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
Let me share with you a female doctor and CEO's life hack: if you are not trying to 'make' a baby, you do NOT have to bleed every month. As doctors, we have seared into women's minds: you must have a period every month (if you are not on any medications). However, we now have the technology to safely and effectively "turn off" periods.
The idea of #PeriodsOptional first came to me when I was trying to get pregnant with my first child. Each month the uterus builds a rich blood filled lining to accept an embryo. But without an embryo, that lining gets shed, and the whole process starts over again. Basically, the only reason that we (those with uteri) bleed each month is because we didn't get pregnant. An average woman will begin her period at 12 years old, have two children in her lifetime, and remain fertile until the age of 50. That's approximately 35 years of incessant menstruation for no good reason.
Each time you build up that lining (endometrium) and slough it, you risk endometrial cancer. And each time you pop out an egg for that lining, you risk ovarian cancer. The only way to prevent ovarian cancer that we currently know of (short of taking out your ovaries) is to turn off the monthly egg-popping using birth control. Women who used birth control pills for 5 or more years have about a 50% lower risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to women who never used oral contraceptives.
Dr. Beverly Strassman, who studied the Dogon tribe in Mali, found that it might be "more natural" to have fewer periods. In the old days, we had about 100 periods in our lifetimes. Now, we have 350-400. Historically, we'd start periods at 16 (we now start at 12 years old), we'd have eight babies (we now have two on average), and we'd breastfeed for 20 months (we now do zero to six months at best).
Since the creation of the birth control pill, doctors have known that the one week withdrawal bleed (aka "period") is optional. Dr. John Rock, one of three co-founders of the birth control pill, was the one that pushed for a bleed one week out of four. It was to see if he could get the method through the Catholic Church. He said it was just to make the periods regular and thus Catholics could better utilize the rhythm method. He also thought that women would be more likely to accept the method if it was consistent with what they were used to. Thus since the beginning the birth control pill, women have been forced to bleed one week out of four. Needless to say, if I were one of the co-founders, I would have pushed for #NoPeriods or #PeriodsOptional.
Let's explore other benefits of skipping your monthly bleed:
- You save money – we use 12,000 feminine hygiene products in our lives.
- You save the planet from landfill.
- You decrease your risk of certain medical conditions – ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and anemia
- Certain diseases do better on stable hormonal levels – acne, PCOS, diabetes, seizure disorder, depression/psychological conditions.
- Increased productivity – the number one cause of missed work/school in a woman under the age of 25? Her periods.
Using birth control to skip periods:
- You can use the hormonal IUD, the implant, the shot, the ring, the patch and the pill. Note: You cannot use the patch for longer than 12 weeks in a row, because too much estrogen will build up in the blood.
- You do not have to use "special pills" that come in 84 or 91 days packs. You can use any pill and just skip the last week (if it is a four week pack) or go straight into the next pack (if it is a three week pack). Though if you are paying cash, those are sometimes cheaper.
- If you get breakthrough bleeding and have taken at least three weeks of active pills in a row, then you can stop the active pills for five days, have a bleed during that time, then restart on day six whether or not you are bleeding. This "cleans out the uterus" and allows you to start fresh.
- There are 40 different formulations of the birth control pill. So if one doesn't work for you, there are at least six other progestins and two levels of estrogen to play with.
- To skip the bleed on the pill, you want a progestin with higher progestational activity. Go to this chart that I created to review the options.
As the only female founded/led reproductive health company in the birth control delivery space, Pandia Health set out to make women's lives easier by sharing cutting edge, evidence-based women's healthcare. We commissioned a study of 1000 women ages 20-35 in the US to see what they knew about the topic. We found that:
- 66% of women had never been informed by a doctor that they could skip their periods safely.
- 46% have missed school because of periods.
- 58% would turn of their periods if they knew it could be done safely.
So make your uterus a happy uterus. A happy uterus is one that is not "crying" unnecessary bloody tears.