Forgive me for going all ‘Destiny’s Child’ on yo’ ass – but there’s nothing quite as sexy as an empowered, independent woman.  Before yelping at the thought of Margaret Thatcher as your next style icon, what we’re talking about is domination in the frock sector.  Although there are a few invaluable lessons in dressing  to be learnt from our first female Prime Minister – her penchant for “power shoulders” and omnipresent pearls for one, as well as her statement pallet of navies, blacks and fuchsias.

No flimsy draping for our independent lady, oh no.  The 21st century is all about female supremacy, and sharp, geometric tailoring and colour blocking conquered the S/S 09 catwalks – like Alexander McQueen’s £2613 peplum gown. The result:  kickass-sexy dresses.

We’ve targeted 3 central power-dressing styles – body con, peplum and voluminous.  Check out River Island’s statement peplum (£45) – a potent combination of feminine waist with administrative pencil skirt in shocking hues.  Not your thing?  Miss Selfridge have a great black beauty for £50 – the fitted bodice, bustle back detail and draped exaggerated pockets create an unusual yet flattering silhouette.

Metallic, silk, sheen – it’s all about expensive looking materials that scream success.  Pair with simple but effective bags, shoes and jewels – allow the structured tailoring to take over, and keep accessories simple.  Team gobstopper pearls with a waist cinching shift like Michelle Obama – follow in the First Lady’s footsteps with Oasis’ amethyst peplum –  practical clothes that flatter whilst giving poise and authority:  in no way is this woman defined by her husband’s role.  Respect!

So, like the two Lady M’s, go forth, don your tailoring like a suit of armour, your hair a coiffed helmet, and your handbag a fearsome weapon. To put it simply:  She went.  She wore.  She conquered.  In the words of Maggy herself, “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”




Stylists:  Nina Fitton & Julia Fitzpatrick

Photographer:  Hector Durham

Model:  Sarah Spickernell

With thanks to:  Richard Allan, Chris Eklund, Dawit Demetri, Pierre Cahuzac & Max Mckechnie