Feels like M&S is finally getting its act together. The British brand surprised the fashion world this week by launching its autumn 2016 collection with an immediately available, chic capsule range ‘The Big Easy’. I had a good look at the collection yesterday: I wouldn’t buy the Alexa Chung stuff, but I would buy this. CEO Steve Rowe explained the buy now, wear now approach to the Times, ‘People say : “You show us it all in the media and then we can’t find it…” – well, you can now.’ Which reminded me of the days when I worked on a magazine and readers would phone up to complain if we featured something from M&S that wasn’t available (which happened quite a lot). Reminiscing about the pre-online shopping era, I recalled the reader phone calls and letters – the woman who sent us a skanky old grey bra, the label had worn off and she wanted to know if we recognised the style. ‘She could’ve washed it,’ said my horrified assistant dropping it into the bin. Then there was the reader who wanted to know if you could catch BSE/Mad Cow Disease from a leather sofa. Oh, happy times…
Anyhow. M&S is looking chic. Style director Belinda Earl is calling The Big Easy collection ‘timeless’ but it’s ageless, too. Well, maybe not the hot flush-inducing leather culottes but the silk shirt is lovely (available HERE) and the flat sandals (available HERE) have comfy insoles approved by the UK College of Podiatrists. These are the chic, modern basics that grown-up women want.
I’d buy these ecru crop flare frayed jeans (available HERE) if I hadn’t DIY-ed my own. As well as the everyday essentials, there’s a nod to fashion, but this time round it’s the stuff that you’d actually want to wear. There’s more than a whiff of Gucci, plus Vetements-inspired jeans (below), and I’ve got my eye on the pink velvet trouser suit, coming soon. Though it does looks a bit synthetic, whoosh!
The coats are good – there’s a lovely tweed check with a bejewelled collar, a chic grey trench and a leopard print style that will be available for autumn. Vogue is showing images of the entire M&S autumn 2016 collection HERE and the Big Easy range is available HERE.
Easy does it M&S. Will you be buying?