Margaret Howell’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection speaks the language of impeccable grace and understated elegance, effortlessly painting a canvas where time-honored tradition and modern sensibilities meet. Unveiling a series, where simplicity dances gracefully with sophistication, the collection draws one into a world where each piece is a silent testament to refined aesthetics. Howell’s distinct touch breathes life into fabrics, silhouettes, and textures, proving once again, that the art of fashion is found in the minutiae.
Walking into the Place de la Madeleine store in Paris, one is greeted by meticulously arranged racks adorned with Howell’s creations. A meticulous blend of softness and structure defines shirts crafted with precision, pleated skirts displaying the quiet charm of symmetry, and jackets that drape with elegance. Margaret Howell’s adept hands turn waterproof ponchos into canvases where the strokes of relaxed charm are as palpable as they are invisible.
The Spring/Summer 2024 collection echoes the sentiment of a back-to-school aura, reminiscent of September’s refreshing beginnings. Collegiate influences weave seamlessly into the fabric of Howell’s designs. A silk shirt’s collar evokes memories of Japanese schoolgirls’ attire, while sweaters with ribbed, striped trim nod towards the quintessential prep-school cricket team attire. The pairings of tailored shorts with knee-high socks and wide-leg jeans with white shirts are not just ensembles but narrations of a campus mood intricately woven into threads and stitches.
Margaret Howell’s creations are akin to soft murmurs of the past intertwining with the present. Vintage preoccupations, such as chunky leather belts cinching the waist of linen shirtdresses and faded pink linen scarves adorned with rose prints, are whispered revelations of the designer’s journey. Howell’s fondness for jumble sales and silk scarves is a testament to her ability to find profound beauty in simplicity.
Yet, the Spring/Summer 2024 collection isn’t a mere reflection of the past. Amidst the comforting embrace of tradition, glimpses of novelty emerge. An indigo denim shirtdress, made in Japan, boasting neat black horn buttons and a cream cotton-twill boilersuit with a funnel neck, unveils the subtle evolution of Margaret Howell’s design ethos. Patterns and textures are revisited, reimagined, and redefined.
Among the array of refined pieces, a brown-hued cotton-poplin shirtdress imprinted with Liberty’s Hera peacock feather motif stands as a testament to the nuanced progression of Howell’s creations. Adorned with a black collar, cuffs, and hem lining, this piece is a bridge between the legacy of the late ‘70s and ‘80s and the present echo of Howell’s silent yet profound conversations with fabrics and designs.
©Photo: Margaret Howell