The shirt

Margaret Howell The Shirt booklet

One of my few fashion crushes is Margaret Howell. Their clothes, interiors products, shops, marketing material (in all its Gill Sans-ness) and general look and feel tick all the boxes for me.

I love fashiony fashions too. But classic, sensible and wearable are also nice things. Added to that, Howell’s output has a big nod and wink to the 1940s – my favourite fashion period of all time. Utility fashion proved that less is more, for sure.

A while back, I managed to convince Margaret Howells’ press peeps to put me on their list. And so, occasionally, I get tasty things in the post. Aggravatingly, my GPO post person insists on folding everything, no matter how big the words ‘Do Not Bend’ are printed on them. In fact, probably because the words ‘Do Not Bend’ are printed on them. I could almost have cried when a Howell calendar got folded irreparably. Don’t they know an ephemerist is in this house?

This brochure got folded too. But still, how lovely it is.

As Howell says in the accompanying letter: ‘The shirt is very special to me. I began my career with it and I am still engaged with the production at Edmonton, where each machinist makes a complete shirt.’

A paean, then, to The Shirt. All photographed in B&W beauty by Koto Bolofo, at that very factory in Edmonton. Plain and simple joy.

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