It is not every high-street womenswear collection which makes the front page of the national broadsheets. But then again, not every store can lay claim to playing a part in the lives (and wardrobes) of generations of British families. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Marks & Spencer - purveyor of clothing to British households since 1884.
Over the last few years the brand has struggled to halt the decline in sales. However it looks like that is all about to change, with the store's collections for Autumn/Winter 13: Modern Elegance, London Calling, Wild Opulence, Femme Fatale & Dark Drama. These directional collections mark a return to the brand's heritage, core values and focus on high quality. The change in direction is all down to the brand's new Style Director, Belinda Earls. Belinda, formerly of Debenhams and Jaeger, has put a lot of effort into exploring the needs of the company's customers and re-discovering what Marks & Spencer means to them.
The outfit above was the first of the looks that I saw. I absolutely LOVE this look. Simple silhouettes, brought to life in some of my favourite colours, not to mention a skirt in my absolute favourite print!
I think that this look is perfect for the office, but would also be great for going out after work. I am totally drawn to the cobalt colour of the skirt. I need it in my closet!
This outfit reminds me of Sandro, which is known for its laidback but edgy rock chick feel. However I can also imagine wearing the jumper with a simple pair of black trousers for work, or wearing the jacket over a classic monochrome outfit.
I love the combination of textures in this look, and how the bright colours of the scarf really lifts the outfit.
Statement sweater styles have been a big hit for Spring/Summer, and it looks like this will be a style we can carry on wearing well into next season. I think that this would be a really versatile piece. I can see me swapping the black trousers for some boyfriend jeans to give a different feel to the look.
I absolutely love the new direction that Marks & Spencer have taken with these collections. In my opinion a number of the pieces could pass for high-end designer pieces from the catwalk. Sadly I haven't been able to see the pieces in the flesh, (or should that be fabric?!), but as soon as these collections arrive in store in July I will be trying them on for size ( and style). I look forward to reporting back!
Which pieces have caught your eye? Which pieces do you think that I should invest in?