The businesswoman's fashion ethic is smart and simple, with a bias towards terrific quality. Glamorous handbags, discreet jewellery, heels when power is needed, flats for mentoring moments.
This season favours clean lines that say "I have more important things to deal with than fussy clothes". Dress down to conquer the world. Dresses versus pants? Both are relevant and appropriate. French women, or at least the Parisians, appear to be unencumbered by the anxiety of not wearing suits every day. They feel just as sexy and superior in trousers and jackets as feminine dresses.
We think about dresses and skirt suits as the feminine answer to powerful boardroom dressing and they do have an important place. Since the era of the Armani women in the late 80s, have we forgotten the soft summer pants and gentle jackets as we flirt with print, pattern and the discussion of the longer skirts and the shorter pants? Whether made up of trousers or skirts, suits are the definition of strategic shopping. Suits never really go out of style and you can split up the constituent parts to wear practically anywhere. Naturally the suit must be impeccably cut, properly draped, in a luxurious fabric and must avoid the cabin crew effect.
Michael Kors talked about his customer after his show in New York in February for Autumn 2016: "Ready to wear, ready to go". He said he had been looking at the concept of how modern women get dressed. "No seasons, no time of day." This is increasingly true of contemporary dressing. The climate, travel, work days segueing into evening or school meetings. No time for creative fiddling in front of the mirror. We want to step out each day in fashion with distinction – with our wardrobe fitting together like the perfect completed jigsaw puzzle.
By Vanessa de Lisle - www.thefashioncupboard.com