Bring Fashion Week to Work


New York Fashion Week kicked off yesterday and the shows are in full swing. Zac Posen has often said that Fashion Week is “fashion-tainment”. He started saying that several years ago. Runway shows these days cater as much to consumers as they do to the press. Brands like Tom Ford and Burberry are transitioning from the traditional fashion calendar (you know, show fall clothes in spring and spring clothes in fall) to a “see now, buy now” schedule in which season-appropriate collections hit stores days after the show. Brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Givenchy have given consumers the opportunity to purchase tickets to their shows. Many shows are live-streamed to internet users worldwide. Yet the most obvious and practical consequence of prioritizing the consumer can be seen in the designs themselves. Fashion Week will always have strange cutouts and counterintuitive layering, but more often than not the runway looks are perfectly wearable in day-to-day life. Even at work.

Yes, designers are  sending office-appropriate outfits down the runway. But these are not your average pantsuits. Here are 10 brands that present professional attire at its very best.


TSE — This monochrome white outfit is sharp as can be, with an eyecatching button in compliance with every dress code.

Adeam RTW Spring 2017

A white button-down always works. The sophisticated color palette and conservative shape make these dress pants desk-ready.

Camilla and Marc RTW Spring 2017

CAMILLA AND MARC — Godet pleats and raised seams set this classic black dress apart.

Escada RTW Spring 2017

A cowl neck and skinny sash add definition to a conservative white dress.

M Missoni RTW Spring 2017
M Missoni

With geometric pops of color, this coat will make the outfit. Just add pants!

Kendall + Kylie RTW Spring 2017
Kendall + Kylie

It’s hard to go wrong with a matching top and skirt, and the peplum and trumpet flares dress them up. Pull up the shoulders and you have a chic boat neck.

Jeffrey Dodd RTW Spring 2017
Jeffrey Dodd

A white button-down with a black pencil skirt will be welcome at any workplace. Button up the top and you’re good to go.

Kobi Halperin RTW Spring 2017
Kobi Halperin

This might seem like just another black dress at first, but with a closer look, the Swiss dots bring it to life.

Christina Economou RTW Spring 2017
Christina Economou

A high-necked shell and dress pants, with a kick.

Rejina Pyo RTW Spring 2017
Rejina Pyo

A pale blue button-down is a refreshing substitute for white. The paper bag waist takes these black trousers to another level.

Photo credits:

Seen on the Runway — Purple

Purple Painting

You might think it’s winter (or summer, depending on where you live), but in the fashion world it’s Pre-Fall. Gone are the days when the majority of designers created only two collections per year, and this week the Pre-Fall shows are here to present the new products that will come to stores in May, June, and July. There were many trends to be seen across the runways, but perhaps the most striking was the explosion of purple. From lilac to fuchsia to plum to wine, this vivid color was everywhere.

I love purple. However, I don’t have that many purple clothing items. It’s not because I avoid the color, but because it is generally underrepresented in the fashion world. If you set out to find purple, you’ll find it. But if you just wander into a store or browse a website, it’s likely you won’t end up buying anything purple because the landscape is dominated by other colors. I had always sensed this, but I also confirmed it systematically. After looking through the first 300 clothing items listed on the brand-diverse, I found that only 3 percent of the items were purple. 79 percent of the new clothes listed were either black, blue, white, or grey.

There is a theory that people tend to form opinions about color based on the objects of that color that they see. Because we see so many different things every day, this process feels subconscious. Purple is a beautiful color, but we don’t really see much of it while out and about. Because of this, the color has developed connotations of fantasy, playfulness, and dream states. Unfortunately, it can also be associated with artificiality.

But come on, a purple coat isn’t like a purple Christmas tree! Fashion appeals more to the emotions than practicality, and the task of a great designer is to create a wearable fantasy. After all, a fantasy is a fantasy before it happens, and as it happens.

Fendi Pre-Fall 2016
Fendi Pre-Fall 2016

Neutral brown accents make this lilac coat even more vibrant.

Tory Burch Pre-Fall 2016
Tory Burch Pre-Fall 2016

Navy, persimmon, and wine flow smoothly when united by lace.

Escada Pre-Fall 2016
Escada Pre-Fall 2016

A short coat and sweeping skirt stand out in violet.

Monique Lhuillier Pre-Fall 2016
Monique Lhuillier Pre-Fall 2016

As the backdrop of myriad tiny flowers, the magenta of this skirt is quite delicate.

Zac Posen Pre-Fall 2016
Zac Posen Pre-Fall 2016

Lavender panels look sophisticated on this sleek column dress.

Prabal Gurung Pre-Fall 2016
Prabal Gurung Pre-Fall 2016

The brightness of fuchsia brings attention to every pleat of this sweeping gown.

Temperley London 4

Temperley London

This dramatic fuchsia dress looks lit from within.

