A primordial garment that was worn by cavemen and women to protect their most delicate parts, after thousands of years this piece of clothing has seen quite an evolution and is today one of the most worn and versatile articles of clothing in the world.
Skirts have changed throughout time. Today’s shapes are revised so as to add extraordinariness, personality and style where ultra-feminine silhouettes have got fluidity and modern poetry. Contemporary reinterpretations are the reminders for a palpable present that is already capable of seeing the future.
Skirts come in many shapes, lengths and colors, according to Siobhan McGirr, senior press officer at Ted Baker, who says, “The key trends Ted Baker presents for Spring/Summer 2014 are striking prints, color and strong silhouettes,” adding, “The must-haves every woman should hang in her wardrobe this season are NEON separates, such as the JULEEN neon pink minikirt.” For a more sober look for work businesswomen can look at pencil skirts, as Marisa Ritts, director of marketing and public relations at Sanctuary Clothing, explains. “We have various pencil midi-skirts, that have a tight fit and are cut below the knee; these are getting a lot of play this season and can easily be paired with a blousy top,” and adds, “They’re very versatile items, as they can also be worn with boots and tights during colder seasons.” According to Sara Powell, public relations officer at Rebecca Taylor, “White will definitely be big, as that was seen a lot on the runways, as well as pastels.” Powell also says, “And then there’s the evergreen floral, which is always a big pattern for the coming season.” This warmer season will also see a lot of new ideas, as designer Karen Kane claims. “For this spring, I’m really excited about all the new textures and prints you’ll see.” She concludes, “Expect plenty of denim and chambray, tons of ikat and exotic-inspired prints, and lots of navy.”
Veronica Di Luzio, press officer at Kristina Ti, thinks that in the new season we’ll see long and short skirts as there is not a right or wrong, but “must haves are lace and precious working,” says Di Luzio, who adds, “Legs must be covered but sensually to match with long culottes; there are lengthened culottes, made of tulle or jacquard, in various workings, which come out of the skirts. ”According to Michelle Smith, founder and designer of Milly, “This season, we’ll love the midi-skirt for its elongated lines and tailored silhouette,” and she adds, “Sheer and transparent looks are having a moment. As well as technical fabrics, femininity will be important for spring.”
WHAT WOMEN WANT
Despite today’s debate on gender, skirts are very much still a garment worn by women. If we exclude the traditional Scottish kilt or extravagant artists, it is highly unlikely you’ll see your male boss, employee or colleague entering the office wearing a suit with a skirt bottom.
According to Ritts, some women prefer to wear skirts because they are versatile and easy-to-wear items of clothing. She explains, “They can be dressed up or down using various accessories, depending on the occasion. Whether a woman is trying to draw attention away from her waist or purchase a skirt that makes her look taller, there are skirts for every shape and size!”
Versatility aside, another significant reason that pushes women to favor skirts to trousers is comfort. Powell says, “I think comfort is a big factor, and fit has a lot to do with it; for example, someone on the more petite side would probably not wear the same silhouette as someone very tall,” and adds, agreeing with the versatility of this piece of clothing, “I think there are a lot more – it is a very versatile piece. Categories you can wear a skirt for – a casual daytime outing, a work setting, a wedding.” Comfort is essentially a big incentive, but then personal taste also kicks in. Kane says, “It’s all about personal taste and what they feel comfortable wearing,” adding, “I don’t wear skirts often, but when I do, I want it to have a great fit and be able to work as well on weekends as it does during the work week.”
Di Luzio is all about image and what we want to say with clothes, as she claims, “Dressing oneself to tell oneself.”
The production of skirts needs to follow a very structured process. Kane explains, “We begin by sourcing fabrics, and then design patterns once we begin to see the prints and colors coming in,” and adds, “Every style has to go through a rigorous sampling and fitting process until it makes it on to the line.” Once orders from stores are placed, the season is planned out, and each piece is cut and sewn. Each style goes through an inspection to ensure the best quality possible, and is then tagged before heading to the stores. Smith designs and manufactures her ready-to-wear collection in the USA, in the heart of the Garment District in NYC, where she creates custom prints and uses the most luxurious European fabrics and works with the nature of the fabrics.
Our choice Work Style Selection
We researched producers and designers of skirts until we had approximately 50 brands. Then our jury, including fashion aficionados, managers and professionals, voted on the skirts.
The jury was composed of • Paola Bettinelli, managing director, Al360milano, Milan (Italy) • Orsólya Anna Tóth, CEO, Drungli, Budapest (Hungary) • Citlalí Brida, digital planner, Mindshare, Milan (Italy) • Kama Timbrell, publicist, Amacom, New York (USA) • Christina Chaplin, USA development director, Womenalia, Madrid (Spain) • Matteo Resta, senior digital manager, MEC, Sydney (Australia) • Xavi Ramiro, illustrator, Barcelona (Spain) • Nicolás Ovalle, commercial director, Audify, Montevideo (Uruguay) • Jerzy Potocki, president, AIMS International, Warsaw (Poland).
THE TOP 3
We at Work Style want to thank all the brands that have taken part in the article:
• Sanctuary Clothing. Marisa Ritts. USA
• Karen Kane. Karen Kane. USA
• Rebecca Taylor. Sara Powell. USA
• Kristina Ti. Veronica Di Luzio. Italy
• Milly NY. Michelle Smith. USA
• Ted Baker. Siobhan McGirr. UK
• Max Mara. Magnolia Laurenzi. Italy
• Alice and Olivia. Shana Hechler. USA
• Just Female. Sanne Brunse. Denmark
• Essentiel Antwerp. Hannah Lawrence. UK
• Vero Moda, Noisy May and Juna Rose. Isabel Boyschau Hansen. Denmark
Published in the hard-copy of Work Style Magazine, Spring 2014