OK lovely readers, let’s get around to talking about Marks & Spencer, now the broohaha around THAT advert has calmed a little and we’ve all had a chance to see what the launch collection looks like in store, has anyone actually bought anything? For those of you who have THE pink coat, are you loving it?
Way back in May when we first saw the autumn range, both of us were a little ‘meh’ about the improvements, yes, there were one or two good things in the Autograph collection and there were definite signs of improvement in knitwear and tailoring, nothing, though, that made us whoop with excitement. But it’s important to remember this is a BIG collection to change, M&S is like an ocean going liner and much as we love the new creative director Belinda Earl, it’s going to take her more than one season to modernise things. So for us the jury’s still out and our fingers are firmly crossed with hope.
One range did stand out as being a step in the right direction, the Best Of British collection. It’s a a capsule (for that read ‘small’, with limited shop distribution, although it is on line) range of modern classic styles, sort of M&S luxe. For me it’s what I really want from the retailer, upscaled basics and modern classic tailoring in fabulous fabrics. I realise this is just my opinion, but I don’t care if M&S never do another fashion trend, it could just produce beautiful, modern clothes like this and I’d be happy.
Using British manufacturers with expertise in cloth and yarn, knitting and weaving, the range is all about quality fabric and make-values, so it’s perfect for those core wardrobe pieces that need to work hard. It’s top end pricing for M&S, the cheapest top is £89 and coats rise to £349, so it will need to work hard to make everything -store merchandising, through-the-post packaging and wearability – seem value for money, but here’s hoping it’s thought all that through.
The styles that stood out for me at the press day were the plain black cashmere sweater (below £99 and top image, under the suit) as it has an elegant ribbed cuff and nice shaped sleeve, the black single breasted jacket (top, £199) and cuffed trousers (£129) in a great wool gaberdine and the Chelsea Boots (£185). The beautiful navy and black rain mac (bottom images, £249) was also worthy of serious investigation as the quality was exceptional for the price, although I acknowledge I was viewing a press sample. Still, I’m going to check it out in store.
STOP PRESS! I’ve now been into store and seen the range in real life, it is just as good as I saw, also I’m adding the lovely white shirt to the FAB list
I love these ‘no fuss’ black and white images above more than the fancy advert too, although the Annie Lebovitz photos are clever, as there is someone for everyone in them. Even though no one outside of fashion has heard of Grace Coddington.
Nice details on the mac, don’t you think?
The range launches on October 10th in store and on line. You’ll need to check out the website for details on which stores, as I remember it’s only half a dozen that’ll be getting the full collection. Once it launches on line I’ll pop in the links to this post, we’re really just giving you the heads up here. My feeling is it’s going to be a successful range.