#SuzyNYFW: Tory Burch Wants Women To Have A Voice
From the Academy Awards to the New York shows, gender equality and diversity are slowly coming as the world opens up.
“I’ve waited for this day for a long time,” said Tory Burch, as she stood among the colourful, subversive statues of artist Francesca DiMattio.
Models walk the runway during the Tory Burch Autumn/Winter 2020 Fashion Show
© Getty Images
The meaningful art works and the women-oriented fashion show sent out a strong message for the winter 2020 season in New York - even if all the action seemed to be at the Oscars in a rain-soaked Hollywood.
The Tory Burch models were made for walking as they stamped by in over-the-knee boots decorated with flowers that also sprouted on fitted jackets and stretch trousers.
Tory Burch AW2020: stronger and bolder.
In general, the energy seems to have been leaking out of a confused NY fashion season, with key designer Tom Ford showing in LA, and other luminaries, from Tommy Hilfiger to Jeremy Scott, backing out of Manhattan.
Tory Burch AW2020: ‘a clean, clear vision for the designer’.
But just as the unprecedented winner of the Oscars was Parasite, Korean Bong Joon-ho’s dark comedy thriller, so fashion is making global shifts to a more international and diverse world.
Read more: #SuzyNYFW: The Row, Sies Marjan And Jason Wu All Embrace Art
Can a switch from the graceful, womanly vision of Tory Burch over the last decade to something bolder and stronger really make a difference - even when, in reality, that means only mannish over-the-knee boots and plaid tailored jackets?
It turned out that the stronger, bolder work had a long gestation in Tory’s thoughts, dating back to when she launched a foundation to support and empower women entrepreneurs and their families.
She is now ready to incorporate that into her fashion vision.
“Because our foundation launched in 2009, and I waited until about six months ago to say to our team: 'we’re ready to integrate the foundation into the company because we now have real impact and scale'.
"So, we want to push it, to be a support for women, and we can feel like that in everyday life.”
Over-the-knee boots from Tory Burch AW2020
Toughened up soft, silk floral dresses and leather jackets with sharp shoulders suggested purposeful women, while “Tory-land” flowers on sweaters and skirts cut away at an angle brought precision and geometry to what was once fashionably soft. Even the bags had a firmness and some arty patterns - and this really was a fresh look for the Tory Burch brand.
"I was thinking about how I would I want a woman that I admired to go into a boardroom,” the designer said.
"I wanted to think of a power suit. And then we put on the high boots and that was it. We wanted women to have a voice.
"When I think about how you get emotion in clothing, it is when people tell me they feel more confident wearing our things, or more powerful. That means a lot to me.”
The Tory Burch AW2020 show offered what the designer does so well.
The result was not game changing for fashion, but a clean, clear vision for the designer. These strong clothes might be just a sky blue cardigan worn with trousers and those made-for-walking boots, or a loose dress spotted with spiky flowers - with all these designs seeming purposeful, never girlie.
Sometimes, from where I was sitting, the models strode past the floral artistic figures, whose flowers looked much more aggressive than a tribute to upcoming Valentine’s Day.
Natalia Vodianova walks between Francesca DiMattio's statues that decorated the runway at the Tory Burch AW/20.
© Getty Images
DiMattio describes these sculptures as work that “imbues the decorative with strength and power.”
In fashion terms, without changing the basic vision, the Tory Burch show offered what the designer does so well - tailored jackets and coats, long slim dresses, some patterned or decorated, and, again, those boots that strode along the catwalk.
There is a gently irony in the fact that the bold feminist step forward for Tory is in tandem with her CEO and partner PierreYves Roussel, who is also charged with turning the brand into reality and feeding its growth.
Tory Burch toughening up is not just a fashion statement.
“She has been so well received, with bags, shoes, ready-to-wear, and she went international very early on,” the executive said. ”She built the company from day one. We have all the ingredients to develop more.
“I was not convinced it would all come together,” he continued. “She was more convinced than I was and I think that makes it very special. There is a natural progression between (the) creative and business minded which she’s been building… and we have a great team. I think it just makes it very special.”
Tory Burch toughening up is not just a fashion statement. It is an example of a woman coordinating with other women. Just like the Academy Awards, both sexes are working together, but with woman power coming to the fore.
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