It is with great sadness we have to announce the passing of our dear friend Michael Howells.
Michael Howells was unique. A rare gentle giant with a razor-sharp intellect and imagination that found beauty in everything. From Production to art direction, fashion, film, theatre, ballet he excelled at anything that caught his attention. He was a mix of elegance and wit, with an encyclopaedic eye for blending history, travel, literature and arts his extraordinary mind pulling ideas like a Time-Lord of Creativity.
He will be greatly missed, his legacy of work will be a lasting testament to his incredible talent.
Production designer and art director Michael Howells career spanned across film, theatre and fashion and was widely recognised for creating some of the most spectacular and ambitious sets in these fields.
He famously collaborated with John Galliano, on his both his own Galliano label and at Christian Dior, and also designed shows for Christian Lacroix and Alexander McQueen, and worked on advertising such as Burberry with Mario Testino and the Dior campaigns with Nick Knight and regularly contributed to British Vogue.
But fashion was just one aspect of his talent – in addition to this had a successful film and TV career with titles including 'Bright Young Things' with Stephen Fry, 'Shackleton' with Charles Sturridge, 'About Time Too' and 'Miss Julie' with Mike Figgis, 'Emma' starring Gwyneth Paltrow and 'Nanny McPhee' starring Emma Thompson and most recently was Production Designer for ITV’s ‘Victoria’ and was, until 2017, Creative Director for the Port Eliot Festival.
Howells' theatre design credits include Ed Hall’s acclaimed ‘Chariots of Fire’ [Costumes], MSM/DV8 Physical Theatre at The Royal Court, 'Towards Poetry' for The Royal Ballet, 'Derdemon' for the Statsoper, Berlin, 'Julius Tomb’ for Mark Baldwin Company and 'Constant Speed', celebrating Einstein's Centenary, for the Rambert Ballet, 2005, where he was made Associate Designer at Rambert in 2009.
He won and was nominated for many awards, across fashion and film, including the inaugural Isabella Blow British Fashion Council Creator of the Year award in 2007, the Prix d’Excellence de la Mode for his work with Galliano, in 2007.