As regular readers will already know, I am a massive fan of the M&S Company Archive in Leeds. I visited it in 2014 as part of the research for my Master’s dissertation, again in 2015 to research a conference paper on M&S underwear in the 1960s, and I even gave a talk there last November. So I was pretty thrilled to discover that M&S are launching a collection full of garments inspired by items from their archive.
This range is a collaboration with Alexa Chung and I’m not surprised that she was asked and keen to get involved – after all, it was thanks to her that the infamous suede skirt sold out last year – but I am a bit surprised that she used the archive as inspiration for her collection. It makes sense when you think of all the vintage pieces (and items from her own wardrobe) that Kate Moss based some of her amazing Topshop ranges on, but I always saw Chung’s personal style as… well, not really something you’d find in the M&S Archive. It turns out I was wrong.
While the gorgeous Eliza mini-dress is more the sort of thing I’d expect to see on Dawn O’Porter (who’s latest BOB collection I will be blogging about very soon), the jacket, coat, trousers, shirt, camisoles and skirt in the collection preview are very much the sort of pared down style I’d associate with Alexa. According to the Telegraph article that informed me of this collection’s existence, 11,000 people have already registered their interest in the range on the M&S website. Hopefully M&S are using the sign up data to work out how much stock to order because, if I can’t get my hands on a Hattie camisole or an Effie skirt because of the Alexa effect, I’ll be gutted.