Feb 17, 2016
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Hot to trot on Burch's New York runway

Feb 17, 2016

A newly engaged Tory Burch launched day six of New York Fashion Week on Tuesday with a bright, preppy collection inspired by her childhood love of horseback riding -- and a French movie about marital fidelity.

Burch offered a respite of color, optimism and sunny good nature as the heavens opened and rain poured down beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows at Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall.

Tory Burch AW16/17 New York Fashion Week - PixelFormula

Tory Burch clothes are always wearable, and her fall/winter 2016 offered a fun take on preppy sports chic and opened with a vibrant jockey pattern used in patchwork effect.

There were colorful woolen coats, crisp white shirts livened up with a jockey-print and satin sleeves, and diamond-patterns in sequin and satin, made most lovely in a floor-length dress.

Also on display were sharply tailored coats, a patchwork pea coat, a long, quilted nylon bomber coat and a quilted suede bomber too.

Delicate blue and white paisley looked like Chinese porcelain, and lame silk in a tunic and a peplum dress shimmered in the light. Colors were dusty pink, green, orange and plaid check.

The entrepreneur who has forged a global empire -- and who Forbes says is worth $1 billion -- recently got engaged to Pierre-Yves Roussel, CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, and was sporting an enormous rock on her finger.

She said she was inspired by the cafe scene in 1972 film "L'amour l'apres-midi" by French director Eric Rohmer and her childhood love of horseback riding -- a refined take on sportswear classics with equestrian details.

"I've been designing sport now with our sport collection, and I've wanted to do that maybe seven years, and we launched six months ago, and it's really informed the main collection too," she told AFP.

Tory Burch AW16/17 New York Fashion Week - PixelFormula

"I love the combination. I mean the tomboy in me really loves it," she said. "I think it's how I want to dress," she added, wearing an orange and navy silk dress from the collection with a horse print.

- Black models -

Fashion Week has seen designers start to shift focus as social media means customers no longer want to wait six months between first seeing catwalk presentations and being able to buy the clothes in a store.

Burch said select pieces from her fall/winter 2016 collection -- such as the track pants, the track suit and tennis jacket -- would be available to buy immediately as a test run in what she called "work in progress."

"I think the customer is in charge at the moment so we're trying to do things, but not too quickly. We want to do things in the right time for us," she told AFP. "We want to test it and see."

The divorced mother of three said she hoped that her engagement would allow her to spend more time in France.

"I hope so, I hope they'll take me!" she said, laughing. "My French is getting hopefully a little better, but not there yet."

Designer Tory Burch - PixelFormula

Late Monday, Zac Posen presented a collection inspired by the Cambridge-educated Ugandan lawyer, politician and diplomat Princess Elizabeth of Toro, who also worked as a model and actress.

Unusually for Fashion Week, the designer used mostly black models to show off his stunning geometric designs, draped softly in bias embroidered cotton in mainly jewel tones.

"Elegance is about movement, sophistication, fluidity and I think that's highlighted in the way that we built the collection," the designer told reporters backstage.

"You have femininity still there but it's not overt sexuality. I'm not interested in that pin-up look," he said. "I've always believed in strong, intelligent, powerful women as I've grown and matured."

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