Behind every great woman...

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 September, 2011, 12:00am


Some of the most influential women of the past few decades know what power dressing really means; more than a particular silhouette (padded shoulders) or colour palette (muted, no-nonsense), women in high-profile positions use clothing to define themselves and create an impression.

A handbag once owned by former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the 'Iron Lady' - a black leather piece by Asprey - recently sold for GBP25,000 (HK$309,000) at auction.

Thatcher isn't the only female politician known for her affinity for accessories; Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has captured the fascination of the public for her glammed-up look - this in a country where women tend to remain understated and covered-up. Her Birkin bag, Jackie O-inspired shades by Roberto Cavalli, strands of pearls and the designer jeans she wears in private have earned her a reputation for independence.

The late former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto eschewed Western looks, but became known globally for her head scarves, which ranged from simple and white to Hermes prints. Despite being criticised for her political inexperience, Thailand's first female prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has worked her feminine charms on the campaign trail, and goes for a simple but elegant look in black suits and pearls.

Former Philippines president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may not always have made the most attractive choices, but was known for her support of local designers.

Morgan Stanley China CEO Wei Sun Christianson is regularly turned out in sharp suits and pearls, tempered by leaving her hair loose and wearing just the right amount of make-up.