Floor-length dresses, jumpsuits fully covering the sleeves and high-neck dresses are enjoying the spotlight in style landscape. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s (of label The Row) grown-up style comes to mind instantly. At the recently concluded Cannes film festival, the likes of Amber Heard, Tilda Swinton, Elle Fanning and our very own Huma Qureshi opted for ensemble which had high-neckline with hemline grazing the red carpet. Over the last five years, there’s a new evolved sensibility in fashion landscape where women tend to dress for themselves and also reinforce the point that a covered-up ensemble could be as alluring as a body-hugging gown with a thigh-high slit.
Meghan Markle’s conservative-yet-chic wedding dress by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller and her body-flattering piece by Stella McCartney which she opted for at her wedding reception have been two of the iconic looks which usher in an era of modest dressing.
Designer Monica Shah of label Jade believes that sensuousness is a state of mind. “It’s less about what you wear, and more about how you feel and how you carry yourself. It’s always interesting to play around with styles and silhouettes and find newer ways to add the oomph of glamour. More than modest fashion being a trend, we see it as an opportunity to create a seductive vibe without trying too hard or going over the top,” says Monica.
A part of our daily lives
Modest fashion is not just a trend; it is an essential part of our daily lives and designer Arpita Mehta believes that it is a way of dressing that people adhere to every now and then. “We definitely see it a lot in India but internationally it has become quite a sight for fashion. From high neck collared shirts, to full sleeved denim jackets, to floor length maxi’s, modest fashion has taken a turn today, and is being interspersed into our everyday clothing wardrobe,” says Arpita.
Today, one’s witnessing long hemlines, relaxed trousers, flowy dresses and longer sleeve lengths on both international and Indian runways as well as high street fashion.
Designer Swapna Anumolu of label Mishru believes that modest fashion can be enjoyed by everyone in a way that they feel comfortable and confident in. “It is a way to cater to women in terms of their fashion and lifestyle choices. In our country like ours, with multicultural identities and even the global sphere shifting to accepting and celebrating all communities, respect for people’s personal choices is key. Designers and creators must be mindful of respecting women’s choices across different faiths, age groups, sizes and cultures,” says Swapna.
Less is more
Floor length dresses, layering of clothes and ruffles on the neck have long been used as design devises which add a modest element to clothing. Now we see trends like, sleeves to add drama, which also brings modesty to an outfit along with being in tandem with fashion trends.
Designer Payal Singhal opines that a true fashionista doesn’t have to show skin to be in fashion, less is more. “I personally also favour this trend and find a girl in a well fitted full sleeve dress more visually appealing than someone wearing a revealing short dress,” says Payal.