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

by Charlotte Smith

Modest Fashion Milan Fashion Week

Now it is time to look at the Milan Fashion week collection and see what designers have for a modest woman to wear.  Now the scarf in Italy is normally for the church girl, but we modest fashion lovers can adapt to the style.  Here is our rundown on what options are coming out of Milan.

Jil Sander

Luke and Lucie Meier showed their collections and it seemed politics and women’s rights were a theme. They chose a stunning open-air corridor in a soon-to-be shopping mall designed by Zaha Hadid and timed their show to a pink sunset spring.  Their third runway collection, they found a derelict panettone factory, with lilacs and fig trees bursting through the concrete floors and out of cracked tiled walls.

“We were thinking about nature getting in when it came to colours” – Luke gestured at the pistachios and washed out blues – “as well as the clash of the fluid and the structured, the refined and the rough – and then we got lucky and found this place,” he smiled, backstage.

The designers mixed the brand DNA with a hint of Celine from the Phoebe Philo’s acolytes.  This is what we fashion editors want an exciting collection for women who go to the office in major in elegant wearability.  We also know they spoke directly to their client base.

 “We were interested in the moment when all that training and rigidity goes out the window, the moment when they have to perform. Boxing and ballet are both rigid, sober disciplines, but in the moment of performance there’s a release – they’re very free.”

It is exactly what consumers want a line that is everyday wearable. With strict boxy jackets paired with short plissé skirts; crisp coated cotton market dresses in soft leather boxing boots. Straight shirts with chunky cuffs, a slinky navy tabard is worn over wide-legged trousers, a black origami-crisp satin wrap dress all looked delightfully easy to pull off.


Alberta Ferretti

The Alberta Ferretti woman is going travelling this spring. The Ferretti woman has got a jumbo crochet rucksack slung over her lemon-hued, broderie Anglaise jumpsuit. There’s are some cargo pants in a hyper-flattering shade of khaki stashed in there, too, plus a pair of pink dungarees, to be worn strictly over a bikini. She’s ready to ride, swim and going on an adventure.

For nights sampling the local cocktails, she’s got a rainbow plissé chiffon maxi dress on standby, with a pale peach slip dress also in the running. Days hiking through lush landscapes will be spent in flight pants and T-shirts; lazy beach afternoons will culminate in crochet leggings and pastel-hued crop tops. The designer wants her army to live dangerously and float like a butterfly and sting like a hippie.


 Moncler mixed in a little of last season and menswear for spring,  This season’s decision to show a series of film installations devised by each “Genius” who had come up with a Moncler collaborative capsule was inspired. Walking through a series of empty warehouses, the opening sequence was provided by Simone Rocha. Her film, directed by Tyler Mitchell and executed by her partner Eoin McLoughlin, was filmed at the verdant gardens of Wisley, in Surrey, and had a distinctive Picnic at Hanging Rockflavour.

Modest Fashion on the Runway Milan Fashion Week  S/S 2019Moncler Modest FashionMoncler Modest Fashion

 A traditional Moncler puffer had morphed into a collection of frilly puff flowers under her watch; as had a Japanese nylon raincoat, now trimmed with frills and pearls. “I’m obsessed with windbreakers! They’re back! And I like to do the garden in my slides,” she said, gesturing to some flower-strewn slippers with fur sprouting out their footbeds. If only the brand wasn’t so expensive I would take one of everything.

Max Mara

The British creative director at Max Mara had been reading retellings of ancient Greek mythology, told from the perspective of the previously marginalised or maligned women in the tales. On the reading list: Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey (the first by a woman), Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, Madeleine Miller’s Circe. And also some background reading on Amphitrite, the queen of the sea eventually subjugated by Poseidon, who took her as his wife which effectively downgraded her position at the pantheon to that of mere consort.

This collection colour palette was in shades of brown and beige, a big colour swatch for spring. Dressing the Max women for the city in one-shouldered silhouettes, vinyl pencil skirts and sheath dresses, and bags slung decisively across the body.  We also see the brand talking to a keep market the modest one with a plethora of items to choose from.

