Ladies, It’s Time to Embrace the Suit
Remember the time pant suits for women were actually illegal? Yeah, neither do we. It’s so easy to forget our hard won freedoms, isn’t it? It takes us back to what author and activist Arundhati Roy told ELLE. “Many people have fought long and remarkable battles to create the freedoms we have. How can we concede those spaces? How can we think that some natural phenomenon has gifted us these freedoms? No! They have been wrested, one by one. I get so annoyed when I hear “cool” young women say ‘I’m not a feminist.’”
Merriam Webster, in fact, declared 2017 the year of feminism. And history has proved that the politics of our time, define the course of fashion. In the 1800s, pants defined the end of boyhood, it was a signifier of coming-of-age. But it would be 1870, when actor Sarah Bernhardt would be seen wearing a custom-made suit and cause a stir. Like Racked points out, Bernhardt was way ahead of her time, and championing gender-neutral clothing since before it became a buzzword. She was known to dress her son in women’s clothing.
In the present day, seeing leaders like Hillary Clinton be faithful to her rainbow-coloured suits since 1974 has been a huge source of inspiration for the runway. Even the dialogue surrounding equal pay and representation at the workplace is at its peak. Evidently, the designers are listening, and making practical clothes – dresses with pockets and sharply tailored power suits.
The time to invest in the quintessential suit is now! Saint Laurent, who famously gave us the Le Smoking tuxedo, delivered a timely redux in time for Resort ’18. In Alexander McQueen’s Resort ’18 edit, we spotted evening suits, layered with a hint of peek-a-boo lace. Isabel Marant’s Resort ’18 line gave us all-metallic suits for the night, and muted, checkered versions for the daytime. The season also saw Altuzarra deliver suits layered with scarves, and play with neon tones that rendered the work-staple a playful touch.
For a semi-formal take, look to Dior’s denim version from Spring/Summer ’18. The ’80s power shoulder is back, and Tom Ford is helping us celebrate them – wide lapels and juicy colours in place. London’s fashion favourite Rejina Pyo got the memo as well. Her rendition? Slouchy and extraordinarily cool, and yet so right for work. Versace adds a ’90s twist, and suggests you skip the trousers in favour of jeggings. We’re on board with that. The message is loud and clear: Roll up your sleeves, we have work to do!