The colorful evolution of fashion is a constant reminder of our ever changing perspectives on beauty, sophistication and credibility. We witness textile transformations season by season, on social media, magazines and of course the catwalk. But how much do “women in power” play a role in changing fashion perspectives?
Earlier this month, I was asked to speak about fashion journalism on and off screen and the history of fashion reporting. The chat “Fashion Reporting: As History Tells It” chat also included personal perspectives by Fashion Journalist Ashley Brozic of RackedMiami.com and Keni Valenti, Founder of The Museum of Fashion. Before the discussion started, we viewed video clips assembled by The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, which have a retrospective look at the unique, preserved film and video images of local television news coverage.
The in-depth discussion about fashion also included my personal narrative on how fashion has changed since I first started in the industry (12 years ago). The biggest transformation has been the embrace of the “hyper feminine” business woman. This includes sleeveless-form fitting dresses. This image is capped off with women now wearing their hair much longer, compared to the hairstyles of the late 90s, early 2000s. When I first entered the workforce, professional women were expected to wear blazers and were encouraged to wear their hair shorter. Many would argue that this particular look conveyed a since of seriousness and also gestured toward equality towards woman.
What are your thoughts about women wearing sleeveless dresses in the workplace? As for me, it’s not a matter of sexuality but rather comfort. When I decided to wear a dress, or allow my hair to grow a few inches longer, I seriously doubt this creates handicaps for other women looking to be taken seriously in the workplace.