by NICK REMSEN
At Margaret Howell’s Spring show today, the designer chose two renditions of the song “Hotel California” for her soundtrack—first, performed as a cover, and at the finale, the original track sung by the Eagles. With the collection’s easygoing, folksy, and somehow coastal vibes—see knitted boxer shorts, a wide-stripe boat-neck tee, and linen day scarves—one might’ve assumed Howell was on a go-west, possibly retro Golden State kick. But in the designer’s typically mum fashion, she denied it: “We just chose music that we like,” she said, seeming amused that this reporter would ask such a question.
Even so, this was a particularly relaxed Howell. “What’s a little step forward here is the use of lighter fabrics,” she said, such as linen-cotton in tank tops, paper-thin Gore-Tex in trenches (these were great), and even slouchy yarn in fisherman’s knitwear, which arrived with squared necklines and mustard or navy palette. Despite using relatively thick strands, the jumpers looked effortless and beachy. Boot-cut trousers, with the cuffs turned up, furthered the seaside associations—one could almost see them being worn, standing at the shore-break, on a foggy Big Sur morning. Best in show? A linen button-down, clay in color, with windowpane checks. Throw it on and check into the Hotel California.