Culture 20 February 2017
Last week's NYFW shows emphasized female empowerment, feminism, and a diversity that inspired and delighted us. There were transgender runway appearances, a gorgeous variety of plus sized models, and at every turn a political or social motivator for the show's themes. Defiance was a factor everywhere, and spurred an impressive and inspiringly creative week full of the wow factor synonymous with New York's ready-to-wear.
We were inspired by the collections' focus on strong women, as well as the evolution of the modern businesswoman. Clearly, we've moved from a Mad Men era secretary in a flouncy skirt to a futuristic iconoclast who bravely blends a bold fashion aesthetic with meticulous attention to detail. If her look is anything like her business-style, the woman of today is poised to take over the world (which of course, we already know). Here, in no particular order are 10 of the most noteworthy trends for the fashionable female founders of tomorrow.
Versatile Handbags at Cushnie et Ochs
Cushnie et Ochs
The release of Cushnie's first line of bags meant big things for this female-founded brand and they did not disappoint. The perfect size for your office materials - we'll be seeing a lot structural arm candy this fall.
Alexander Wang's Reworked Blazer
There's no such thing as a tired blazer in Wang's repertoire. Known for his worship of deconstructed, slightly flawed looks, we love that he takes the pressure of perfection off, while amplifying strength of self. This gender-bending power suit gave us a powerful feminine play on classic men's wear.
Alexander Wang RTW Fall 2017
Suffragette Era Silhouettes at Zimmermann
Zimmermann RTW Fall 2017
Driven by the stylistic, socially groundbreaking tendencies of our 1920s heroines, Zimmermann's show provided much to talk about and even more to be excited about. The modern suffragette silhouettes melded with the brand's trademark frills made for an assortment of edgy business-meets-statement pieces. “It was a bit of a Twenties influence for us," creative director Nicky Zimmermann said backstage to WWD. “We wanted to really mix up the masculine with the feminine this time."
Carolina Herrera's Redefinition of the Classic White Blouse
Herrera introduced us to a range of crisp, clean and very pretty white shirts throughout the show and indeed sported one herself when she came out at the show's finish. As any female entrepreneur will tell you, a simple white button-down is a must-have for your wardrobe, and Carolina's unique details--thin bolo tie-inspired bows, starchy capelets, and scalloped edges--took the closet staple to another level.
The "Every Skirt" at Mara Hoffman
Mara Hoffman RTW Fall 2017
Hoffman's introduction to the show read "This show is inspired by the women whose songs are not yet sung, the allies, the names and the nameless. I dedicate this to the women who are constantly creating in the names of change."
While Hoffman displayed rebellious and feminist overtures throughout the show, bringing out the Women's March organizers to begin, reading Maya Angelou during the show, her clothes did most of the talking. These skirts in particular are as diverse as they come, and a great piece for every busy woman's wardrobe. We love that you can be comfortable, look powerful, and be perfectly ready for a night out all thanks to one skirt. Bravo.
The Bob at Everywhere
It's the easiest hairdo to maintain, and it was splayed all over this week's runways. A marked evolution from the not-quite-short-not-quite-long lob that has been literally everywhere the past season, models at shows like Proenza Schouler to Michael Kors, rocked blunt, sharp dos, and no doubt the girlbosses of today will follow. Who has time to get a blow out when there's so much ass kicking to do?
Victoria Beckham's Long Gloves
Victoria Beckham RTW Fall 2017
Who doesn't like an elbow length sleeve in a coat? It's elegant, pretty, and can dress up any outfit. What we don't like, however, is how cold a forearm can become. Victoria Beckham is countering your Winter 2017 bare arm by re-introducing arm-legnth gloves - the long-heralded epitome of sophistication and class in leather for a dash of edge. “It was about offering my woman really beautiful clothes," says Beckham of her collection. "The truth is, there has never been a time when it's been more relevant to empower women."
Tory Burch's Shift Dress
Taking inspiration from Katharine Hepburn's outspoken character Tracy Lord, in The Philadelphia Story, the collection was meant to feel familiar yet push boundaries at the same time. Melding exquisite details with an ease of silhouette, Burch's ultra-feminine shift dress is idyllic and will work seamlessly into your office wardrobe.
This Statement Jacket at Diane Von Furstenburg
An outspoken life-long advocate of women, Diane von Furstenberg just gets it. One of the designers who boldly declares women do not have to choose between feeling sexy and looking powerful, her wrap dress defined generations of business-minded women, offering them the chance to be both. This season her newest collection was an homage to color and shape, as chief creative offer Jonathan Saunders was inspired by Japanese and African culture. “It's about an eclectic mix of materials, clashing colors and a sense of ease," Saunders said about the collection. This cropped leather jacket stood out for its coolness; at once wearable and trendsetting in a camel hue that matches virtually everything.
"I wanted to be an empowered woman, and I became an empowered woman. And now I want to empower every woman. And I do it through my clothes."
-Diane von Furstenberg
Velour Pantsuits at Brooks Brothers by Zac Posen
If there was ever a time for a new type of suit, it's now. Posen's collection for Brooks Brothers was brimming with ensembles for the modern businesswoman, tailored beautifully, and all endowed with a unique sense of power. This forest green velvet suit was a particularly strong one for the designer as it echoed both softness and strength, classicism and a dash of the unexpected.
Brooks Brothers RTW Fall 2017
3 Min Read
With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.