“She’s one part Amazon, one part ocean goddess,” said Griffiths, of his Max Mara woman.

 The designer was enthralled with the weather and water, “because it’s so unpredictable.  Today’s women need an arsenal of coats: a trench, in polka-dotted gabardine, perhaps; a parka, daffodil yellow (inspired by Mediterranean sunshine); a pea coat, in biscuity wool. But this collection’s seemed more Burberry then Max Mara.


Modest Fashion @Fendi

For me, Fendi is returning to the golden age of hip-hop and the logo trends of the time. They are catering to the Nuvo rich Instagram fame.   Fendi is one of the houses to flex its visual brand value in a major way over recent seasons, catering to young generations’ thirst for prized possessions like branded bags, trainers and even socks. Logos that used to belong mainly on accessories and the odd T-shirt are now sprinkled over everything from hoodies to skirts by the bucket load, effectively making garments hot commodities on par with leather goods, price tags very much in tow.

This season Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi took that development one step further. Instead of letting the clothes inform the bags, they worked the other way around, “looking at things from a different perspective,” as Silvia said.

“We wanted to have functional clothing. Not just for the occasion. We wanted something for everyday life: the normal woman, the active woman. A real wardrobe,” she explained.

Adwoa opened the show in a transparent coat with bonded brown leather panels and pockets, which was literally the garment take on the bag she was holding. Edie modelled a tan leather coat with multi pockets moulded into the leather as if it were a utility bag. And Kendall sported the Gen Z trend for wearing a bum bag over the shoulder, pairing it with an oversized white utility jacket with massive pockets embossed with Fendi’s double-F logo.   Real clothes for real-life situations.  Now, where is my darn phone again!

Emporio Armani

Here comes the rain again.  It seems that designers in Milan are really into climate issues and travel. Armani also so seemed to predict a rainy spring looking at the collections.

We feasted our eyes on, wetsuit-clad male mannequins clutching surfboards.  Then male and female models wearing a series of sporty looks.  Emporio went back to the Nineties sneakers once more. Then, a utility-themed paean to the house colour dove grey, which resulted in a lot of soft, fluid trench coats and relaxed suiting.

From grey to oatmeal, to palest pink, of which boiler suits unbuttoned to the waist were a highlight. A denim section followed – more jumpsuits. Then, surprise: a hot pink handful of looks, which then segued into lime green, and eventually, eveningwear. The collection stuck to the codes of Emporio and attempted to speak to a younger client, yet there was nothing to spectacular to talk about. If you like Armani then there is something for everyone.


The Sportmax collection wend surfer girl cool. With a lof of selectins for a modest woman to put her looks together. Hats any everything. Modest women like to go to the beach too!

There were blazers to windbreakers with little sparkly numbers to take you from the beach to the ballroom.  The first look is my favourite.  Skirt and dress lengths reached below the knee, perfect! As well as cool ways to carry your essentials and tops that covered your cleavage.



The  Etro collection of clothes smelled like a Mediterranean holiday.  With the brand DNA of richly-decorated paisleys belong in exotic hills.  Like many other designers house, this season Etro celebrated a milestone of its 50th birthday.

Etro took their spin at the sportswear trend and was inspired by the surfer girl.  Etro’s take on the trend was Sun-kissed and ready for a holiday wardrobe heading on a Pacific jaunt with pit stops in California, Hawaii, and Japan. It comprised racks of zesty-coloured silk pyjama sets and crochet mini dresses, as well as towelling ponchos and patchwork cardigans to throw over sunburnt shoulders.


A choir cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” inspired Massimo Giorgetti to turn the volume up on dreaminess before the 10th anniversary of MSGM next year. Replacing his previous “Milano, Milano, Milano” logo, the branding du jour said “Dream, Dream, Dream” and “Sognare insieme”: dream together. There are strong waves of compassion flowing through Italian fashion at the moment, with designers opposing the increasingly conservative tendencies happening in Italian politics.

