Margaret Howell’s collections are characterized by their insouciant, low-key air, and this season was no exception. But what felt new was a subtle sense of polish, which came through in details such as sharp collars, high waists and shiny leather mary janes and brogues.
In the second of her combined men’s and women’s collections, Howell played with those elements of buttoned-up dress, but treated them with her laid-back hand. A women’s black shirt with pointed collars was worn with a matching pencil skirt, accessorized with a white belt that fastened askew. And one male model wore a city-worthy pinstripe shirt, lent a jaunty touch with a mustard and navy tie and high-waisted jeans. Even a lady-like, pleated A-line skirt was imbued with a girlish air, worn with the flat mary janes, ankle socks and a polo shirt.
As ever, Howell kept her color palette subtle and restrained, with shades of khaki, black, white, gray and navy dominating the lineup. While change is never radical for the designer, what continues to define her pieces are their precise cuts and fine details, from the cuffs on pants rolled just so, to silk neckerchiefs and expert tailoring, seen on pieces from gingham shorts to chic sailor pants.