Burch uses armor, medieval tapestry in fall show

NEW YORK (AP) — How's this for an original fashion show theme? Tory Burch says both her parents and her grandparents collected suits of armor when she was a child.

And so she was inspired to create a line of clothing inspired by armor, but to make it light enough — in both the actual and atmospheric senses of the word — for women's clothing. What resulted was an appealing and unified collection, one that reflected her stated theme in virtually every piece, but still felt highly wearable. This was one of those shows where the clothes actually seemed destined for the department store, rather than a theatrical stage or an art museum.

Armor was evoked both in fabrics and in accessories, like wide metallic belts. A pleated lame skirt, a foil-embossed leather top, or a boucle skirt all looked like they could have been part of a suit of armor — albeit a fairly chic one.

"We did lots of fabric manipulation, playing with techniques and proportions," Burch said in a pre-show interview. Another theme for the collection, which favored colors like gray, olive and red, was medieval tapestry. That made for some of the prettiest outfits — like a tapestry knot turtleneck paired with a tapestry print brocade skirt. There was a nice tapestry-covered purse, worn like a winter muff, and the show closed with a tapestry-inspired silk dress.

As for footwear, many of the models wore Burch's version of Ghillies — a Scottish shoe with laces — with a thicker heel than most runway shoes. "They're really comfortable," said the designer, who wore a pair herself. And there were some over-the-knee boots that looked perfect for that suit of armor that's no doubt hanging out in your hallway at home — in a nice black leather, though. Much easier to walk in than armor.

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