Margaret Howell has 98 stores in Japan. The fact staggered this American journalist, being from a place where Howell is stocked only in select boutiques, Barneys New York being the highest profile. While her designs lack the leanness and sportiness of U.S. stylistic proclivities (hence the small representation domestically), they are worth a scan for their considered blend of London boyishness and Tokyo eccentricity.
Howell said backstage: “What changes over time is what feels right—there’s no specific story.” (There we go again with designers citing their current moods over finite inspirations—though this has consistently been a Howell creed.) There was carryoverfrom Spring with high-waisted cropped trousers and neck scarves (now in jewel-tone bichrome); her “progression of style” arrived with a newfound worn-in-ness, thanks to consciously disheveled and thick-sleeved knits, shapeless macs, and an excellent pair of longer-than-average duffle coats. So, casual affections, with a warm blanket of foible. One might also (though Howell neither confirmed nor denied the inquiry) see nomadism here, given its overall ease, the backpack or two, and Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Travel On” coursing through the skylit room. Abstractly, she offered: “It’s nice to think that it is a flexible, fluid type of thing.”