Sunday, 5 May 2013

simplicity as a virtue

Broadly experienced British designer Margaret Howell
knows what women want: she started making men's
shirts to her own designs back in 1972 opening her
namesake wholly-owned first shop in 1980 when she
began to develop womenswear, too. ”I find men's
clothes interesting in their stucture, feel and functionality.
I started by designing men's clothes, and then found
that women wanted them” she cannily declares.

Margaret debuted at London fashion week in 1995
establishing year after year her label's reputation:
Margaret Howell has five outlets in the UK, eighty
in Japan as well as a shop in Paris, employing 350
people worldwide thanks to her simple vision which
is strongly inspired by menswear. ”I've always
wanted clothes to be the way I drew them, 
relaxed and lived in, a natural look.”

1 > 3 campaign images © by Koto Bolofo, styled by Margaret Howell
You may think her style is too basic yet each single
garment is accurately done: bearing the subdued
mannish flavor I'd like to wear by myself, her clothes
”are meant to be worn in the real world, where good 
design is about living with thoughtful style” she says
and I fully agree with her sense of authenticity.
A 'true to life' selection of fabrics and comfortable
shapes mark a style that's neither sporty nor 'casual'
but simply cool and cozy, providing the right look 
in every moment of the day.

”I'm inspired by the authenticity I can find in nature,
people and places, and I think it is the same quality
I look for in the materials I choose. For example, the
feel of hand-woven Harris tweed and the irregular
slub of Irish linen. I feel passionate about landscape,
and its connections with such fabrics and the skilled
people who weave them. I like to work with manu-
facturers who understand and share this passion

 for make and quality of fabric...” she acknowledges.

The womenswear s/s 2013 collection's muted campaign
shows newcomer models Harriet Taylor and Elias
Cafmeyer in the delicate black & white images taken
in Ireland by South African born, Paris-based photographer
Koto Bolofo who's known for his keen eye for lively,
dynamic images as well as for fine portraiture while
the lookbook reveals the straightforwardness of an
enduring style subtly pulling the threads of British
tradition. As Leonardo da Vinci put it down:
  ”Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

lookbook images from 'Margaret Howell' label's website

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