1. From corporate fashion essentials to latest trends, Designers’ take on Corporate couture

From corporate fashion essentials to latest trends, Designers’ take on Corporate couture

What’s the latest in corporate dressing? We talk to some designers to find out. Compiled by Namrata Rao

By: | Published: September 11, 2016 6:06 AM
The definition of the word ‘corporate’ has changed. The corporate identity has altered from a stiff western idea to the easier start-up culture. The definition of the word ‘corporate’ has changed. The corporate identity has altered from a stiff western idea to the easier start-up culture.

What’s the latest in corporate dressing? We talk to some designers to find out.

ANITA DONGRE
Latest trends
Feeling good today is a powerful component of the tool kit at work. Earlier, work-wear dressing for women was restricted to suits, fitted pencil skirts and buttoned-up jackets. Today, the shoulders are soft, cuts and colours are bolder, and assertive attires have replaced conservative ones. For my latest collection for AND by Anita Dongre, the colour palette is warm and rich, transitioning from subtle yellows and rouge pinks to deep indigos and bold reds.

What’s driving this change?
The definition of the word ‘corporate’ has changed. The corporate identity has altered from a stiff western idea to the easier start-up culture.

Corporate fashion essentials
High-waist skirts, shift dresses, culottes and flared pants, a combination of separates in prints, as well as solids. Classic clothing, if worn properly, is always appropriate, dependable and timeless. Try colours and prints. If you want to take risks, do it with accessories versus a whole outfit.
RAGHAVENDRA RATHORE
Latest trends
The modern office-goer prefers a customised look for the entire wardrobe—a customised tie with six folds, a shirt with secret initials, a pen in gold and silver, etc. These are all demands of a well-travelled office-goer who is keen to personalise his/her look.

What’s driving this change?
International stores providing high design for cheaper prices to the fashion-conscious have led to this frenzy of being more selective in one’s work-wear purchases.

Corporate fashion essentials
A European direction, more customisation of tailormade clothes and, most importantly, accessories will define the man that wears them in the future.

VARUN BAHL
Latest trends
The rules of office dressing have begun to relax. What was once a strictly utilitarian and formal dress code has now become flexible. Colours and trends are being embraced in a big way. Pastel colours are a particular go-to and a punch of bold colour is not considered a no-no any more.

What’s driving this change?
Tech magnates like Mark Zuckerberg and the late Steve Jobs fuelled this revolutionising of the office dress code. The rise of the start-up culture is also a big reason. Women like Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton are also playing a key part in demonstrating how women can maintain a business-like repertoire while also being stylish at the workplace.

Corporate fashion essentials
Culottes, pinstriped trousers, ruffled tops, coloured pantsuits, tailored separates, A-line skirts and top-handle bags are some key trends. Small details like an interesting brooch, a smart belt, coloured loafers, etc, can also be added.
SHANTANU & NIKHIL
Latest trends
More and more offices are moving towards ‘business casual’ in place of suits, but the rules are often not very clearly defined. The latest trend is all about being experimental and creative with accessories and mix-and-match pieces to get more out of your basic wardrobe. Workplace attire now is about versatility, outfits that can be worn in and outside office and from day to night. Layering and accessorising is an important part of versatility, letting you tweak your workday look for a night event quickly.

What’s driving this change?
The mindset of the urban Indian has changed… Men are now far better groomed and more willing to experiment.

Corporate fashion essentials
Drape kurta is the new staple, and if you are wearing drapes, don’t go for embroidery on top. Those opting for the bespoke route prefer classic hues and slicker innovative cuts that complement their body type. Clean lines and a perfect fit are a must. A sober colour palette with neutral colours can be mixed and matched with almost any colour.
We recommend a contemporary silhouette, which is more innovative.

MONISHA JAISING
Latest trends
Traditional work-wear outfits have been conveniently replaced by modern design sensibilities. ‘Desk-to-dinner’ is a very well-embraced concept now. Today’s youth is a lot more experimental in everything.

What’s driving this change?
Feminism and equality have majorly driven the change. There is a great sense of independence and self-consciousness.

Corporate fashion essentials
Prints are definitely here to stay. Anything with an idea of experimentation works. You can go for light statement blazers, tiny-floral-print shirts and blouses, denims, and pinstriped shirts with ethereal motifs.
ROHIT GANDHI + RAHUL KHANNA
Latest trends
Women are now opting for business suits, layered looks with capes, British skirts, metallic pants, among others. Men have started experimenting with printed shirts, with different shapes and sizes for collars. Pastel hues like peach, sky blue and darker hues like marsala work well for women, and navy blue and teal for men.

What’s driving this change?
With people becoming more aware of the latest trends in western countries through cyber media, they are opening up to the idea of adapting new trends as per ongoing fashion in India as well.

Corporate fashion essentials
A trendy bag and business suit for a woman; a pocket square with right shoes for a man.

ASHISH SONI
Latest trends
People have definitely started becoming more experimental with their work-wear. Yes, the silhouettes largely remain the same with pencil skirts, tailored pantsuits, etc, but the change is more visible with the colour choices, fabrics and the way people are pairing separates. The trends for the year/season have been a move to androgyny and power dressing. The move is towards smart casuals.

What’s driving this change?
It’s both a sense of fatigue of wearing the same old colours, patterns and prints, and also the variety that is being presented by designers and brands.

Corporate fashion essentials
New silhouettes that are more experimental and edgy are the future, so are interesting patterns, more colours and prints.

  1. A
    Antoinette Colbran
    Sep 15, 2016 at 12:22 am
    I think corporate dressing has changed - but for the better. Many women now dress in clothes that are far more comfortable than days gone by. The relaxed shoulder is a case in point. The old shoulder pads almost drew you up by them to the ceiling meaning you felt 'boxed in'. My own daughter works in Corporate and they have just relaxed the dress rules. but not a soul has turned up "dressed down" to the point of embarrment. All the girls have full makeup, the clothes are neat, clean and tidy but definitely more casual. If I'm wearing pants to work that for me is comfortable as long as the shirt fits readily and I'm not constantly tugging at it to make it sit as it should! Comfort and ease as well as style is optimum to me - affordability is too - but I'd rather have better and less and way too much that looks cheap. Temperature changes in aircon play a big role too which is where the unstructured jacket comes in - love a jacket but don't make it too stiff. Just admire style in women.
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