Fashion editor’s verdict on M&S fall collection
There are also new design collaborations coming up to entice – a third collection from the M&S x Ghost team was released last week; for the april edition, M&S moved 30,000 dresses in a single week.
It’s a good start. But the thing about rationalization, of course, is that it leaves no room to hide. When it came to previewing M&S’s fashion collections for fall, there was no stamp from other brands to mingle with M&S’s own line. On display in this way, it is clearer than ever to see if each product has been carefully created and considered, as promised.
“We are reshaping the future of M&S Clothing with products tailored to the way our customers live and work,” says Stanton, “offering everyday style, versatile wardrobes and durable items. [This collection focuses on] items made to last because our customers shop smarter and invest in parts that can change throughout the season.
There are many stylish things to buy from M&S this fall that keep these promises of quality and longevity. The plaid and fringed wool felt jacket is one of the key pieces, as are the ultra-soft corduroy pants and the twisted knits in contrasting colors.
Boots, in particular, offer great value this season and there is something for everyone; a great pair of knee-length leather that fashion editors are already buying (they just arrived online), then several styles of suede lace-up hiking shoes in different colors; classic ankle boots in shiny black leather with silver hardware; and stylish classic boots with user-friendly low heels after locking. It all seems more expensive than their hefty price tags.
Stanton deliberately focused on major categories rather than fleeting trends, with a particular focus on the retailer’s top 100 selling products; M&S sells a pair of their high waisted jeggings for £ 15 a minute in the UK and 1.5 million Cashmilon sweaters a year – items they again backed in abundance.
But the team, thankfully, hasn’t overlooked the seasonal novelty in its entirety. There are two key knit vest choices (one piece you’re about to see everywhere) rather than unnecessary dozens, and style-focused jeans shapes such as wide leg cuts make up 16% of the supply. denim, giving the M&S customer a choice while not denying that she still loves her skinnies.
M&S has phased out several of its sub-brands in recent years, but survivor Per Una is celebrating his 20th birthday this month. For much of that time her identity has been shaky – at times even dull – but this season she looks better than she has been in years.
The design team looked just enough at the boho and craftcore trends that dominate today (proof that if you wait long enough, any aesthetic will return), without looking meadow or parody. Hand-embroidered cardigans, vintage-looking leather belts, and frilly floral blouses are some of the best buys hitting stores right now.
“Per Una is the pinnacle of casual wear at M&S and over the past 20 years it has grown into a more coordinated edition, giving the brand a boutique feel,” says Stanton. “It’s a brand that has a real heritage and customer loyalty, which has gradually moved away from formal wear and focuses on more casual writing.”