Photographer: Michelle Kappeler
Stylist: Ashton Crain
Hair & Makeup: Jessie Lycan
Model: Rachel Zehner @ Wilhelmina Models – www.michellekappeler.com
Empowered. This is what current fashion makes women feel. With dark and edgy influences from Saint Laurent, to slouchy pieces from Celine, fashion has shifted in the last few seasons toward a more manly silhouette, a more monochrome palette, and ultimately a much more livable form of armor. All of these changes and influences have done something monumental for today’s women; they’ve aligned how women dress with how they live their lives. Modern women do it all, care for children, work in high-powered jobs, and still manage to maintain an active social life. And, overtime, fashion has begun to accommodate these women.
Not just high fashion either, these ideas have trickled down from elite fashion houses to more affordable brands like Zara, giving every woman the chance to build her own suit of armor. Power dressing for today’s women comes in the form of menswear inspired clothing and silhouettes. Through pieces like coats with strong shoulders that slouch in all the right places, baggy harem pants, and a take on men’s dress shirts, fashion has created a strong, stylish, and ultimately comfortable look. That in itself is powerful because it gives women a chance to be effortlessly, and without thought, chic. To feel strong enough to take on all of life’s tasks, and to look put together while doing it.
Not only has menswear influenced silhouettes, its managed to go so far as to influence fabrics and color palettes. Rather than seeing women strut around in colorful silk blouses, skin-tight jeans, and the ever painful, ever impractical stiletto, today’s woman has a choice. She can be edgy in black leather, commanding in wide legged trousers, and comfy in men’s brogues or Birkenstocks. No longer is she condemned to different color palettes for each season, rather monochrome as a sort of all season appropriate wear.
Modern fashion has granted women freedom, the freedom to dress without pomp and circumstance, rather with minimally, and through this the ability to be judged for more than their appearance. It has also freed up their time, instead of spending hours trying on outfits, standing in front of the mirror, and tossing said outfit on the floor, a routine that now seems tired and time consuming in the busy lives of women today, modern fashion has created a sort of uniform. Minimalism is the key to women’s wardrobes. Over accessorizing is out, in favor of simply put together outfits that require little to no effort. Daywear has become easy boyfriend jeans paired with an expertly loose fitting white tank and a fabulous pair of flats, or if you’re braver than the rest of us that aching stiletto previously mentioned, and that is enough. No fuss, no over primping, throw on some jewelry if you have the inclination, but that’s it—jeans and a tank. And how oh liberating that is! To spend a day wrapped in comfort without sacrificing edginess or cool factor, in fact probably upping said cool factor. It is the appearance of carelessness, ironically, that makes modern fashion so special.
Evening wear can be classified as a fabulously hanging men’s style trench combined with a simple black slip, a sort of undressed version of dressing up—a combination of femininity and masculinity. There is a power in not looking like you’ve tried too hard. Through all of these modern advances in the fashion industry clothing has given women so much more than the opportunity to buy a great looking blouse or a beautiful cocktail dress, it has given them the ability to suit up, cloaked in the fashion equivalent of chain metal, and face each day in the absolute chicest form of armor. It has made us all warriors, femme-bots facing the world and taking on any challenge it throws our way, it has made us more than what we’re wearing, it has made us powerful. Empowered. This is what current fashion makes women feel.
Image 1: Jacket by ZARA | Pants by ZARA | Shoes by ZARA
Image 2: Shirt by ZARA
Image 3: Coat by H&M | Slip Dress by ZARA | Shoes by Vintage Prada
Image 4: Shirt by ZARA | Pants by ZARA
Image 5: Jacket by ZARA
Image 6: Shirt by ZARA | Pants by ZARA
Image 7: Shirt by ZARA | Pants by ZARA | Shoes by ASOS
Image 8: Tank by Leith (Nordstroms) | Jeans by ZARA
Image 9: Tank by Leith (Nordstroms)