Margaret Howell: Sophisticated, subtle, sublime

Margaret Howell's collection at London Fashion Week offered stripped-back sophistication.

If it’s high-octane trends you’re after, a brand that switches its DNA every season or a catwalk revolution, Margaret Howell is not for you.

But if you’ve ever been seduced by anything as subtle and simple as a faultless white shirt dress (of which there were two here) or dream of finding that perfect cable knit sweater (here in cream) or just the right navy skirt that goes with everything, then you’re in the right place.

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Margaret Howell’s world is one of gentle evolution – and her disciples love her for it. She is probably the most reliable British designer at delivering stripped-back chic. And if you don’t believe me, take Alexa Chung’s word for it. The style setter tweeted mid-show: ‘Hi girl with bob and dungs on at @margarethowell, hand it over please.’

As for those dungarees – rapidly becoming the new trouser look of the season – they came in heavy navy twill, a stone linen jacket nonchalantly slung over them and worn with sweet flat navy T-bar sandals – a look that, no doubt, Ms Chung will be rocking come spring / summer 2013.

Other hits included the city-blue stripe shirtdress, the navy pinafore, the grey linen suit, the crisp white poplin waistcoat and white pants… It’s all in the detail, as they say. Actually it’s all in the proportion, fine fabrics, precise cuts, refined taste and clear vision of one woman, Margaret Howell.

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