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Tory Burch’s autumn winter 2020 collection imbues the decorative with strength and power, inspired by artist Francesca DiMattio’s sculptures.
Francesca is known for challenging the traditional norms of femininity. Wedding-dress beads and basket weaving, often dismissed as mere decorations, transform into imposing structures, blurring what’s man-woman, old-new, high-low.
This collection reinterprets classic and nostalgic themes including menswear suiting cut with a softer shape, structural details played against fluid silhouettes, historic references reworked with modern ideas.
While parts of the line is epitomised in the gray power suit with silk lace blouses and tall leather boots, other pieces are refined and lighthearted, especially the ones featuring the prints which were designed by Francesca.
Tory Burch, the chairman, chief executive and designer of the American lifestyle brand, said: “The collection is based off our shared appreciation of the history of Turkish, English and French porcelain, but here the colours and patterns are bolder and more exaggerated. Equal emphasis is placed on bags and boots. The new Eleanor shoulder bag, for example, is structured and crafted from Italian leather.
“For the Lee Radziwill collection, we have a new interpretations of the 70s saddlebag and an accordion shape. Every look is punctuated with a strong boot that is mid-calf, riding, over-the-knee; pointed or tapered-square toe.”
Tory’s vibrant and artistic collection was unveiled with a dazzling runway show at Sotheby’s in New York City, US. Eleven of Francesca sculptures were placed throughout the runway courtesy of Salon 94 and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery. Celebrities smiled and gasped as models strutted down the catwalk while singer Alice Smith performed Q-Tip’s version of the 1963 classic You Don’t Own Me. Other songs played throughout included Can I Kick It? by A Tribe Called Quest and Nothing Burns Like the Cold by Snoh Aalegra, featuring Vince Staples. Show music was produced by Michel Gaubert.
Stylist Benjamin Bruno ensured that every model captivated the crowd. The silhouettes created an exploration in proportion and form. The runway exuded a refined nonchalance with caftans layered over silky pajama dressing while tailored trousers were tucked into over-the-knee boots.
High-collar jackets with sculpted shoulders offset effortless dresses. Architectural hemlines, exaggerated sleeves and collars gave the collection depth and dimension. As for colour, the line was bursting with bright yellow, mint and petal pink pop against a subdued palette of cream, white, charcoal, navy and black.
The collection features a series of prints developed by ceramicist Francesca.
The maximalist, exuberant prints—each based on one of her sculptures—range from painterly florals to abstract takes on Sèvres porcelain. Plaids and stripes bring an understated nostalgia while a Delft-inspired blue-and-white tile print nods to Tory’s love of classic porcelain.
The textural play echoes the mixed-material composition of Francesca’s sculptures with sumptuous velvet against cotton jacquard; cotton poplin layered over crepe de chine. Distorted paillettes cascade down silk satin and crepe evening dresses while intertwined strands of organza give knitwear a cotton candy-like quality. Trapunto stitching, smocking and sunburst pleats are seen throughout the collection.
The stylist kept the accessories down-to-earth yet elevated. Square-toed riding boots offered an appealing austerity while Lee Radziwill saddlebags conveyed a polished, 70s-era louche. Architectural brass rings, a deconstruction of Tory Burch’s iconic logo, rounds out of the collection.
Makeup was provided by Diane Kendal and NARS Cosmetics; hair by Guido for Redken and nails by tenoverten.