This week in New York, many designers are feeling a sense of national pride. We’ve had Coach relaying coming of age of middle America; Brandon Maxwell feeling nostalgic of his Texan upbringing; Christian Cowan portraying Manhattan nights out – and tonight – Tory Burch, with the help of production via Bureau Betak, took us to the top of a building at Hudson Yards that overlooked the iconic New Yorker Hotel. You couldn’t get more American even if you tried.
This collection was built around what it means to be a woman in New York City. We’ve all seen them; maybe you are one: they’re polished, put together, perhaps a dash eccentric. Burch explored the concept of the New York identity via shape, color, form and geometry, with classic American sportswear serving as a constant thread throughout. The result? Her finest show in years.
The designer balanced authentic American aesthetics with contemporary taste and social context. She’s understood who her clothes are for and how the pandemic has altered dress codes. This girl wants to wear her damn sweats but throw a little sass into the mix. There was a newfound creativity to her work that elevated her collection. Print, namely, came layered up against tailored trousers, feeling a little Prada-esque if you will. Relaxed handwriting informed the curved silhouettes of blazers, bombers, drop-shoulder overcoats and even the ovoid line of trousers and tops, nipped in at the waist with obi-leather belting which enhanced looks with a feminine structure. The easy lines lent well for layering. Because the new New Yorker needs no nonsense design that you can dress up or down in a flash.
With this in mind, her first seventeen looks (to be precise!) were by far the most successful. Although still noteworthy, her latter assortment of bodycon dresses in pieced compositions felt like a slight departure from the rest of the collection. I craved more of this newfound layering of the earlier looks. They felt almost Philo-eque in their sensibility. And not a cocktail dress in sight. Because hi-low is how New Yorkers dress day to day.