NEW YORK — Much of corporate America still imposes buttoned-up dress codes for the summer months, but a random inspection of women in Midtown Monday proved there are always ways to bend the rules.
Colorful oversized handbags, dangling earrings and stylish shoes were some of the ways women jazzed up their everyday attire. But for most, warmer months don't seem to call for more revealing outfits. Even workers at the New York City Council have had to spruce themselves up for summer. Right off the bat, rookie City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in February called for a more formal Friday dress code for the 278-person staff, doing away with jeans, T-shirts, sweats and baseball caps.
Near the entrance to J.P. Morgan Chase, Natalie Rabinovitch, an associate in the company's credit derivatives department, said open-toe shoes are forbidden at the firm and sheers are mandatory, but some women ignore both rules. Dressed in a gray Next skirt she bought in London, a white Gap blouse and Ann Taylor round-toe shoes, she said dressing for the office can be tricky when the thermometer shoots up. "It's hard in the summer because it's really hot. You need something light for the office but it needs to be professional."
A fan of pants and skirts, Rabinovitch said racier dressers were reprimanded when she worked in the firm's London office. "Some girls wore really short skirts and they would be told off."
Outside UBS' Park Avenue offices, staffer Adele Tilebalieva jazzed up a humdrum gray linen suit with Marc Jacobs bow-tied patent leather stilettos. The company's dress codes are pretty consistent all year long, with business casual being the dominant guideline, she said. She said she typically wears pants and a top, not suits.
Jessica Morris was dressed for her sales associate job at Rainbow Media in white capri pants from the Limited, a Benetton jean jacket and flip-flops. She and her colleagues only dig out their suits for sales calls, and tend to wear them on a more regular basis during the other nine months of the year. "We pretty much wear capris or skirts with a jean jacket. It's much more relaxed in the summer."
Damaris Colhoun, an editorial assistant at House & Garden, said her employer, Condé Nast (parent company of WWD), is more concerned with staffers looking fashionable than professional. Dressed in hot pink Etro pants, a brown V-neck Theory T-shirt, a glittery Tse wrap sweater and stacked espadrilles, she said, "For the most part, it doesn't get much dressier than what I'm wearing. We have casual Fridays but most people are pretty casual all week long. There aren't any suits. It's mostly dresses or skirts."She described the dress code as "very loose" and noted jeans are particularly popular on casual Fridays.
Interior designer Jemma Magrath opted for dark-dyed Zara jeans with a $10 Charlotte Russe T-shirt Monday and polished up her look with a Gucci handbag and Chanel sunglasses. Though she runs her own business, Interiors in Locust Valley, N.Y., she said she has her own dress code. "I try not to wear what everyone else is buying. I like the low-end and the high-end to mix it up a bit.
"Today I'm just doing research, but I wanted to have some sort of style. It's definitely part of my job," she said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast