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
Sometimes the person you have to stand up to is you! There I was, rewatching the Miss Universe 2019 competition. Which I do for inspiration from time to time. (No, seriously!) There is something about seeing women on stage, in full-on glam mode, and speaking with confident assuredness that really lights my fire!
I have seen this Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa win this crown so many times before, but something about this particular viewing, her delivery or her words, touched something inside me a little differently. At that moment, I truly believed, with complete conviction, that she lives what she speaks.
The announcement was made, the audience cheered, and the crown was awarded. The light was dazzling,, she looked stunning, almost blessed. The judges made the right call with 2019's queen.
Reflecting On Myself
Suddenly, the YouTube video ended. And I was left looking at a black screen. In the darkness of that screen, I saw my reflection and I began assessing what I saw, asking myself, "What have I been doing with my life?" It may seem like an overly dramatic question, but at that moment, I had to ask myself seriously… What have you done? The fact that I couldn't come up with a solid, confident answer gave my inner-cynic license to quickly spiral into self-criticism.
This went on for quite some time, until I got up. I stood up and walked to my mirror to have some serious one-on-one "Queen Talk." I needed to get out of that self-critical mindset, and I know that physical movement is something that help disrupt a way of thinking. I needed to remind myself of who I really was. The negative feelings I was experiencing at that moment were not reality.
Here are a few reminders for whenever you need some Queen Talk!
1.) Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
This saying feels like a cliché. That is, until it's applicable to you. At that moment, this "cliché, becomes self-evident. Comparing myself to someone on a stage with years of experience in an area I know nothing about is not only unfair but straight-up mean. A part of my comparison comes from me wondering, "Would I have the ability, if put in that position, to perform at such a level?" The answer is totally and without question, yes. I excel in the field I work in now, and I know that if I put that same energy towards something else, with practice, I could do just as well. No joy can come from comparing yourself to someone in a completely different field!
2.) Never forget the blessings that have been bestowed upon you.
Every single day, I am blessed to have the opportunity to wake up with all ten fingers and toes and choose to create the kind of life I want to live. There is so much power in that alone, but sometimes it's easy to take it for granted. Let us not forget those who are unable to make that same decision every day of their lives.
3.) Appreciate how far you have come!
I've been very intentional for some time to be kinder and gentler to myself. I need to realize that I am human. Being human means that I will not know everything, and I will continue to make mistakes.But I must let go of the need to always be right. I feel empowered when I can see the growth that I've made, regardless of the mistakes that may come in the future. I don't react to every little thing that bothers me, because I have learned boundaries when it comes to dealing with others and myself. I truly value my time and my energy, and, for that, I am proud.
4.) You Can Be Who You Want To Be
If you can see it in your mind, you can achieve it in reality. I saw myself when I looked at the women on stage, when she smiled, the way she talked, her elegant walk. For a moment, in my self-criticism spiral, I forgot that we are all connected. Debasish Mridha has said "I may not know you, but I don't see any difference between you and me. I see myself in you; we are one." I will not sit in the mentality of lack, there is more than enough opportunity and good fortune to go around for everyone. Her win was not a loss for me, but it can be a nudge from the universe for me to go ahead and dream big!
This Queen Talk was not easy. There may have been some tissues and tears involved but giving myself an honest yet compassionate talk is sometimes what I need to bring myself out of some bad head space. In these moments of doubt, you truly need to be your own best friend.When times get rough, criticism won't always come from outside sources. How you speak about yourself internally is crucial to how you see and feel about yourself. As Beyoncé once sang, "I've got Me, Myself, and I." We must put forth every effort to be there for ourselves. I look forward to more Queen Talks when some negative emotions arise. I am grateful for the person I am today, but I am excited to see the women I become.