It was a flower power collection, but not with prints like grandma would wear.  Yet, with prints, young women would wear to a festival. With the right boots. Again we noticed that Italian houses were hiding the cleavage in line with modest rules.  Garments were transparent but a modest fashionista knows who to work that.


The Versace collection was very Italian to fit every woman.  You had your Gigis, Bellas and Kendalls, Kaias, Binxes and Aduts, and the guest appearances, who underline Donatella’s everywoman ethos: Freja Beha ErichsenMariacarla Boscono and a beaming Shalom Harlow, who closed the show.

It was a homage to the 1970s aftermath hippies, swathed in a patchwork of clashing prints, floral flounces, flares and bandanas. Donatella ticked the gypsy girl trend, who have travelled together for the season from New York to London and then on to  Milan. If it didn’t feel like obvious Versace territory, she filtered in a few near-neon dresses worn with trainers to appease the luxe sporty set.


 Miuccia Prada is a woman after my own heart.  She understands the dilemma of women and the necessity of the right skirts and tops.  This collection was pure politics. She detected the cliché codes of the left and the right. Tie-dye vs. crystal embellishment. Swimsuit tops vs. chiffon blouses. Miniskirts vs. tennis skirts. T-shirts vs. duchess silk skirts.

“The whole thing for me was to discuss what’s happening in the world now: we wish for freedom, for liberation, for fantasy.  And on the other side an extreme conservatism is coming. I wanted to represent the clash between these two opposites. That’s what’s happening in the reality out there.”

 The dainty nylon cabanas, swimwear-style cut-out knitwear, or the somewhat heart-shaped red handbags were all viable contenders for next-season big sellers, while Prada’s prints tend to hit a home run with existing fan bases. She brought back tie-dye and psychedelic motifs on skirts and minidresses, alongside a vintage print with silhouettes of women and men. For a more youthful vibe, there were cutesy baby doll dresses, Alice bands, and tops cut like swimsuits; and the logo branding that millennials love.


Ermanno Scervino

 Ermanno Scervino wen all the way romantic with this collection.  It had something for the career women to the party girl.  With a few sexy modest numbers, they require a double take.

The designer continued using extraordinarily delicate lacework that has become apart of the DNA for 18 years since it launched. Tailoring was kept concise and juicy-hued, with trouser suits in coral and cobalt; shirting crisp and striped. A sporty edge crept in among the knock-out dresses – a new development for a brand that’s combining its technical know-how with a more practical, streetwise quality. That said, it was styled bombastically, with satin corset tops.

Salvatore Ferragamo


The most popular colour for this Spring Summer 2019 fashion season is beige  An all round sleek shades of beiges, taupes, browns and greys on garments made for suburban bliss: trench coats, long leather pencil skirts, little blouses. At Salvatore Ferragamo, these colours have always been staples to the brand.

“When you go into the archives and look at pieces from the seventies and eighties, there were a lot of those neutral tones,” Paul Andrew

Another collection the celebrated womanhood, of all shapes, sizes, and ages.  Their client is preened and polished, prim and proper, and terribly basic.  It ws your collection to spot the key pieces you need for your wardrobe.


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 Marni is one of my favourites go-to brands when you want to dress like a lady!  With pieces for a millennia women to go on an Italian vacation. With a lot of day to evening looks to cover up or go a little chic like a 50’s movie star.

There is no better way of describing what has gone on chez Marni since Risso took the reins there some two years ago. This season, the All Too Human exhibition at Tate Britain where Risso became enthralled with nudes in bedroom settings by painters like Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud and Jenny Saville, inspired a massive communal bedchamber where beds doubled as seats. With the modest them running through out the collection.

The above designers had pieces in their collection that stuck to the code of modest women with style. We just had to look hard for collections that would speak to today’s modest fashion client because we love fashion.  Next up we take a look at the Paris collections, so stay tuned and let us know below if we missed anyone.  Emerging talent always welcome.

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