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MARGARET HOWELL Fall/Winter 2013 - Page 18

post #256 of 267
Went to Wigmore Street on Saturday.





The Ventile Parka is stunning. Tried both the Royal Blue and the Charcoal, they both look good, Charcoal is safe, the blue is a statement and is the one I would pick out of the two. Also tried on the Macintosh Parka, it's great quality but I thought the Ventile was the one.

There are some really great pieces in this collection, jackets, shirts and knitwear. Get saving now.
post #257 of 267
If you see the parka from last season in XS on sale anywhere please let me know. They told me it wasn't going on sale because they were keeping it through spring, but its been removed from the site so maybe they are only keeping the Mac coat. Any idea where their stuff goes when it doesn't sell?
post #258 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveat View Post

If you see the parka from last season in XS on sale anywhere please let me know. They told me it wasn't going on sale because they were keeping it through spring, but its been removed from the site so maybe they are only keeping the Mac coat. Any idea where their stuff goes when it doesn't sell?

I also noticed that they'd removed it from the site, but it's still in the store (at full price). The stock for the site is specific for online retail. I presume if it's been removed it's gone into one of the stores. If it is unsold Sale stock then it goes into their warehouse.

The Parka is a Mainline piece, and it appears only Union Made took it outside of MH and according to their size chart they did not take it in XS. Was that size available on the MH website?
post #259 of 267
And what happens to it once it's in their warehouse? I'm pretty sure they still had a full size run on it when they removed it. Seems strange that they would price a cotton parka at roughly 1350 USD, never drop the price and then move the entire stock to a warehouse. You could get the XL at UM yesterday for under $500. Not sure if it's still there. I don't remember if they had the XS on the web store, but I tried the XS in the mac at the Wigmore store so I'm assuming I'd be the same size in the parka. I'm 5-11 and 160 lbs (or I was when I tried it on; smaller now). Maybe I should be shopping the Japan stores. The XS is probably relabeled L (4).
post #260 of 267
Noticed this from the MH site:
Margaret Howell has seven outlets in the UK and ninety in Japan employing 350 people worldwide

wow.gif

Just checked the .jp store and they have the ventile parka for about 850 USD. Anyone know the difference in quality, if there is one? Seems like it's all MIJ, so I'm wondering if they use the same process but with smaller sizes, or if they cut corners.
post #261 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveat View Post

And what happens to it once it's in their warehouse? I'm pretty sure they still had a full size run on it when they removed it. Seems strange that they would price a cotton parka at roughly 1350 USD, never drop the price and then move the entire stock to a warehouse. You could get the XL at UM yesterday for under $500. Not sure if it's still there. I don't remember if they had the XS on the web store, but I tried the XS in the mac at the Wigmore store so I'm assuming I'd be the same size in the parka. I'm 5-11 and 160 lbs (or I was when I tried it on; smaller now). Maybe I should be shopping the Japan stores. The XS is probably relabeled L (4).

I didn't say that particular item had gone into their warehouse, I expect it has gone back into the retail stores here in London. There would only be a small run on the Macintosh Parka and it's something that can be worn in warmer weather.

UM do not show XS as a size they carried – if you click on sizing it will show which sizes they had in stock.

The only safe way is to get the store to measure the garment, especially true of MH as sizing is in the process of going smaller; I heard this from sales staff at weekend, apparently they have a new menswear designer – hence AW15 departing from the usual look.
post #262 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveat View Post

Noticed this from the MH site:
Margaret Howell has seven outlets in the UK and ninety in Japan employing 350 people worldwide

wow.gif

Just checked the .jp store and they have the ventile parka for about 850 USD. Anyone know the difference in quality, if there is one? Seems like it's all MIJ, so I'm wondering if they use the same process but with smaller sizes, or if they cut corners.

It'll be the same fabric but MIJ and sizing will be different. Quality will be similar. Good luck with trying to order, you may need to use a proxy.
post #263 of 267
I just checked google cache and the web store did not have the XS. Maybe they didn't make XS, because I know I tried on the XS mac in the store but they do have XS listed online for the mac. The two coats have the same measurements so I'm sure I'm XS, but maybe I'm too small for that coat and can give up the search. Crazy.
post #264 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by ike_hiking_boots View Post

The only safe way is to get the store to measure the garment, especially true of MH as sizing is in the process of going smaller; I heard this from sales staff at weekend, apparently they have a new menswear designer – hence AW15 departing from the usual look.

 

I always thought MH designs the clothes herself, but does the brand employ other designers? If so, do you know which ones, or is it more of an in-house thing with creative direction from MH?

post #265 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by aclement View Post

I always thought MH designs the clothes herself, but does the brand employ other designers? If so, do you know which ones, or is it more of an in-house thing with creative direction from MH?

There is an in-house design studio, it's based at the back of the Wigmore Street Store. Don't know how many designers they employ but fairly sure they have at least 1 menswear and 1 womanswear, pattern cutters, etc. Margaret is the creative director and I'm sure she still designs.
post #266 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by ike_hiking_boots View Post


There is an in-house design studio, it's based at the back of the Wigmore Street Store. Don't know how many designers they employ but fairly sure they have at least 1 menswear and 1 womanswear, pattern cutters, etc. Margaret is the creative director and I'm sure she still designs.


Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for your reply! Be interesting to know who the designers are.

post #267 of 267
Mr Porter has a small feature on Margaret Howell:

http://www.mrporter.com/journal/the-woman-behind-the-brand/ms-margaret-howell/242?cm_mmc=Email-_-DigestC-_-260215-_-GBBEHINDTHEBRAND

The Woman Behind The Brand

Ms Margaret Howell

Meet the British style guru whose perfectly detailed, understated and fad-bucking clothes have earned her “design classic” status

Words by Mr Adam Welch, Deputy Editor, MR PORTER

People tend to talk about the design of clothing as if it’s a completely different, and far more frivolous, discipline than the design of other objects, such as chairs, or books, or buildings (try calling an architect “on trend” at your next cocktail party, if you fancy seeing someone choke on a canapé). Of course, in some ways it is: you have the scale of the industry, its capricious seasonality, the attendant pressure for designers to continually push out new ideas. But then again you have a designer such as Ms Margaret Howell.

Born in 1946 in Surrey, a verdant suburb of London, Ms Howell is one of Britain’s most quietly influential arbiters of style. Currently living between Lewisham, south east London and Suffolk, where she owns a 1960s modernist holiday house, she is an icon of understated taste – the kind of person who collects beautiful pebbles as eagerly as modernist furniture, who finds it difficult to design shoes because, as she told The Telegraph in 2009, “I only like a few things, you see.”

Seemingly unphased by the passing fads of the fashion world, she creates items that will stay in your wardrobe forever, and adapt to many a situation. Consider this spring’s perfectly cut poplin shirts; comfortably worn-in cotton work jackets; a sturdy raincoat in cobalt blue. In short, she has an innate knack for producing understated classic, her perennially stylish collections addressing that most onerous of human design challenges: life.

Ms Howell founded her business with partner Mr Paul Renshaw (they married in 1974 but are now divorced) in the early 1970s, shortly after she graduated from a fine art degree at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She says she was “destined” to be a designer because she relishes a brief: even at art school, it was the project-based investigations of different disciplines such as printing, or sculpture, that caught her interest rather than the do-what-thou-wilt attitude of the latter years. Having said that, her artistic education and love of drawing has always imbued her designs, even on paper, with a sense of emotion and purpose, an imaginative reading not just of how each piece would look, but what the experience of wearing it would be.

“I'm not really into designing something for a show or just for decoration. Design is about aesthetic and usefulness”

“I used to draw my designs, thinking how they would feel,” she says, explaining the genesis of her ideas, which often start with a fabric. “I seem to have this sort of intuitive sense of quality, whether it was tactile or just visual.”

The Margaret Howell brand started with characteristic simplicity – initially, Ms Howell specialised solely in men’s shirts of her own design, working with a single pattern cutter and finisher, before opening a workshop in 1973 that supplied wholesale to clients including Ralph Lauren and Paul Smith (both of whom, at that point, sold other brands in their stores). Expanding into a full range of men’s clothing, she opened her first shop in London in 1977, adding womenswear in the 1980s. Throughout, she wasn’t thinking about the “spring collection” or the “seasonal theme”, she was creating items that she thought were needed.

“If I designed a pair of trousers or a jacket, it was just that one that I wanted to wear at that time… or that was right for the time,” she says. “I didn’t design in ranges, I designed each thing because the idea would come as an individual thing. You know, a raincoat in corduroy, that looks like a raincoat but it’s actually a thick corduroy coat. The concept, it comes as a one-off. That’s how I work. And every last detail of that thing would be chosen to complement something else. The buttons, the linings, everything.”

Today, as in the 1970s, Ms Howell’s pared-back collections (encompassing both the more refined Margaret Howell mainline and MHL, which focuses more on the cotton and workwear garments) could be thought of as the style manifestation of Mr Dieter Rams’ 10 principles of good design (Mr Rams’ 606 shelving system is, in fact, a key feature of many a Margaret Howell store). Her clothes exhibit nothing extraneous, are refined down to the last detail and are created to be used and useful, not just as objects of luxury.

It’s hardly surprising considering how much of a design aficionado she is herself. As well as sponsoring London’s Open House weekend (during which owners of interesting or unique properties open their homes for public viewing) since 2003, she has long filled her stores with exhibitions and limited-edition products from UK designers and makers, including Anglepoise (the Sir Kenneth Grange-designed lamp is a firm favourite) and furniture brand ercol, whom she collaborated with in the early 2000s to reissue a range of vintage chair designs. To her, the juxtaposition of the clothes with these design classics makes perfect sense.

“When it comes down to it they’re the same sort of values, whether it’s a chair or a piece of clothing. I’m not really into designing something just for a show or just for decoration. Design is about aesthetic and usefulness, I think. That’s why sometimes the objects that one loves just come through being what they are.”
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