Modest Fashion on the Runway London Fashion Week  S/S 2019 

by Charlotte Smith

Modest Fashion London Fashion

Now the Modest Fashion in London is big business.  London is the city of labels every ethnic and religious groups love designer threads.  On our journey of spotting looks that accommodate the religious codes has taken off and designers and brands are following the trend.

The modest fashionista is not just a hashtag, it is a thriving fashion market.  Sites like The Modist who cater to it on a luxury level are growing and compare themselves to the likes of Net a Porter. We have taken a look at the catwalks of London Fashion week SPRING/SUMMER 2019 READY-TO-WEAR runways and give you a break down of designers that are tapping into the flourishing market and catering to the clients.

Richard Malone

People believe dressing modest is hard and boring.  It is not if you know how to put things together.  A few pieces by Richard Malone adapted to your personal style add that bit of edge.

The designer is a champion designer also for a modest girl who loves fashion.  He makes haute couture for the everyday girl, if that is not speaking to the Arab market I do not know what is.  The designer mixes traditional haute couture Duchesse satin with the working-class fashion activism.

Richard Malone Modest FashionRichard Malone Modest FashionRichard Malone Modest Fashion

This season he.luxed it up and spoke to a new client.  Malone is an Irish pro-feminist designer, who supported the free your nipple politics and you do not always have to show skin to be sexy.

Vivienne Westwood

View this post on Instagram

Look 36 from the #AKSS19 show in Paris.

A post shared by Vivienne Westwood (@viviennewestwood) on

This collection, presented via a video and lookbook rather than a show, was a case in point. The organic cotton and linen drunkenly tailored jackets and drop-crotch pants featuring watercolours of Chinese peonies and calligraphies reading “Dame Vivienne” and “Green Economy” was 100 percent sustainable. The 90 percent acetate mix in floral jacquards on off-the-shoulder dresses were made from wood pulp extracted from plantations regulated by reforestation programs designed to positively impact the environment.

And so it went for the rest of the collection: The underwear-ish wool ribbed knits; the hemp-and-bamboo mix, rough-hemmed, and piping-edged shirt; and the 100 percent recycled striped double-breasted jackets and hoodies inspired by army uniforms were all produced to adhere to the Oeko-Tex sustainability standard. Even the width of broad handkerchief skirts was determined by the span of the bolt of cloth from which they were cut, to ensure minimal waste in production.

Westwood’s militantly responsible substance was reflected in the typically anarchic style of the pieces: Shirts featuring long lace-edged collars and silk linen jacquard britches were meant to mobilize thoughts of raffish musketeers fighting under a green banner

Kiko Kostadinov

Kiko Kostadinov’s signature style is a wardrobe of minimal workwear. Whilst the Bulgarian designer was still a student, he entered streetwear history by creating a 20-piece capsule collection for the streetwear giant Stüssy, before starting a long-term partnership with Mackintosh.


This London fashion week he introduced womenswear, which is being overseen by the twin sisters Deanna and Laura Fanning.  Kostadinov’s developing aesthetic—one that mixes a sort of grungy-occult vibe into sportswear—was echoed in the Fannings’ “collage of images.” “We end up with a hybrid,” said Deanna of their design process. “Hybrids of color, sports influences, and elements of glamour.” (She specializes in textiles, Laura in construction and wovens.)

Their show consisted of 1940s MGM Studios costumes, as well as looks from 1982’s Blade Runner, as inspiration. Sleeveless tank tops had clown-like rainbow parachute material paneled amorphously across the chest.  A modest fashionista who likes Sci-fi and art would feel comfortable in the tunic and pants numbers.  It is all how you wear it.

Xu Zhi

A NEW wave of Asian designers took part in London Fashion Week this year among the many talented is the Chinese born and Central Saint Martins’ MA Fashion graduate, Xuzhi Chen with his brand Xu Zhi.   The emerging designer birthed a head-turning Spring/Summer collection this LFW with a modest chic touch and tribute to the American poet Emily Dickinson.

Xu Zhi modest fashionXu Zhi modest fashionXu Zhi modest fashion

The innovative designer constructs a majestic two-part contrasting collection. One part, is a door into the world of The Great Gatsby, consisting of colorful glam with elegantly bold designs in pink, blue and yellow. The other part an ode to Dickinson’s white dress, with an all wholly white ensemble, models capped in eye-blinding white pieces embellished in Swarovski crystals.

Ryan Lo

Ryan Lo always creates a  fantasy land for the brands London Fashion Week shows since 2012.  In the past, they have taken us to Aladdin’s Cave, Hello Kitty’s lair and even the ecclesiastical altar of a Princess Bride.  Yet,  for SS19, Lo’s woman is a young witch princess looking with for love.  Aren’t we all these days?

The color palette consisted of baby pinks and soft lilacs to provide signature girlish femininity, the designer presented one of my most favorite collection during fashion week.  With the elements of dress and magic to conjure up love this coming Spring.

Having moved to the UK from Hong Kong to study, Lo has long held a regard for Britain’s eccentricity and it played out here in a dress for all manner of summer occasions. “My woman definitely watched the Royal wedding live on TV.” Tea dresses came puffed at the shoulder and bowed at the hip, polka dot A-line party dresses would find themselves most at home at Ascot and the final series of evening gowns are just asking for a debutante to “come out” in one.

Matty Bovan

View this post on Instagram

LOOK 17 @adesuwa in knitted halter neck dress “ENTER STAGE 1” Custom blue heel with extra long leather laces @ginashoesofficial thank you @aydinkurdash @alltonnee • Bug earrings by @begoniapeterson 🖤 massive thanks to @kegrand for all your continued support and special thanks to @mandilennard and thanks to @melanieeashley Casting @bitton @establishmentny Hats @stephenjonesmillinery Hair @sydhayeshair using @babylissprouk Hair colour @joshwoodcolour Make up @mirandajoyce using @maccosmeticsuk Nails @chisatochee Jewellery by the fab @begoniapeterson Music by @steve__mackey Custom weaving @rarethread Recycled plastic weaving @casc8 Laser cutting @lisamcconniffe Crochet flowers @chris.made.this Digital embroidery @jackypuzey Screen prints in house Production @blonsteinproductions Big thanks to @britishfashioncouncil Huge thanks to @greg___harper and my amazing studio team ❤️ @ur_gal_trina big thanks to @stuartvevers @gilesdeacon_ @misscatherinerussell @oliver_volquardsen @paul_flynn @robbiemailerhowat @hall_uk_ltd @angiekurdash @annamarie.scott 🖤#newgen #mattybovan #coachny

A post shared by Matty Bovan (@babbym) on

Matty Bovan invited us to enter his rebellious British psyche.  When backs are against the wall—Brexit, austerity, and social inequalities roiling as they are now—creativity will come out fighting. In Bovan’s press release he stated it:

“I have a lot of conflicting thoughts, a lot of unrest about the political climate we live in. A lot of people do. The only thing I can do in response to that is bang a drum, hard, for the idea of being yourself.”

Looking at the slim, multi-patterned, multicolored jersey dresses and sweaters—after all, that was his specialty at Central Saint Martins—you could clearly see what that this collection has pieces that can sell.  The collection talks to all types of women from different diverse cultures and tribes.

Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams latest collection saw punk girls in square shades and PVC storm the runway.  If that’s not empowering to the modest fashion set then I do not know what to tell you.  Many designers like Williams wants to empower all women and believes we are coming to take over the world.

Juxtaposing sweet feminine details with a strong political message, hair clips and T-shirts included slogans like ‘CRAZY’ and ‘VIRGIN’.  Yes, we are all not sluts and here on this planet for male sexual desire.   William’s collections have long played on an aesthetic structured around girlish nostalgia. Her familiars – bedazzling hairpins, sweetheart knits, retro graphics, the high-waisted tracksuits – continue to have a presence for spring/summer 2018, this time with an overarching Eighties message.

