Photography @mitchell_sams

margaret howell's metropolitan vision

After a few seasons that have felt very seaside, very countryside, very outdoorsy and wholesome in their moods, this time Margaret was channeling the city.

by Felix Petty
|
Feb 18 2019, 2:34pm

Photography @mitchell_sams

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

This year London Fashion Week has felt very British in its themes and motifs, questioning and exploring all the multifaceted elements and identities that make up the identity of our island nation. We’ve gone from council estates to country estates, the mountains to the cities to the streets, looked to the past and dreamed up a better future. Margaret Howell has of course has always drawn inspiration from a very specific kind of Britishness in what she does, a celebration of rolling hills and country airs. But it’s always been open and inclusive, never small-minded or closed off or reductive.

On a beautiful sunny morning on London’s South Bank, Margaret Howell unveiled another chapter in her gorgeously unfolding fashion world. Margaret is at a stage in her career – over four decades deep! – where she doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel each season, but after a few seasons that have felt very seaside, very countryside, very outdoorsy and wholesome in their moods, this time Margaret was channeling the city.

Margaret Howell a/w 19

It felt quite Anglo-French, even, equal parts Kitchen Sink Realism and Nouvelle Vague Romanticism. Trousers came rolled up, paired with sensible shoes and bare ankles. Baker boy hats and cosy scarves and very-wearable knits. In fact, wearable might as well be the word to sum this collection up – Margaret is a dab hand at the elevated, luxurious staples. She makes clothes to live in and cherish, clothes to quietly wow season after season, rather than dealing in big and stupid eye-catchers. The strength of the clothes are 100% in the fact that you would love to wear them all. The fabrications and cuts and contrasts are what we all keep coming back for.

To bring it back around, then, to Britishness. Brexit’s been hanging over this whole season of shows in London so far, but rather than wallowing, fashion has been celebrating what makes Britain great, in spite of and standing against the small-minded world view espoused by the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson. Margaret Howell closed out the show with lefty, folky anthem A Place Called England by the Young Uns, which summoned up the Levellers and the Diggers, and a general feeling of communalism and equality desperately needed right now.

Margaret Howell a/w 19
Margaret Howell a/w 19
Margaret Howell a/w 19
Margaret Howell a/w 19
Margaret Howell a/w 19
Margaret Howell a/w 19

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.