Tory Burch Spring-Summer 2013 RTW

Should you have been following the various developments of the look of spring 2013 in New York over the last few days, you might be viewing it with a feeling pitched somewhere between curiosity and trepidation. Thus far, we’ve been awash—or adrift is perhaps better—in long, languorous layers, all pale, pale, pale delicacy, with a few lingerie pieces on show (in every sense of the word) for good measure. Truth be told, some of it has been quite beautiful, but clearly how all this will transition into real life where you have to dress to go to work, date, run around after the kids, etc., etc., is another matter entirely.  

Bravo, Tory Burch, then, for brilliantly flying the flag for sparkling newness without forgetting that great clothes should feel joyful and uplifting without being entirely devoid of practicality. “It’s remixing American classicism; about a girl who travels the world, and takes something from every place she goes,” Burch said backstage of her preppy globalism for spring. “So there is guipure lace and tie-dye or making a polo shirt into an evening dress, and then pairing it with Moroccan slippers.”

That was the final look, a white crepe, collared column dress graphically embellished on the sleeves and the waist with silver and red beading, worn with those aforementioned flats, resulting in a youthful, easy idea of elegance. But let’s quickly rewind, because there were plenty of good things in this collection from the get-go. Most appealing was Burch’s take on that longer line that has been causing the eye to drop downward when looking at the runway of late. Her trick was to tailor it to keep it under control, meaning A-line skirts rendered in lightweight ombre tweeds or in hand-dyed bazin (no, me neither—bazin, apparently, is a kind of African damask) were worn with neat blazers and high, block-heeled loafers.

The smallness of the top contrasted with that midi (as they used to say, back in the day) length that was also used for a series of charming dresses in everything from yellow honeycomb-eyelet lace to a blue-and-white Indian floral print on linen, to mesh embroidered with paillettes. Of course, like all those diaphanous layers, longer can also be challenging for mere mortals. What would, ahem, the more petite Burch recommend? “Making them shorter,” she said, laughing. “No, it’s all about keeping the length tailored. Do that, and you can wear it with heels—or flats.”
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