Working women, work it! For Autumn/Winter 2018 Natasha Zinko takes her cue from the business world, where underneath the surface of corporate uniformity, individuality and playfulness thrive. This is the new power dressing.
This season is dedicated to all working women – from Joan Collins to Cher to Beyoncé to Angelina Jolie to Queen Elizabeth II, to Madonna to Amal Clooney to Lorde. Natasha draws on her experience in the corporate world, when she would put on a suit to go to work every day. Outwardly it was a matrix of sameness but looking closer Natasha would recognize individual quirks and flourishes that make us all unique. Once we shed the outer layers and polite pretenses, we reveal the details that make us who we really are. This is translated into the collection where an identical grey wool gabardine blazer is the starting point to every look, only to be undone to reveal the woman’s true character beneath. She sheds her armour. Autumn/Winter 2018 is a license to be free – there’s no need to get drunk with your colleagues to reveal your true self.
Natasha doesn’t believe that being complicated is a bad thing. And because powerful women are multi-faceted ones, Autumn/Winter 2018 juxtaposes contrasting elements: the masculine and feminine, the polished and the playful, the refined and the rebellious, the serious and the sexy. The suited and booted 1980s working girl meets the unbridled femininity of the 1930s-burlesque pin-up.
A somber palette of grey, black and white is reinvigorated with swathes of Pepto pink and pops of neon citron. Traditional houndstooth is reworked into voluminous silhouettes or as an oversized print found on silk crepe de chine dresses. Suiting comes in XXL volumes or with quirky detailing – note the way trousers have triple-waistbands or are worn deliberately low-slung to reveal the cheeky peep of a thong. The volume play continues via a new puffer coat worn as an oversized shirt. There are further hints of subversion via black patent leather which really means the business.
A bold theatricality also breaks through – this woman can have fun with what she wears and still be the boss. Shine, sparkle, ebullience and opulence all star. Feathers flutter on mini dresses and camisoles, while strapless lace guipure dresses are detailed with undulating layers of silk faille. Cyrillic intarsia re-interpretations written as Too Sexy/ ТУ СЕKCИ and Love Forever/ ЛАВ ФОРЕВА are worked into hand knit Italian cashmere jumpers and a shearling coat.
Accessories also riff on classics. Patent pumps are reimagined as exposed heel booties with just a hint of sexiness. The Lunch Totes come in plush shearling. Matrix-style glasses are a playful nod to a world of sci-fi uniformity. And the new demi-couture jewellery collection is a tongue-in-cheek, luxe spin on the oversized dollar sign medallion – reinterpreting it in 18 carat gold. After all, money still makes the world go round.