Tory Burch muses on Diana Spencer in the Brooklyn Museum
Everyone seems to want to show in Brooklyn, so why shouldn’t Tory Burch too? She may be America’s most preppy and polished uptown designer but Tory always does fashion with a clever twist, especially this year when her muse was Diana Spencer. Or as most people know her, Princess Di.
On a sunny fall Sunday morning, Burch presented her latest collection across the East River in the Brooklyn Museum, unveiling an excellent array of fresh, flattering and truly feminine clothes. Her timing also seemed prescient since Diana’s youngest son’s wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, had just jetted into New York this weekend to see her friend Serena Williams play in the U.S. Open final.
English roses bloomed in this collection, all the way to the delicate handkerchiefs left on guests’ seats inside the main hall of the museum.
The opening look featured a beautiful flared cotton silk organdy top and matching flared skirt paired insouciantly with Tory Burch Sport suede sneakers and worn by Natalia Vodianova. A subtly graceful and garden-fresh combination that set the scene for a show.
Though Burch was careful to caution that this was “not about Diana as a style icon but a strong woman. As a humanitarian, a woman fighting to clear minefields.”
So, there were no blatant references to any well-known outfit of Diana, but rather clothes that evoked her jaunty and determined mood: from the clever plaid pattern silk tulle and plongé leather pattern trench coats; to the perfectly cut cotton polkadot silk jacquard dresses, and black twill boyfriend’s redingote.
This was a truly assured collection by a designer who never studied fashion but has, nonetheless, built a business with annual sales of some $1.5 billion in just 15 years.
This spring, Burch hired her husband Pierre-Yves Roussel – a highly experienced former LVMH executive – to be her new CEO, freeing her up to focus more on design. Previously, she had also been, for over a year, the company’s CEO.
“It’s really great to have someone who can allow me to concentrate on what I love - actually designing,” said Burch, after her smoothly staged show.
Plus, she had a stellar front-row: Emily Blunt, Janet Mock, Maya Hawke, Charlotte Lawrence, Logan Browning, Alexandra Daddario, Liya Kebede, Karolína Kurková, Hikari Mori, Aya Ōmasa, Halima Aden and Leomie Anderson.
A cool mix of actress, activist and 'It Gal' – reminding one that Tory Burch is America’s most coherent fashion marque.
Several graphic pattern silk dresses even echoed the glass-and-tile check patterned floor of the giant central hall of the museum, noted for its oil painting of great American revolutionary heroes.
Which is what Burch is in fashion: a lady who took the DNA of her own elegantly privileged youth to create a path-breaking marque that is America’s greatest expression of affordable and approachable luxury. Something, surely, Diana Spencer would have appreciated.
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