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Get Drawn into the Folksy Nostalgia of Tory Burch’s Resort 2020

Known for her unique prints every season, Tory Burch delves into American folk tradition for a sense of free-spiritedness

Escape the gridlock of Philadelphia -- one of United States’ most vibrant East Coast cities -- drive west on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and you’ll begin to see the concrete jungle dissolve into rolling green hills. At springtime, when the ground thaws, you can roll a window down and catch the scent of wild lavender wafting through the breeze. Venture far enough away from the metropolis, and the skyscrapers turn into hay-filled barns, the sixteen-wheeler trucks are replaced by horse and buggy, and the highway narrows into quaint covered bridges. This journey away from the forward gaze of urban edginess to the soft pastures of nostalgia is exactly what Tory Burch’s Resort 2020 collection captures.

Just as venturing into Amish country is an exercise in embracing centuries-old traditions, Burch’s collection is one that looks to her own childhood in the Pennsylvania Dutch region. But instead of the rigidity and stuffiness one would expect from drawing inspiration from the “plainness” of the countryside, the designer’s resort line features sumptuous textures and flowing silhouettes. Rather than encountering a literal representation of Burch’s hometown, audiences catch a glimpse of the awe and affection she attaches to her childhood memories. Even those who have never experienced the charm of rural Pennsylvania will be swept up in the longing for the bygone era to which the pieces hark back.

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The collection’s pillowy quilting, wistful eyelets, and intricate embroidery echo the homespun craftsmanship the region is known for. It is these features that root the collection in the American folk tradition Burch keenly explores. But these materials and details, which would seem matronly or passé at the hands of another designer, are balanced out by more masculine, modern touches. Drawing from another common inspiration from her childhood -- her father’s 1970’s wardrobe -- Burch is able to rein in the rusticness of yore with her trademark sophistication.

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Navigating the lines between past and present, tough and tender, dreaming and doing -- this is where the collection stands out. A floral dress with a flouncy, layered hem resists ultra-sweetness with details like a crisp military collar and a pragmatic button-down front. Likewise, a black, ankle-length peasant gown with wildflower appliqués is turned into an airy confection with a gauzy skirt and sleeves that expose the skin. Burch’s balancing act isn’t limited to toning down the whimsy, however. For instance, she turns up to volume of a folk-art printed blouse and skirt set, by trimming it with cartoonishly bright pops of pink, green, blue, and yellow -- thus capturing the homeyness of her childhood living room, and the cartoons playing on the screen.

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The result of Burch’s exploration of her childhood is a collection that combines sleek modernity folksy femininity -- anchoring wearers to the stylishness of the present, while allowing us to drift freely through the dreamy meadows of memory.

Here are our favorite pieces from the collection: