Couture that Challenged the Norm in Women’s History

3 years ago / by Gabriel Marquez Scott

Fashion can be an important tool when women want to make a statement – political and personal – in their outfits.

Women around the world marked the International Women’s Day, which fell on March 8, by wearing the traditional colors associated with it: purple, green, and white. And to make nuanced statements they relied on many thoughtful designers, whose work has changed how women have been viewed in the past 100 years.

As a former fashion luxury consultant, I would like to discuss a few designers who influenced and challenged traditional fashion, ultimately empowering women across the globe.

The Versace Power Duo

Fashion in the 1990s was dominated by Donatella Versace, and his late brother Gianni. The Versace woman is powerful, ultra-sexy, and indisputably glamorous. Both Donatella and Gianni helped make women escape the stuffy patriarchal fashion constraints of the 1980s.

How did they accomplish this? Gianni envisioned a free woman, a woman who would do as she pleased. In the beginning, there was leather, bondage, and beautiful silks. With time, everyone wanted to be a Versace woman.

The Empowerment of the Versace Woman

In the early 1990s, Gianni Versace helped create the iconic “supermodel.” What a great decade that was. Gianni reinvented chain mail and used it to make jaw-dropping creations that flew off the rack as fast as they arrived. If your goal is a high-octane sexy supermodel look, Versace is your go-to choice.

Donatella once said, “Fashion is a weapon that you can use when you need it.”

Actress and model Elizabeth Hurley sure knew that when she wore the infamous Safety Pin dress. Thanks to Versace, it took a relatively obscure English actress and made her a household name.

Karl’s Chanel: Legacy

The late Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel, came up with a woman’s secret arsenal of chic, elegant, and coquettish fashion. Lagerfeld reinvented Chanel in the 1980s and made it a global force. You couldn’t be caught dead leaving your maison without your Chanel purse. Although Karl Lagerfeld is no longer with us today, his legacy lives on at Chanel. He helped fashion the DNA of an empowered Chanel woman. Thank you, Karl!

Luxury Fashion List for IWD

That last point often goes unnoticed — the ability of fashion to empower women. This is a list of the top seven luxury fashion designers to keep as a reference when you pick out your IWD outfit:

Saint Laurent — where sexy meets femme fatale and impossibly Parisian chic.

Gucci — eclectic, very now, and somewhat camp (it’s great for younger generations as the days of Tom Ford’s Gucci are sadly long gone).

Tom Ford — the master luxury fashion designer that makes any woman look and feel beautiful, in control, modern and ultra-sexy.

Balenciaga — subversive with an ironic sex appeal.

Prada — Intellectual, classy, and sophisticated.

Armani — Regal, elegant, and made to be worn with confidence.

Louis Vuitton — Futuristic, chic, and undeniably cool.

Challenging in Luxury Fashions

Women History Month 2021 is when you celebrate all your achievements of the past year. Dressing for it is no easy feat, but I am sure you will find the outfit that best suits your personality and fashion attitude with this guide.

The luxury designers included in this piece all share a theme with that of the International Women’s Day: they always “Choose to Challenge.” And so should you.

It is not about dieting and exercising to the point of exhaustion; it’s about having fun with fashion for women – of any size and age. This Women’s History Month, celebrate YOU, celebrate women, and also celebrate #ChooseToChallenge in style.

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