British designers have a history of toying with the enduring plaid skirt — the tartan kilt is, after all, a sartorial totem of Scottishness. The English designer Vivienne Westwood gave the style a punk treatment, ruching it in rebellious ways in the ’80s (and continues to do so today) and the late Alexander McQueen played with the idea from the beginning of his career, with his controversial “Highland Rape” collection in the ‘90s, cutting a Royal Stuart red wool tartan in a dangerously low-cut pencil skirt. For her spring 2018 collection, shown in London last weekend, Margaret Howell presented a characteristically minimal A-line skirt in a black and white cotton silk check that reminded me of starched schoolgirl uniforms, golden September days in New England and the tea-length hemlines of the late 1930s and 1940s that feel spot-on today. Howell’s design will be available with the first buds of spring, but for a tartan fix now, here are a few appealing autumnal options.
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