Red Valentino Pre-Fall 2016
Red Valentino Pre-Fall 2016

Plum goes folk with dainty ruffles and bird motifs.

Rebecca Taylor Floral Silk and Lace Camisole Dress
Rebecca Taylor Floral Silk and Lace Camisole Dress

An eggplant floral is subdued and romantic.

Zac Zac Posen Pre-Fall 2016
Zac Zac Posen Pre-Fall 2016

Three gorgeous purple hues give a conservative look new life.


Fendi photo — Giovanna Pavesi;       Painting —;      All other photos courtesy of  respective brands.

New York Fashion Week — September 8, 2015

Fashion Week

There are two issues with referring to Fashion Week:

  1. There are so many different fashion weeks, from New York to Paris to Prague to Hong Kong, that it sounds a little egotistical for a New Yorker to say “Fashion Week” for New York when they know that “Milan Fashion Week” is going to come out of their mouth when the time comes.
  2. New York Fashion Week lasts longer than a week.

New York Fashion Week

There have been billboards in Manhattan for awhile advertising the first day of NYFW as September 10. This is false advertising. Ten designers presented collections on the 8th, and twenty-five presented on the 9th! And I am going to do my due diligence and include these collections on Blissful Style.  I would say the early bird gets the worm, but I’m more of a worms-for-all kind of person. Either way, it works.

Sonia Sonia Rykiel Logo Escada Logo    Tomas Maier Logo   Zac Posen Logo

CF. Goldman Logo  Red Valentino Logo

Trina Turk Logo 10 Crosby Derek Lam Logo    Nili Lotan Logo

With the exception of Zac Zac Posen’s electrically lit little black dress, there weren’t any looks on Tuesday that I would consider avant-garde.

Zac by Zac Posen Show

Yet I think runway shows can still inspire the fashion-conscious to be more adventurous, precisely because they are so wearable. There is a huge difference between what is wearable and the outfits we put on every day, and the former group is larger. We all have shapes, cuts, and colors we think we “don’t like” or “can’t wear”. We are like characters in a book or personal brands, and we all have a deep, intangible sense of who we are, what our look is, and how our look fits into our identity. Tangibly, this can show up as looking the same every day.

Coca Cola Logo

“My look is dramatic: monochrome red with just a touch of white to make it pop.” 

I’m guilty of this. For me, I have three roadblocks in my path to a more adventurous sense of style: femininity, formality, and color. By femininity, I mean that I always have to look super-feminine in a dress or skirt and heels. By formality, I mean that it doesn’t take much to make me feel underdressed. By color, I mean that most of my wardrobe is black, white, or red.

Black Rose  White Rose   Red Rose

If I thought I had no style, I wouldn’t be writing a fashion blog. I’m not saying that nobody is ever truly stylish. I just think that there is always room to grow and evolve in fashion. There are always new looks to try, new fears to conquer, new dilemmas or identities to create. Below are excerpts from Tuesday’s shows. On the left are the looks I would automatically reach for, and on the right are the outfits that are out of my comfort zone, that I should try.

Sonia Rykiel 2   Sonia Rykiel

Sonia Sonia Rykiel

I live for statement accessories, hearts, and dresses. I need to conquer my fear of being too casual in denim-on-denim. 

Escada 2   Escada


I am petite at 5′ 4″, so most of my dresses and skirts hit above the knee. I need to overcome my fear of longer lengths. 

Tomas Maier  Tomas Maier 2

Tomas Maier

I feel most alluring in a fitted look, and can be guilty of “dressing to attract”. One can still be beautiful and impressive in a looser silhouette!

Zac Zac Posen 2  Zac Zac Posen

Zac Zac Posen

I go wild for dresses and pleats! I fear the informality of shorts, but shorts can look dressy in the right fabric and pattern.

Protagonist 2  Protagonist RTW Spring 2016


I feel feminine in a little black dress. But a pantsuit as exquisite as this one looks feminine too. 

CF Goldman RTW Spring 2016.  CF Goldman RTW Spring 2016.

CF. Goldman

A short skirt has an obvious appeal, but a maxi dress with a slit is sexy and mysterious. 

Trina Turk RTW Spring 2016.  Trina Turk RTW Spring 2016.

Trina Turk

I think it’s fun to match, and I feel sophisticated in black, white, and red. I should try more unusual color combinations. 

Derek Lam 10 Crosby RTW Spring 2016  Derek Lam 10 Crosby RTW Spring 2016

10 Crosby Derek Lam 

I appreciate feminine details like tiers and ruffles. With a keyhole neckline and button details, shorts and a sweater can look feminine too. 

Nili Lotan RTW Spring 2016  Nili Lotan RTW Spring 2016

Nili Lotan

As a thin person, I tend to stay streamlined. But with the right neckline and leg slits, a loose dress hardly hides the body. 

Happy (New York) Fashion Week! More days to come!