Eudon Choi


For his SS19 collection, Eudon Choi takes inspiration from the artist Ivan da Silva Bruhns (1881-1980) whose carpets are among the most coveted of the French Art Deco period.  Born in Paris to Brazilian parents, Da Silva Bruhns first studied medicine before turning to carpet design after discovering Berber rugs at the exhibition of Moroccan art at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris in 1917.

The SS19 show takes its name from the modernist Palace of Manik Bagh (Gardens of Rubies) the home of the Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar II of Indore (1908-1961).  The collection is wearable for urban nomads and more.  Trendy yet versatile ready to wear with a sporty feel to many of the pieces ideal for today’s weather.  Like garments, a modern-day Bedouin would wear.

Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung showed her nom de plume label on the schedule for the very first time this London Fashion Week.  It marked the very first time Chung has taken her bow as an official London Fashion Week designer.  The collection was ready to wear for a city girl. Chung referenced a multitude of destinations, “from Inverness to Tokyo, Dublin to Athens and Bristol to Palma”, her show notes explained.

This was interpreted into postcards printed onto slogan T-shirts and sweaters and with the logo of her fictitious travel company ‘AC World Travel Inc’. The collection included aviation-inspired jumpsuits, a new fit of jeans for the brand and a rain mac paying homage to a British summer.  As well as fun summer beachwear for a weekend summer getaway.   Probably made for the Made in Chelsea types.

Markus Lupfer

Markus Lupfer’s spring/summer 2019 collection appealed to the girly girls with feminine silhouettes and lust-worthy accessories.  The collection was filled with  Bubblegum shades of pink, blue and mint creating a garden of delicious ready to wear. There were a party and summer soiree feel to the clothes styled for a night out with the girls or your sweetheart.

Markus Lupfer modest fashionMarkus Lupfer modest fashionMarkus Lupfer modest fashion

The designer gave us glitter and glam with a lavender-colored dress, which featured sheer paneling and lace trims, completed with a smothering of sequins which effortlessly shimmered under the light.  There were also masculine pieces they looked comfortable to wear on a daily basis in the form of a striped jumpsuit, created in a sky blue rib knit that moved without restriction.

Ports 1961

View this post on Instagram

#ss19 #lfw #csm #ports1961

A post shared by Ports1961 (@ports1961) on

The collection was for the carefree Summer’s and living is easy, very Boho chic. Creative director Natasa Cagalj has a knack for laid-back tailoring.   We see louche suiting with bohemian trimmings—trailing macramé tunics lent blazers and slouchy trousers catering to the new emerging client base.

Cagalj is a bit of a textile geek, and this season, her research led to a workshop in Hamburg, Germany, known for its impressive handwoven plaids. The fraying silk thread formed the hemline of asymmetric skirts and halter-neck tops. Per contra, the more straightforward looks with texture and prints.

The line also included maxi dresses fashioned from knotted cotton jersey strands that were strung with wooden beads.  With an updated version of the classic ’80s tourist tank top. With the exist of  Phoebe Philo from fashion.  Rumors have her taking on the crown at Chanel.  We now have a tribe of women in search of fashion-forward minimalism. Cagalj’s creations could help fill the void especially since the jury is out on Celine.

Molly Goddard


Life is a dinner party for designer Molly Goddard, and this season, she took us on a Mediterranean vacation. “It’s that moment when you’re ready for the party, but your mum asks you to go to the market,” says Goddard.  The holiday vibes were rolling right from the start, with Edie Campbell opening the show in a pair of crisp black cotton short shorts.

The designer sent a gingham housecoat down the runway that swung from Campbell’s shoulder.  Developing the DNA of the brand bore all of the designer’s hallmarks. Trimmed with frills and cross-stitched with Goddard’s initials, by far the most inventive reinvention of the monogram to have surfaced this season.


View this post on Instagram

SS19 Backstage by @dazed @cleogloverphoto

A post shared by Halpern (@halpernstudio) on

Halpern dug in the crates of his grandmother, who lived and worked in the Bronx. The designer turned to the ’60s for inspiration and presented a collection fit for the disco nights mixed with glam rock.  The brand is definitely an emerging a designer to watch.

