Fashion
  • Text Nik Patel
  • Photography Benjamin Whitley
  • 14th June 2016

Reworking tradition

A name synonymous with British fashion, Margaret Howell has consistently sought to refine her identity, choosing to sharpen her image – rather than broaden it – over her many years designing.

For SS17, Howell drew on the charm of minimalism to craft another collection of timeless looks, with the seaside-inspired ensemble softly drifting down the runway to two renditions of Hotel California. Renowned for her relaxed approach to tailoring, the designer here found ingenuity in contrast, with individual pieces being cut both wide and slim in different sections.

It was all about cut and colour or lack thereof: a cobalt suit was slimmer through the arm and roomier around the waist, paired with ankle-cropped trousers to exude a summer feel. A classic, belted trench coat appearing in slate-grey, tailored again at the waist with more generously cut shoulders.

Colour was sparingly used; a canary-yellow knit stood out, a nod to the intensity of the sunshine.

Tank tops ran strong channelling a relaxed summer vibe, cut baggy and tucked into formal trousers. Seasonality was further apparent through the use of airier materials, with the designer employing thinner Gore-Tex for coats and lightweight blends of linen and cotton for those tanks.

However traditional her approach, Howell always finds a delicate way to modernise her collections, this season utilising turn-ups on the trousers and dropped shoulders on shirts and outerwear to merge contemporary influence with timeless design. Her legacy continues, ever-elegant.