[Portrait of Tomoko by Ruven Afanador for TIME Style & Design]
We’ve always known that Barneys Fashion Director Tomoko Ogura had a killer sense of style and an impeccable eye, but then again, we’re slightly biased. It therefore came as no surprise—but still a huge thrill—to hear that she’d been named one of ”six women who rule the fashion world” by TIME Style & Design.
“I’ve grown up within Barneys,” Tomoko told TIME. “It was my first job out of college.” Her favorite part of the job? ”I love listening to designers speak passionately about what they do,” she said. “How something is made, the fabric they chose, the factory it’s made in, the origin of a print—all these details stay with me. Just the other day I was listening to a designer explain why Japanese denim is so incredible—he said it has to do with the water in Okayama, which has a particular PH level that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. Listen and learn—I take pleasure in this.”
As one of “fashion’s most forward-thinking women,” Tomoko donned a power suit for photographer Ruven Afanador. But before you’re beset by nightmarish images of shoulder pads and nude stockings, take note: Fall’s new suits are crisp, tailored and, yes, even sexy.
Below, Tomoko’s tips for wearing suits with style.
No. 1 | Most woman are hesitant to pair a tie with a suit, but there is something to be said for an accessory that pulls the whole look together. A more feminine option? Wear some beautiful jewels peeking out from under your collar or a bib necklace to make a bolder statement.
No. 2 | A shirt with a unique collar adds subtle embellishment, texture or a pop of color to a more classic suit look.
1. 10 Crosby Derek Lam double collar tank; 2. Boy. by Band of Outsiders easy blouse; 3. Marni round collar sleeveless top; 4. Proenza Schouler honeycomb collar shirt; 5. Sea fur collar blouse; 6. Carven contrast collar shirt
No. 3 | Peplums went down the fall runways in many shapes and forms. As a layering piece under a jacket, a peplum top is a modern alternative to the collared shirt.
No. 4 | There is something distinctly feminine and sexy about a pointed-toe pump. It adds a certain amount of force to a suited look. These are a few of my favorites for fall.