Margaret Howell

Margaret Howell never appears at the foot of her runway to receive her applause. And that kind of quiet, un-showy personality imbues every piece she makes, despite being the undisputed queen of London’s most calm and subtle style.

This is a designer who doesn’t feel the need to prove herself every season – or so it seems – because her collections go beyond fashion. This is utilitywear in its purest form; clothes to live your life in. Every season there’s a nod, a tweak to the prevailing mood and so it never looks dated; there is always something fresh about the collection, designed to appeal to the Margaret Howell faithful.

There was a nod to the boy-girl looks of the moment: blazers with shorts, buttoned-up shirts with slim cropped trousers, flat leather sandals (her refined take on the Birkenstock) and fine straw Panamas, which gave the collection a chic-Brit-in-Havana vibe. Add to that the Madras checks in Caribbean blue, cut into a simple below-knee T-shirt dress or short-sleeved shirts, and classic polka dots – white on navy - in sleeveless or strapless dresses, and you have all the building blocks for an easy summer wardrobe.

Howell also reprised some looks from last season: the dungaree dress, here in white, and the lightweight parka, this time in army beige. And you can always rely on her for a Breton stripe – this season it was an elegant slimline dress with crystal buttons on the shoulder. For sophisticated, simple clothes that you can rely on next spring and summer, look no further than Margaret Howell.