Muse Part One : Michael Howell
Updated: Oct 8
"Those shows were about dreaming- that’s the best thing about my work: That one is paid to dream”
This brief description won’t be a speck on this gentle giant's life and career in the world of design & imagination. However, I felt the need that anyone who hasn’t heard of him should know of him. As a boy he entered the local WI Flower arranging competitions and won.
At 10, he began interior decorating with a doll’s house his father brought him; which echoes memories of my own childhood. I would start my day in the playroom with a floor covered in Barbies & Accessories, to my delight my parents would shut the door and leave me with my imagination.
Michael's dreams took him to Camberwell School of Art and design, his experience in floristry landed him with his first job at Laura Ashley where he would stencil the floors and create grand displays for widows and clients homes. His opulence attracted names such as Christian Lacroix, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Christian Dior, he became the must-have production designer for Any event, whether it be a fashion show, photoshoot or even birthdays. It was Howell's that came up with Kate Moss’ 30th birthday theme- ‘The beautiful & the Dammed’ He was a man that created experiences, something to remember. He liked being in the moment, telling a friend: “Well, it lasted for eight hours, there were 1,000 people, so that’s 8,000 hours of memories.”
His career too him back to filming with the well known ITV drama series ‘Victoria’ (2016-17). He spent 9 weeks in a Yorkshire aircraft hangar building Buckingham Palace with an army of specialists and students by his side. My favourite quote I have read about Michael is from
Ed Hall, a theatre director and close friend, “There was no hierarchy in the work place with Michael. No fuss. No drama. All he was interested in was talent and hard work, and if you didn’t have talent but worked hard, he would embrace you.” It's people like Michael that make the media industry great, he makes the unimaginable appear before your very eyes, and at the heart of it all just wants those around him to have fun and enjoy the moment.