Modern Medieval at Tory Burch

Tory Burch modernised medieval armour with lightweight fabrics for her Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, says Jessica Michault.

NEW YORK, United States — Tory Burch toughened up her look for next season, sending out a collection that gave a modern edge to medieval motifs. The universal relevance of her theme demonstrates just how savvy a business woman Burch is — nothing sells better than a collection with global impact.

“I am interested in women’s empowerment,” said Burch when asked about the show’s more structured direction. “And hopefully feminine too,” she added with a laugh.

Flipping through the pages of a book she had of sixteenth century drawings by Roelant Savery, the designer was first inspired to create some attractive dragon, floral and paisley prints that were clearly evocative of her chosen era but never felt weighted down by the past. This was thanks in no small part to Burch’s decision to go with above-the-knee silhouettes and slightly lighter weight fabric options, a tapestry intarsia turtleneck on exit number 31 being the winning exception to this rule.

Burch’s light-handed touch on the concept of armour was another clever medieval allusion to attire. Her tunic shaped jewelled melton wool dress, chainmail-esque leather and metal ring wrap skirt, some chain link details on a roomy sweater, and even the knife pleats on a leather coat all had a protective energy to them.

But did this collection hint to bigger things afoot at the brand? Could reinterpreting pieces of historically male attire mean that Burch would be taking on menswear in the near future?

According to the designer, not just yet. Although, she did admit she is currently working on a menswear accessories line. “But never say never,” teased Burch.

Men would only be so lucky to have this discerning designer throw her hat into the menswear ring.

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