Photo of Margaret Howell by Olivier Hess.
I get asked now and again who my favorite designers are and I rarely know how to answer that question because there are so many that I like and so many that I like some of but not all of. But then, there's Margaret Howell. An MHL field jacket hangs in my closet from last fall that I have such fondness for that I decided to comb through as many past Margaret Howell collections as I could find and quickly realized there's nothing she's ever designed that I don't really really like. In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal Magazine Howell said she designs for "the modern woman, who doesn't want to be restricted" and you can tell from her designs that the British designer started out by making men's shirts (and then quickly realized women wanted them) because Howell's designs have a certain respect for practical staples that is so appealing and what I personally think is lacking in women's clothing today. I hate not being able to readily find something that's classic but high quality, when at any given moment there's 900 versions of whatever is trending that season but will be tossed two months later. I guess Howell feels the same. In the WSJ article she said, "I don't like variations on a theme. I like to get it all into one thing, and get it right. And when I like something, I usually like it for a long time."
Now we just need to convince her to open up a store in the U.S.
Photos from Margaret Howell's S/S 2013 collection.