“Wearable Whimsy”: Tory Burch’s Fall/Winter 2018 Collection Balances Luxury And Street-Style
Say we were playing that time old word association game, where I say something, and you offer the first thing that comes to mind. Should “Tory Burch” ever be brought up, key words like feminine, prints, resort, and summer would not surprise me as a response. But layers, edge, and androgyny? Not so. And yet there it all was, sprinkled throughout her Fall/Winter 2018 Collection. Not displaced in any way either, but as though a native speaker of two tongues switches back and forth with fluidity, deftly inserting the more appropriate language when needed, where needed.
Was this always part of the Tory Burch arsenal? Has she been inspired or moved by anything in particular? Because the designer is performing like a finely tuned instrument, delivering depth, precision, and experience, but simultaneously riffing on an almost freestyle melody this season. It is wearable whimsy; befitting of the romance of slow motion, but created for a woman that does not waste time. Sienna Miller, seen sitting front row, is a stellar example of what a muse for this collection might look like.
Front row of the Tory Burch show
But it is, in fact, socialite Lee Radziwill (Caroline Lee Bouvier) that provides inspiration for this collection. Most famously known as Jackie O’s younger sister, Lee, who was once head of public relations for Giorgio Armani, has been celebrated for her impeccable taste—both as an interior designer and fashion lover, the latter evidenced by her inclusion on several best-dressed lists throughout the years.
The kind of transporting Tory Burch makes possible at her shows is needed now, perhaps more than ever. It is not a naive escape—no matter how ethereal and dreamlike the fourteen thousand carnations, the “this must be heaven” lighting, and the sublime string music at the show may make it seem; there remains a gravitas and a seriousness to the Tory Burch woman. In a strange way, this dichotomy allows her collections to straddle the ability to be both the most European, and the most Asian of the American brands.
As island and tribal and resort smash headfirst into shearling, Tory Burch masters a wonderful way to stay true to her loyal base, but also engages a distraction-riddled demographic looking to bridge the functional street style with feminine luxury. The new Tory Burch woman is of a fluid age, armed with a selection of pieces to mix and match. The magic? Anything in this collection can be thrown together with reckless abandon, and the result would still be pure grace.