Halpern designed silhouettes like the  YSL mini dresses and Hepburn cigarette trousers of the decade. The designer cemented his non-sequins take on shine in a multi-coloured multi-check ottoman, in organza interweaves with satin thread and screen printed, and pleated organza foiled in gold. The collection was a sprightly, spirited theatre of Amazonian silhouettes and fabulous patterns.  London is starting to get it’s mojo back with emerging designers like Halpern.

Sadie Williams

The Sadie Williams Spring Summer 2019 show was a cross between Rock Man and Punk Princess.   Another big trend we saw on the runways from New York to Paris was biker chic. The designer investigates the worlds of bikers, capitalizing on the graphic, sporty and vivid nature like the girl scooter gangs of Morrocco.

Sadie Williams ss19 Modest FashionSadie Williams ss19 Modest FashionSadie Williams ss19 Modest Fashion

Williams’  is known for loving to work pattern, colour, texture and metallics. The collection includes everything from old school Americana bikers, Japanese Bosozuko gangs, motor cross riders and the familiar biker jackets worn by her own parents during authentic punk London. This season we see the continuation of the fashion tribes growing with designers faithful followers.

JW Anderson

For his SS19 collection, Jonathan Anderson reimagined his classic staples, all with an urban nomadic twist. Absolutely one of my most praiseful collections coming out of LFW. The designer pushed the boundaries of the modern,  bohemian modest vibes with, each of the models wearing leather headscarves.

“I wanted something a bit more bohemian. A celebration of fashion. Everything with fluidity to it, and patch-worked, somehow.”

Jonathan Anderson is one of the few male designers who choose to celebrate women’s fashion today.  The designer celebrates the power of women and what they really want to wear.  The collection was wearable and realistically in what his tribe expect to clothes their bodies.

Temperley London show was a return to full-on lady-land for Temperley, albeit on sensible Ballets Russes–inflected gladiators. The collection was filled with beading, Aztec prints and kaftan esq long flowing dresses.  In a colour palette of sorbet pink, mint and a little black and white pieces.

Like the clothes, the casting spoke to all tribes of women.  With ready to wear pieces any women of any age and background could wear.  The Temperley London London Fashion Week show was about inclusion and being comfortable in your clothes.


View this post on Instagram

Vogue Arabia

A post shared by OSMAN (@osmanstudio) on

the Osman selection was rich in colour, texture — and cockerel feathers — the collection was inspired by the world’s great balls.   Complete with 70’s style pants suits that modest fashion bloggers can rock in an Instagram post.  Along with dresses and skirt the hit below the knee.

“I wanted to do easy versions of formal looks for everyday,” said Osman Yousefzada, who showed his collection in a lush sculpture-filled garden in Covent Garden.

Osman Ss19 modest fashionOsman Ss19 modest fashionOsman Ss19 modest fashion

The models walked in the sunshine dressed in tailored suits made from recycled brocade in metallic zebra patterns, or black ones.  Paired with cropped jacket edged in pleated tulle. Some dresses were sheer and came with a darkly romantic floral print, while others were made from sweeps of cream tulle, recalling sari wraps.  We also saw the disco trend make an appearance with some of the metallic looks.

House Of Holland

House of Holland has never been afraid of bright colour and patterns. This season at London Fashion Week, Henry Holland added the logo trend and ice cream colour to his SS19 Collection.   The show titled Pull in Emergency was a hymn to the busy life of modern women across London.

An active collection that was designed for the fast pace of everyday life. Taking inspiration from the urban sportswear and multifunctional garments of the colourful ‘80s.  Reflective of the true essence of a busy woman in the city.

Whilst styled in double denim, parachute parkas, snazzy suits, and neon tracksuits. Completing the collection, Holland includes the ideal evening wear, encrusted with sparkly Swarovski crystals for when you have that office meeting at six but after work drinks at eight.  

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou’s 10th Anniversary Collection was an anniversary of her DNA and to celebrate with an SS19 collection.  The Greek designer revived some of her past using much-loved silhouettes and print.   She found inspiration in such as perfume bottles that were printed onto tunics for her autumn 2009 collection.

