Wednesday, 19 June 2013

It's back! The trouser suit becomes this season's most chic outfit choice

Despite being a major component in most modern women's working wardrobe, trouser suits have been viewed with dismay by fashionable types by what seems like ages. Viewed at best as women trying to squeeze into the male centric vision of corporate uniformity and, in worse times, as a sure sign of frumpiness, such a practical and professional outfit has long been overlooked as a stylish choice in attire.

Although the uprising has been bubbling along in the background for a few seasons, it was in the Spring/Summer collections of designers that we saw the trouser suit sweeping along in full glory, making it the trendiest outfit choice of the moment. Working alongside both minimalist and masculine trends, the combination of blazer and tailored trousers looked fresher than the dresses it was surrounded by.

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Donna Karen's name has been associated with New York business chic for decades now, making her label one of the go-to choices each season for professional women wanting to look smart and feel great. Her diffusion line, DKNY, championed the trouser suit this season by opening the show with a beautiful all-in-white number. With the suit worn in a slightly loose fit, it was up to the sheer blouse underneath to add a feminine touch, teetering the look between boyish and womanly.

Champion of men's power dressing in the 1980s, it would have been surprising if Giorgio Armani failed to also adopt the trend. Using soft silks to create a flowing bottom half, look number nine was tightened up top with a blazer that cinched in at the waist.

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Much anticipation surrounded the Paris showings this season, as it was time for the new creative directors of both Christian Dior and Saint Laurent (yes, they dropped the 'Yves') to showcase their first major collections for the labels. Raf Simons took the helm at Dior, an unexpected choice due to his reputation for parred down minimalism at Jil Sander and the extravagance of Dior whilst previously steered by shamed designer John Galliano. Opening the show with not one, but three trouser suits (differentiated by their coloured scarves - here is look number three), Simons cemented the choice of tailoring as a major player in this seasons's line up.

His 'competition', if we were to believe the media hype, was that of Hedi Slimane, previously highly regarded in his position at Dior Homme, who brought new vigor into the old house of Saint Laurent. Drawing both on the brand's heritage of "Le Smoking" and his own personal experience in menswear, Slimane sent a parade of suits down the catwalk. Look twelve comprised of a two piece in an almost charcoal grey with an ultra feminine sheer pussy bow blouse underneath. Styled with oversized floppy hats, the collection of suits all had a gentle seventies theme running through them despite their otherwise corporate sensibilities.

Despite the battle going on in the foreground, Nicholas Ghesquière made a show stopping collection of workwear at Balenciaga, with his usual twist of naughtiness thrown in. The dove grey double breasted style of look eights harkens back to the 80s Armani style but were sexed up with flashes of flesh from a certain little white crop top worn underneath. For those who actually have a job in the business world, it may be best to keep the second part just for the beach.



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