Anyone preparing for an important job interview knows the significance of three things - an impressive CV, confidence and essentially presentation. A growing number of bright young things are turning to power dressing to snare that dream job, and in today’s current climate, this means more than a black suit and crisp white shirt.
Power dressing is undergoing a revival. Not just from the likes of Armani, Alexander McQueen or Stella McCartney who have all worked the tailored aesthetic, but from designers Phillip Lim, who presented tailored angles adorned with ruffles; whilst Luella Bartley’s last collection was packed with vivid Chanel-esque jackets.
This is a far cry from the ‘80s, when power dressing became the epitome of glamour. Dynasty’s costume designer Noloun Miller transformed Joan Collins into the poster girl of power dressing with iconic broad-shouldered suits, beaded dresses and striking hats. Such was the soap’s influence that Gianfranco Ferre gave a nod towards the tan double-breasted suit made famous by Collin’s character in his latest collection.
Equally as compelling in fashion terms as well as politics, Margaret Thatcher proved the power suit to be the favoured attire for commanding women during the ‘90s. Her tailored twinsets complete with obligatory shoulder pads, pearls and Ferragamo courts, proved this lady to be a powerful fashion figure and one definitely “not for turning”.
In the book Women Dress for Success it is written that women who wear the power suit are respected - an idea Michelle Obama has applied to her own wardrobe. Not since Jackie O have we seen a more fashion-forward First Lady. Mrs Obama knows the forcefulness of a purple Azzedine Alaïa dress, complete with Wilma Flintstone-esque pearls or a jade green Maria Pinto sheath paired with an outstanding Erickson Beamon brooch - perfect for addressing the Democratic National Convention. The job of launching a new vogue in power dressing has fallen to Michelle, the fantastically elegant Carla Bruni and even Samantha Cameron is flying the British flag for dressing the part of a future First Lady.
Although miles away from the gaudy beaded brazen threads of our favourite ‘80s soap sirens, this executive phenomenon is a staple for every woman looking to make her mark, and during this ongoing crash, it would appear that we need all the help we can get.