacket with the ease of a work shirt that would go with jeans just as easily as the long black sequin skirt she showed it with.
Playing with the idea of lift off more literally, a clingy jersey hot air balloon print dress conjuring “Around the World in 80 Days” had a vintage whimsy (pairing it with moccasins was a cool touch), as did a gold Lurex turtleneck and matching balloon pant set with the ease of pajamas.
Nodding also to fashion’s lingering love of lounge, a robe coat came in a cheery yellow hue with red piping, paired with wide-leg jeans, a bird-motif needlepoint bag and ladybug red-and-black polka dot ballet flats. A feminine, flared navy blue coat and ribbed knit curve-hugging sweater and skirt set added to the dressed-up sportswear vibe.
Of course, resort is also holiday, and Burch has a feeling women will want to celebrate without sacrificing comfort, perhaps in a sleeveless drop waist black tulle and Lurex sack dress with velvet details. It is the Roaring ’20s after all.