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Margaret Howell

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LAID-BACK ELEGANCE

London: The S/S 11 Margaret Howell show refreshingly blended many of-the-moment runway trends into the designer’s own tastefully purist aesthetic. Shift dresses and trench coats may be hot S/S 11 runway items, but they’re also perennial classics that make sense for the label. Neutrals dominated the palette, especially this season’s trend-right white. Howell held on to the authentically British feel that her clothes exemplify, but also incorporated classic-cool French elements, like the Breton stripes that were featured on boat-neck tees and a basic knit shift dress. In-between fits that were neither slim nor overly relaxed supported the overall message of easy, natural grace. Restrained styling, understated colors and simple patterns allowed chic subtleties in silhouette or material to stand out. What could be nondescript casual outfits, like one consisting merely of a white tee, khaki pants and penny loafers, read as sophisticated in the designer’s capable hands. Basic but not boring, the collection communicated an appreciation of refinement and quality. The general shifts towards minimalism and timelessness in fashion are working in Howell’s favor.

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