The designer takes Wonderland through her fantastical, French cinema-inspired S/S14 collection.
For spring/summer ’14, Tory Burch drew on her love of the films of Jean-Luc Godard, and in particular his 1969 work La Piscine. The film sees Romy Schneider at her glacial best, languishing in a St. Tropez villa with her lover Alain Delon, and teen seductress Jane Birkin. Visually it’s perfection, and the collection drew on this South of France poolside feel, with a white base over which botanical illustrations climbed in a rather languid manner. Said piscine was also suggested by vivid blue accents. Romy would have approved.
What is it about Romy Schneider, and in particular La Piscine, that inspired your Spring collection?
Romy Schneider is incredibly chic but in an understated way. She brings a sense of strength and elegance to her character Marianne in La Piscine.
Is French cinema a passion of yours?
Yes, I love Jean-Luc Godard’s films in particular – he has an amazing eye and a unique cinematographic style. My taste in movies is pretty eclectic-I watch everything from Pierrot le Fou to documentaries like Sound City and comedies like There’s Something About Mary.
La Piscine takes place in the ideal 1969 holiday villa in the South of France – where is your perfect vacation spot?
There are so many fantastic places, but there is nowhere quite like Italy, from the vineyards of Tuscany to the craggy cliffs of the Amalfi Coast.
What are some of your favourite looks from your Spring collection, or if you can’t choose, what pieces are you most excited about?
I love our blueprint, botanical, folly and Queen Anne’s lace prints in a crisp palette of green and white. We experimented with different techniques, from photographic to hand-painted patterns, paired with cleaner silhouettes and proportions.
What was the thinking behind the bags attached to a belt? We like them very much.
We thought about the ease of a hands-free bag mixed with the cool of a hip-slung belt.
Why do you think your designs strike a chord with so many women? We see your iconic T logo on chic types everywhere.
We have an eclectic and diverse sensibility and design things with that in mind. We also think about our collection as a lifestyle and offer a range of different options. There is something for women of all ages and personal styles, whether your look is minimalist, eclectic or bohemian.
The theme of our spring issue is ‘Female Power’ – what do you think gives a woman a powerful aura?
Confidence, optimism and a sense of humor
Could you tell us a little about the work the Tory Burch Foundation does to empower women and their families?
Our foundation supports women entrepreneurs through small business loans, mentoring and entrepreneurial education. Women invest up to 90 percent of their earnings back into their family and their communities-women are our best investment.
Who are some of your female icons, both in real life and in the worlds of film or literature?
There are too many to count-Aung San Suu Kyi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Austen and Hillary Clinton, to name a few…. In terms of style, Cate Blanchett, Marisa Berenson and Jean Seberg’s character, Patricia, in Breathless.
What have been some of the highpoints of being in business for ten years? Did you anticipate such wild success?
I never expected our company would be where it is today. When we were starting out, I thought we’d open three stores in five years-it turned out we opened 40. There have been many highpoints over the past 10 years, from our first fashion show to the debut of our fragrance and beauty collection. One of my proudest moments was the launch of our foundation in 2009.
What do you envision for the next decade of Tory Burch, both yourself and the company?
It has been an incredible journey and, in many ways, I feel like we’re just beginning. In the next ten years, I hope we will continue to open new stores all around the world, invest in women entrepreneurs through our foundation and expand into new categories, like watches in 2014. Most importantly, I will continue to raise my three boys. It’s hard to believe they will be going off to college in the next decade.
All clothing TORY BURCH S/S14
Photographer Joost Vandebrug
Fashion Editor Francesca Turner
Words Jack Sunnucks
Hair Oliver de Almeida Waqued at Untitled Artists London
Makeup Riona O’Sullivan using YSL BEAUTÉ
Nail Technician Ami Streets at LMC Worldwide using CHANEL S 2014 and BODY EXCELLENCE HAND CREAM
Fashion Assistance Francesca Hope
Casting Ros Okusanya
Production Seona Taylor-Bell
Model Harmony Boucher at Nathalie Models