Hemlines fall in office revolution

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 April, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 April, 1993, 12:00am

POWER heels that clack along corporate corridors no longer look up to boring black or grey business suits as career women opt for outfits that get them noticed.

Clothes in the workplace are undergoing a revolution. No longer bound by convention, many career women are trying a new, softer mood.

Donna Karan's re-appraisal of office clothing is probably the most radical. The New York designer who pushed the power-suit in the 1980s has moved on to flared trousers, ankle-length gilets, cardigans and frilled artist-style blouses.

The look is languid and loose, but not sloppy.

Giorgio Armani has softened the silhouette with floating layers of semi-sheer fabrics, long sarong skirts juxtaposed with tailored jackets and loosely-tailored trouser suits.

In Hongkong, the softer approach has yet to make its mark. Executive women still favour the two-piece suit, but they are prepared to wear the new long skirt, a move not favoured by the stockbroking profession.

Mr Steve Diggle, an options broker with Barings Securities in Exchange Square, said: ''In the '80s, during the great bull market there was a god called Bob Prechter. Being something of a stock market guru he would say that the higher the hemline on skirts that season, the higher the market would go as they reflected a general confidence and optimism.

''It is something of a bad omen that the fashion is long skirts. In the '70s the same thing happened and look what happened to the market.'' Three designers who cater for the flamboyant career woman are Franco Moschino, Gemma Kahng and Christian Lacroix.

Moschino is irreverent, devil-may-care, witty and innovative. He designs clothes people love to wear and collect for their quality of fun.

A jacket with the words ''this is a Moschino jacket'' embroidered on the back is an example of his fashion satire as is a Moschino dress that sports the words ''waist of money'' around the waistline.

Gemma Kahng's spring/ summer collection sees tailored suits take on a softer, more feminine look, with rounded shoulders and deeper necklines, matched with long, flowing skirts.

Crisp white jackets with bold black trims and ribbons are clinched at the waist, matched with long slim skirts in black with peek-a-boo slits.

Christian Lacroix offers jackets with 18th century floral embroidery.

Long jackets are stitched from printed patchworks or woven in lively colours, and worn over loose or baggy printed pants or knitted long skirts.

Location: Barings Securities trading room floor, Exchange Square 3.

Model: Susan Sinclair from Models 4.

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