Tory On: A Philadelphia Story
Wearing the Jessica bow blouse, Ainsley blazer, Devi pant and Addison boots, Tory talks to us about the new season, inspired by the fearlessness and irreverence of Katharine Hepburn’s character in The Philadelphia Story and Tory’s own roots, growing up on a farm outside of Philadelphia.
What is it about The Philadelphia Story?
I couldn’t love The Philadelphia Story more. It’s such an old, classic movie. Katharine Hepburn’s character — she had this incredible irreverence. She’s not scared of saying how she feels. I think that’s so important, now more than ever. She also has this wonderful way of mixing tomboy and feminine.
How do these ideas translate to clothes?
The movie was filmed almost 80 years ago, but you see her in high-waisted pants, little flats and menswear-inspired jackets, and she looks modern. The long, full pants this season were a nod to that lasting modernity, as well as the dresses and skirts with a little definition at the waist, and the blazers like the one I’m wearing here.
What about your own experience, growing up on a farm outside of Philadelphia?
It was amazing — we were outside most of the day, so this idea of outdoor glamour came to mind. I loved the idea of taking these very familiar shapes, whether it’s a barn jacket or a corduroy pant, and playing with them. We reworked the traditional Fair Isle sweater with puffy sleeves and a skinny waist, making it modern. We did skinny corduroy pants with seaming in this incredible Grassland green color, which I’m wearing here. We also drew from my parents Buddy and Reva — they really embodied this idea of outdoor glamour. The shirt I’m wearing is inspired by a shirt my mom had — she was always interested in dickies, white collars and cuffs. And the monogram detail on it comes from my father’s monograms.
What inspired the season’s plaids?
Plaid is a fall classic, but we wanted to do our take on it. We interpreted it in different ways: wool tweeds, printed silks and then we did a very blown-up version in pieced shearling or on a deconstructed sweater. I like mixing plaids but also love a classic check with pastels — like our taffeta bow blouse. It feels chic and fresh.
What are your favorite places in Philadelphia?
Growing up, I loved visiting the original location of The Barnes Foundation. Dr. Barnes was an incredible collector long before many people were collecting modern art, and the way he curated it is so interesting — hanging masterpieces by Matisse and Picasso next to ordinary household objects; displaying a French medieval sculpture next to a Navajo textile; hanging pieces above and around doorways… His collection of Degas paintings inspired a ballet dancer placement print this season — we loved the motion of them.
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