The rise of modest dress styles have women seeking new style icons whose personal take on dressing is more than pure practicality of wearing layers of corduroys, wool sweaters and wellies. Not that there’s anything wrong with that look but sometimes you just want to feel a bit more inspired.
A new brand called J&M Davidson focuses on modest styles and takes its cues from silhouettes of British poet and novelist Vita Sackville-West. She had a decidedly androgynous approach to dress and penchant for men’s clothes. She herself was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s gender-bending aristocrat Orlando.
The J&W Davidson collection has a sense of liberation, the designs free women from fashion stereotypes or tropes. Mohair jumpers are purposefully loose, echoing a baggy bohemian look reminiscent of another modest style icon Catherine Deneuve (circa 1960s film Jules et Jim). And although men’s clothing forms are a strong reference point, a dusty lavender top worn with a pencil skirt add a traditional element of femininity and show the versatility of the collection. The accessories include caviar grain leather for soft, slouchy shoulder bags lined with suede and leopard print hair bags on calf leather and python in discreet muted overtones.
The selling point is the ease of the collection, it isn’t too severe or buttoned up, it’s conservative without being restrictive. These are clothes designed for a woman that dresses to please herself, and not another.
Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.
The J&W Davidson fall/ winter 2018-19 look book: