Modern Rarity: Another Reason to Love John Lewis?

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We have talked for a while about the concept of “Peak Stuff” and our desire to move away from disposable, fast fashion, to buying less but better.

Always on the money when it comes to tapping into the cultural zeitgeist, good old John Lewis are to launch a new collection which claims to be a ‘rare take on luxury with an ethos of fewer, better pieces,’

Titled Modern Rarity, the range has been designed in collaboration with Central Saint Martins-trained Palmer//Harding which is a welcome change from some retailers obsession with ‘celebrity’ designers. As we all know celebrities are not designers, but simply names to sell product – and we are far too long in the tooth to be fooled by this.

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Jo Bennet – head of buying at John Lewis, worked alongside Iain Ewing, head of design, to create the collection “We set out to create a label that redefines everyday wardrobe staples in a luxurious way and Palmer//Harding felt like exactly the right partner for the first season, they share our values, loved our vision for the label and there is no better place to begin reinterpreting wardrobe staples than with the classic white shirt every woman needs in her wardrobe.”

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The 90 piece collection features sophisticated wardrobe staples in luxurious fabrics and yarns, with prices starting from £50 and going right up to £550 for a cashmere coat and £900 for a shearling coat.

We didn’t get an invite to the press launch (hello JL PR?) so can’t tell you what we think of the quality and cut etc, but it sounds great – and just what we have been waiting for.

It launches in-store and online on September the 8th.



  • Linda Pennell says:

    This looks wonderful. But I am willing to bet this enviable collection is not available for bigger women, no matter how much we are willing to pay. Could you PLEASE use your influence with someone to look betond size 16? Even the very creditable Poetry, up to size 22, is only available in John Lewis in their smaller sizes. And the delicious Eileen Fisher bigger sizes not available in UK ( unless they have changed their policy recently)

  • Alison says:

    Seriously? A shirt that’s half shirt, half coat? Hardly practical around the office.

  • DKUK says:

    If collaborating with CSM what I would like to see are some sewing patterns, reasonably priced, and for John Lewis to stock some decent fabrics to sew the garments in! The “big four” are constantly disappointing with regard to pattern design, even Vogue disappoint in comparison with the “Couturier” patterns they produced in the 1950/60’s and as for dressmaking fabrics in John Lewis… PLEASE! Does the buyer even sew? The sewing Bee has encouraged a new generation of sewists but decent high quality fabrics are thin on the ground. Far too many cheap synthetic fabrics and twee cotton prints suitable for crafting, not sophisticated garments!

  • Jude says:

    OMG this range looks fantastic! Immediate thought – “M&S, *this* is what style and great marketing looks like”. Just love that shirt is fantastic – who’d have thought you could get it in John Lewis….

  • Ona says:

    Not sure about this. Looks great on the models but very ‘styled’. Not convinced it will work that well on ordinary women. It’s all a bit too tasteful which often translates as boring on those of us that don’t do clever styling

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