Margaret Howell Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear

Margaret Howell Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear

“You know when you go to your wardrobe and something doesn’t feel right anymore, maybe it’s too small? That change—it happens almost imperceptibly,” Margaret Howell said after her show. “It is a feeling that affects cuts, materials.” Sometimes a designer doesn’t need a story to explain a collection, because the story is in fact told by the wearer, in conversation with the clothes. The designer can then only propose what feels right, at this moment—and hopefully, by extension, for Spring 2016.

And so we had high-waisted, cropped pants with front pleats; boxy white linen T-shirts; a checked shirt that used black together with the natural color of the linen material; workwear trousers set against a knitted jumper. These were some of the ideas for the Margaret Howell man this time around. The designer singled out the mackintoshes as some of her favorite pieces (“there’s just something about them, and I like them long”), then mused on the “little odd thing you could do to polka dots”—which could be seen on the neckerchiefs.

But the main theme here was straightforward graphic dressing, like the white pants with a black long coat that opened the show. The short and boxy short-sleeved shirts also felt pleasingly easy on the eye. There weren’t any showstopper outfits here, just great menswear pieces created far from the cynicism of much contemporary clothes. And then again, it was certainly plausible that the all-black suit ensemble—that juxtaposed a jacket, which borrowed heavily from the tux, with a pair of pants and shirt that were positively pajamalike—could turn quite a few heads.

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