From the closets of men to the closets of women, the power suit has crossed a divide that few garments can. Now after a few years in the sartorial shadows, the broad shoulders and stiff lines that have been defying gender norms since actress Sarah Bernhardt scandalised Paris in a custom-made trouser suit in the 1870s have made a welcome return to the ‘what’s hot’ lists.
The fact that the power suit has re-emerged during a cultural turning point for women, with the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns making global waves is not lost on the world’s sartorial movers and shakers, with Conde Nast artistic director Anna Wintour explaining, “A fashion show does not exist in a vacuum, it is reflecting our culture,” in a video discussing New York Fashion Week trends.
“The biggest cultural shift in the last several months has been women and how they have been treated in the workplace. There is no way this was not on designer’s minds.”