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Burch runway takes American preppy to other places

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NEW YORK — Imagine this young woman, all preppy and proper. She buys a ticket to Africa, to India and then to Mexico. She's hooked on exotic lands, and she loves bringing home the treasures she finds there.

That's the muse who dominated Tory Burch's runway Tuesday at New York Fashion Week. Her first look was for departure day: a prim wheat-print silk faille day dress with a suitcase-style handbag in the matching print.

By Look No. 4, she's loosened up and wearing an eyelet sundress. Halfway through the spring collection, previewed at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, she's wearing an embellished crocheted jacket, a knit T-shirt and fringed, crocheted raffia skirt. She has a fringed knit poncho with a hood that's decorated with a floral applique.

Her purse is the same shape, structured and big enough for all her souvenirs, but is now covered in colorful pompoms.

Probably to the shock of her friends and family back home — Burch said there was a bit of a retro vibe here, revisiting some 1960s and '70s silhouettes and accessories — this woman even wears tie-dye.

"This was an experiment in layering, an American remix," explained Burch. "She's layering on all the things she's discovering. She wears an evening gown with Moroccan moccasins."

The designer said, though, she can't fully move away from her signature, so she did close her show with a beaded version of a polo-collar dress.