  The tips were remade in metal mesh for tops. The bottles for this collection were inspired by Eternity by Calvin Klein, Pleasures by Estée Lauder and Shalimar By Guerlain, connecting back to the dresses in her first collection. The use of stamps and old-fashioned banknotes drew on her spring 2013 collection.

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham another designer who is celebrating a decade in the fashion game made her return to London Fashion Week.  Once Beckham has taken her bow, clients will be invited to “shop the show” next door at 36 Dover Street. Victoria turned to art as her inspiration for her Summer ready to wear line.

“I stumbled upon a few pieces of her work,” Beckham commented when asked about her artist muse, Nicola Tyson. It was the painters, Blue Knickers piece from 2008 that the Brit drew her palette from, and what a palatable palette it was. It was reminiscent of an artist’s hand plate, primary colors, mixed together in the middle to create unique hues. There was a rich equestrian green, royal blue, monarch red, proud whites and strong blacks.

A steel grey and red-fleck long boyfriend blazer were styled with a white tee, and an iridescent, indigo, green and white tulle pleated skirt. The ideal outfit for a day in the city.  While the asymmetrical lace-underlay almond hued camisole with pleat-wrap front and tomato piping would make for a beautiful day-to-night top. Victoria chose to close her show with a strong, androgynous silhouette, that felt like it had plucked out of her own wardrobe. A navy, long a-lined trench coat, with matching wide-leg trousers and the high-neck laced tee.   The designer joined the other female designers who this season want to empower women with her collection.

Simone Rocha

View this post on Instagram

SS19 Collection shot by @jessejjenkins #simonerocha

A post shared by SIMONE ROCHA (@simonerocha_) on

Simone Rocha invoked something rich, delicate, and sombre at her runway at Lancaster House during London Fashion Week. Broad-brimmed veiled hats dripping with chiffon lace.  Prints of antique paintings of Tang dynasty beauties; crazily chic shoes sprouting feathers: This time, in her allusive, nonlinear way, she was exploring the Chinese side of herself. The designer encompasses modest fashion dress from Asia and what that looks like today.

Her father, John, Rocha has a big family in Hong Kong; through her mother, Odette, who’s also her business partner, she has a large extended family in the Republic of Ireland. So far, Rocha’s work, with her puff-sleeved, big-skirted silhouette, has always summoned up first communions, weddings, and renegade convent schoolgirls—an Emerald Isle perspective. This time, she was thinking about visiting Hong Kong and sharing her ideas with her team.

“I have people in the studio from China, Taiwan, and Japan,” she said. “I was thinking about portraits of concubines from the Tang dynasty in the 16th century. I found a copy of one in a market in Hong Kong. We started playing with imitating the imitations.”


Peter Pilotto


The Peter Pilotto Spring Summer collection followed the prairie dress trend and took them to the disco. There was a distinctly sentimental chic to the collection and a  1970s feel to it. Designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos referenced the days of disco for Fall, and they kept the retro good times rolling.

On the runway, the louche pyjama suits of Fall gained a more tailored line this time around, cinched with tasselled belts. Pilotto and De Vos also experimented with iridescent fabrics, adding a simmering layer to lurid floral maxi dresses and jumpsuits.  Any modest fashion could manipulate the keys pieces into everyday looks and special occasion nights out.


Riccardo Tisci and Burberry had to come together to both show the designer’s skills but keeping to the code of Burberry.  It was the designers take on Fifty shades of a beige collection.   Whiche revolved around a muted palette – entitled “refined.”

We saw the Tisci trench coat is an iconic symbol of classic Burberry brand.  With pencil skirts that had a sensual croc-stamped coats given a glossy sheen.  The collection had buyable pieces but the jury is still out if the cool kids will buy.  I almost wished he had gone total chav to bring the pounds to the store.

MM6 Maison Margiela

Full of juxtapositions, the MM6 Maison Margiela SS19 collection included pairings such as silk and ruffles paired with distressed denim.  Matching the punk aesthetic, the show took place in a dimly interior with chandeliers.  The collection featured several redesigns of the iconic 1993 AIDS awareness t-shirt

Related Posts