Celebrating community was a big theme during the first in-person New York Fashion Week since the beginning of the pandemic, and that was what Tory Burch wanted. She turned Mercer Street in front of her new store into a community block party, supplied by some of her favorite Soho local haunts (Sant Ambroeus, Balthazar, Mercer Street Books and Records, Emily Thompson Flowers) for her Spring/Summer 2022 show.
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On the runway, the designer turned to Claire McCardell, an American fashion designer during the ‘40s and ‘50s, who helped to pioneer this more comfortable aesthetic, as a source of inspiration.
“Her designs instilled a sense of freedom, encouraged self-expression and empowered women with a casual elegance that is as relevant today as it was in the late 1940s”, Burch explained in the show notes.
“I’ve always been intrigued by people who don’t think America contributes a lot to fashion and I wanted to dispel that”, she also said. “She’s been a hero of mine, and I wanted to look at the way she allowed women to be free and made things wearable. She was the first one to put a zipper on a dress”.
The collection itself favored full skirts with contrasting colors and bold stripes paired together in unexpected and elegant ways.
The shapes were strong, yet easy; maxi dresses cinched in at the waist, loose-legged pants slung around the perfect point of the hips, and shoulders dropped on breezy sleeves. A reissue of the ballet flats McCardell created with Capezio in 1953 was a nice touch.
“It’s about highlighting someone who had such an extraordinary impact on fashion over all, and in such a short amount of time”, she told Vogue. “To me, what’s amazing is that she let women feel unencumbered”.
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