Tory Burch brought her spectacular spring 2024 collection to a new New York City landmark.
On Monday night, she showed at the “otherwordly” Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation at the American Museum of Natural History.
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Opened in May, the incredible building was designed by architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang and her Chicago practice, Studio Gang.
The 230,000-square-foot, $465 million space houses millions of specimens across six floors above ground, four of which are open to the public, and one below.
Much of it was constructed without formwork, by spraying concrete directly onto rebar, and then hand-finished to create the seamless interior with arching walls, bridges and caverns. The spray technique, known as “shotcrete,” was invented by naturalist and taxidermy artist Carl Akeley in 1907.
The architecture mimics the way wind and water carve out landscapes, inspired by canyons in the southwestern U.S.
The space is “enveloping,” Burch said during a preview. “You feel like you are in a beehive in a way.”
It wasn’t easy securing it. “I knew someone on the board and said, ‘You have to do me this favor,’” Burch said. Sources told WWD the brand likely also made a donation to the museum in the high six figures.
If the building feels like a serene respite in the middle of the city, the collection did, too.
“I was thinking in this chaotic world, what does effortless mean? How do we quiet the mind? I started with color palettes and super airy fabrics and textures and proportion play, which is very new for us,” Burch said. “And then I also looked at some of the things that are iconic for our brand, like a caftan or tunic, and tried to mix them up differently.”
There were a number of futuristic-looking, chic sculpted jackets, including a glittery deep purple collarless blazer with slit sleeves, worn with a super-short draped jersey bubble skirt, flat sandals and goggle glasses for a galactic glam look.
Featherweight knit dresses shaped by soft hoops orbiting the body brought to mind Pierre Cardin and his Bubble Palace, which resembles the Gilder in a way.
“I go back to women being restricted with everything from crinolines to hair nets; I wanted to crash that idea,” Burch said of striving to make conceptual fashion comfortable, including a scoop neck black Tory tunic gone Space Age over a barely there draped white jersey skirt.
Hems were short, short, short, with lots of beautiful draping and ruching hugging the body. “It’s definitely a sexy vibe for us,” Burch said. “And it’s the way I see women dressing today.”
Other pieces let a woman enter with bells on, literally, in mesh tunics dotted with tiny bells layered over draped dresses, and a dazzling coat that was music to the ears.
“That plays into the idea of spirituality, too,” said Burch, who meditates daily, and shared that her husband and chief executive officer, Pierre-Yves Roussel, finds peace by visiting a monastery in France regularly.
Mod metallic Neoprene dresses and lady coats in sculptural shapes sat just off the body, while mesh shorts, nylon zip-front shirts and Neoprene knit cropped, full-leg pants were the foundations for a sporty uniform with a cooling effect.
There were a lot of intriguing details throughout the lineup, like delicate pressed flower pigment prints and white resin fringe embroidery inspired by flower stamens.
Meanwhile, accessories she kept simple, with rounded flat mary jane shoes, flat sandals with sculptural hardware, ergonomic clutch bags and the house-structured leather handbags tucked into miniature mesh totes, which could be the next chapter of fashion’s mesh shoe craze. Something to meditate on.
Launch Gallery: Tory Burch RTW Spring 2024
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