Christian Dior, with his New Look, was the first designer to create a wholly original, complete power-dressing concept for women. Everything since then has been an evolution.
I don't think we should be in any doubt that we are entering that part of the current 1980s revival that signals power dressing is making a return. I am equally sure that there are many women out there - especially professional women - who are shouting 'about bloody time'.
Power dressing in 2014 is not as it was in the 1980s - wide shoulder pads and wearing the kind of volume that makes a woman look twice her size - instead, it has rather a streamlined sensibility that seems to brook no nonsense, yet delights in wrapping itself around the feminine form. Excellent tailoring is at its heart. All very Dior.
Fran & Jane have been at the forefront of the new power-dressing movement. Their dresses in the last three years have been stunning, as well as striking on, and looked like they cost way more than the €200-or-so price tag. Those dresses have served the women who invested in them well, whether they wore them to work or weddings, for day or night.
But the brand is about more than dresses and occasion wear. The recession resulted in most businesses contracting and playing it safe. Not so Fran & Jane. In recent years, the label took risks, experimented. This season sees the pay-off - their sales are up both here and abroad, especially in the UK.
Fran & Jane is a mother-and-daughter team: Fran Nolan and Laura Nolan. Fran brings her expertise of over 35 years in the fashion business. Laura brings youth, understanding and a passion for fashion. Together, they move the label on. Thus Fran & Jane, as a collection, is a complementary mix of practical and flattering, playful and bold.
Alongside some great 1980s-ish pieces - such as a black jersey dress with a fishnet top; pinstripe suits; three-quarter-length pencil skirts and dresses; lurex and leopard-print tops and dresses - there is also a nod to the 1960s. Above-the-knee dresses in A-line shapes with high waists; a cute, boucle-wool jacket with Lurex thread running through it; and smart, cashmere-mix sweaters which, when worn with the collection's leggings with bold stripes down the side, look very 1960s Mod.
Pleather, hardware, neoprene, fishnet, and Lurex are just some of the fabrics that shift the landscape from 'nice' to edgy. Orange, pink, bordeaux, slate and black are just some of their exciting colours.
The faux shirt collar continues to be very popular with women who want to give their dress a different spin, but not have all the bulky fabric of a full shirt.
The Fran & Jane collection is designed to excite your inner fashion maven - and to serve you well.
Photography by Stepehen Gallagher, Fashion edited by Constance Harris
Sunday Indo Life Magazine