Closet Harmony: Hard Working Clothes

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Pilar Corrias, Contemporary Art Dealer and Gallerist

Dressing for the ever-fashion-conscious art world isn’t always easy, but 47-year-old Pilar doesn’t let that worry her. “I think by now I’ve found my style, which is pretty relaxed. I used to feel it was important to dress up to be taken seriously, but I’ve been in my business for more than 20 years now, and I no longer suffer over my clothes,” she says, adding, “I’m my own boss, and I can dress to please myself.” Pilar is as comfortable in a pair of black jeans with a brightly coloured jumper and a leather jacket at work as she is in a knockout Azzedine Alaïa dress; she dresses to suit her mood. Her day can take her from studio visits with artists to lunch with collectors and institutions and, inevitably, a gallery opening or a dinner most evenings. Her style doesn’t just work during daylight hours but can extend to bedtime, too – should she decide to wear one of her favourite slip dresses to work, she’s happy to sleep in it later.Credit Laura Coulson

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Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, Academic

Although Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, 52, is a professor of mammalian development and stem-cell biology (she works on understanding the development of cell lineages and patterning in the early embryo), she doesn’t spend her days in a white lab coat. The Cambridge academic credits her affection for clothes to her impoverished childhood in Poland, where they weren’t a priority. “I had just two pieces of everything, so when one was being worn, the second was being washed. I think I compensate for that now,” she says.Credit Laura Coulson

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Yasmin Sarwar, College Director

The charismatic executive director of high-flying Cardiff Sixth Form College came to England from Malaysia to study for her A-levels and never left; she started tutoring in her conservatory before opening her own school in 2004. From 2010 to 2015 Cardiff Sixth Form College topped the independent-schools league tables; Sarwar credits this success to the combination of an Asian focus on academic excellence and a European emphasis on creative thinking. She often has to make public appearances, and recently gave a TEDx Talk. It’s important to Yasmin that she dresses in a relaxed fashion. “Many of my pupils come from overseas,” she explains. “I want them to see me as a maternal figure, rather than as a typical headmistress.”Credit Laura Coulson

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Sarah Wood, Tech-firm Founder

Sarah, 43, is a mother of three and co-founder of social video advertising company Unruly, which last year was acquired by Corp for a reported £114 million. Along with her fellow co-founders Scott Button and Matt Cooke, she heads up a company that now employs more than 200 people across 15 offices. For Sarah, clothes are a source of fun, but she firmly believes in the power of black with a splash of colour – which for her comes in the shape of a T-shirt with the Unruly logo in yellow, black or white. Her days are mostly spent in the company’s large, open-plan offices in east London. Not a great fan of convention, she keeps everything she wears piled up on a chair at the end of her bed. “It’s important to me to get my clothes right,” she explains. “One of the biggest issues holding women back in their careers today is a lack of confidence. I think fashion can be a great way to bridge that gap.”Credit Laura Coulson

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Andrea Gelardin Creative Director

When you’re working with Lady Gaga, you have to look the part. Together with Ruth Hogben, her business partner at Lobster Eye, Andrea is responsible for the artist’s looks – from creative direction at concerts, the Grammys and the Academy Awards, to album covers and merchandising. “We source art directors, photographers, stylists and every creative that makes up her image,” explains the 33-year-old. “From the moment we hear her new record, our work begins.” Andrea works a street away from her home in Hackney Downs, so has the luxury of popping back several times a day, if necessary, to change outfits. Her weekdays are often filled with creative meetings and attending graduation shows at art colleges, while most evenings find her at fashion or music events. “It’s a vital part of my job to know what’s going on,” she explains. “Everything from watching a performance by You Me Bum Bum Train to something by the Punchdrunk theatre company is a source of inspiration to me.”Credit Laura Coulson

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Anneli Howard, Barrister

Anneli, 43, specialises in European and competition law. Her schedule is hectic (especially now, she explains, due to so many cases related to Brexit) and she appears in court two to three times a week. Although a barrister wears a wig and gown – “the idea is that we all look the same to the judge” – what she wears beneath needs to be considered. She favours simple, well-cut dresses, and practical footwear. “My clothes are a way of establishing credibility very early on,” she says.Credit Laura Coulson

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Anna Keay, Director of The Landmark Trust

Forty-two-year-old Anna Keay is a historian and the director of the Landmark Trust, with a PhD in 17th-century British history from the University of Oxford. When it comes to her workday wardrobe, she’s very organised. “I don’t like to waste time faffing,” she says. Anna can require several different outfits in a single day, so she takes what she needs to work. “My days are often split between my office and fundraising meetings, and then on to dressier functions like appearing on television to talk about my work or going to the V&A to give a lecture. I also spend a huge amount of time on building sites climbing ladders, with a hard hat on.”Credit Laura Coulson

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