I've been sitting here, staring at this page with the cursor blinking at me, for like an hour. Honestly, what is there left to say about Margaret Howell? It's baffling how bloody perfect everything she does is. I've said this before, but it bears saying again: if I could only wear one brand for the rest of my life, it would be MH. I would wear, love and live in every outfit from this collection. And every single item would slot seamlessly into my existing wardrobe. If I've learned one thing from this (seemingly never ending) bout of poverty (other than: it sucks), it's that everything you buy must be functional and beautiful. It's not good enough to merely like something, or to ferret something away to wear for a special occasion -- you must make every single one of those hard earned pennies count, by spending them on items which will work for you like donkeys, which will wear and wear and wear until they're threadbare.
Up until seeing this collection, I had been finding fashion week(s) a rather jarring experience so far this season. A few years ago I would have been reveling in it, pouring over photo after photo and getting SO EXCITED about those ethereal, other-worldly models strutting down dramatic runways in a myriad of astounding creations. I used to dissect every collection; fantasizing about what I'd choose if my budget were endless and my social life filled with couture-worthy engagements. I still do, I suppose, to a certain extent. But now there's detachment too, a sense of disillusionment (or exclusion?) that wasn't there before. These things can't possibly relate to me or my life, can they?
Then hello Margaret Howell, whose collections remind me that fashion is something for the everyday, and indeed that it's still relevant to me. What a great understanding of British weather she has - yes, it's pretty much the same mediocre drizzle all year round here. Her talent lies in so successfully marrying functionality and beauty, making her clothes covetable but also justifiable for those of us on austerity measures. And this is not to say that I think all sartorial choices must be sensible ones, or that fun or frivolity is bad - it's just that a pair of jeans and a cotton shirt will serve me better than a ball gown right now.
Not sure I've explained myself entirely well there, but I've got a chest infection and I'm not feeling 100%, so I think I'll stop typing and go to bed... tell me though, which collections have tickled your fancy this season?