“LACE IN THE BOARDROOM” is a creative concept and photoshoot directed by Piper Phillips, and photographed by London-based photographer Elspeth Vincent in Manhattan, NY.
The shoot was a response to a sexist comment Phillips received. An effort to redefine the meaning of “professionalism”, showing that strength, femininity and professionalism can and should live together harmoniously.
“I was giving a presentation in business school, and one of the graded categories was “Professionalism”. I got my grade back and saw that I got a perfect score, except "-1" in the professionalism category.
The professor took a point off because the black business slacks I wore with my blouse, black suit coat and conservative shoes had *a tiny trim of lace on the bootleg* (my attempt at a small injection of my personality in the outfit). And apparently, that was enough to hurt my level of “professionalism”.
"Being professional is about how you carry yourself, how prepared you are, and the level of respect and effort you bring to a challenge. Not about what you wear."
When I told this story on TikTok, I received a lot of supportive comments. Many agreed this would likely have not happened to a man, given that lace is traditionally a feminine pattern. One negative comment jumped out at me though- “Lace belongs in the bedroom, not the boardroom”.
I disagree, clearly.”
-Piper Phillips, 2023
Commercial & Modeling
"LACE IN THE BOARDROOM"