Scottish Daily Mail
Would you guess it’s M&S?
Bold new looks – if you can track them down
THE LEATHER DRES
Leather dress by Autograph, £229, Lace-up heels, £29.50 NO MATTER how I stand, sadly I can’t escape the fact that I look like a stumpy Tudor peasant in this.
NOTHINg beats this for one upmanship. A stylish friend asks me where my new lace top is from; a colleague admires my cosy, black cape with fashionable fringing; a pair of silk heels worn at a dinner party sparks an online shopping stampede.
On each occasion, when I’m asked the question ‘Where’s that from?’, I’ve smugly replied:
‘You’ll never guess — it’s M&S’. it’s so satisfying, i’m starting to think the much-loved — and much criticised — high Street clothing behemoth should adopt this as its new slogan.
For, the truth is, shopping at M&S takes some skill. the gems and classics are definitely there, you just need to find them.
i literally stumbled across the black lace number on the way to the escalators, but it’s a real winner. the lace is super-soft, there’s a clever underlayer that conceals your muffin top and you can throw it in the wash at 30 degrees with your smalls.
When i tell style director Belinda Earl how difficult it can be to find these treasures outside London, she says they’re ‘working hard to ensure all stores have pieces that reflect the key trends’.
Much is riding on the spring collection (available in the new Year) after the recent announcement that sales in M&S’s general merchandise category, which includes clothing, have fallen by 1.2 per cent — the fifth year of decline. the good news is there wasn’t a single outfit i didn’t want to try on. My quibble is with some of the ‘hero’ pieces which i was the first to trial. Can real women carry them off?
i tried this summer’s much-heralded suede skirt, as worn by Alexa Chung, but it did nothing for me. And the leather dress, which has been billed as the next ‘big’ M&S thing, will only really suit lithe young ’uns, too. But that’s fine. they won’t be clamouring for the pale blue shift dress i’ve got my eye on. For lovers of loungewear, there’s a real treat coming up — the successful Rosie for Autograph lingerie collection by model Rosie huntington-Whiteley now features a beautifully detailed Active range, which includes a pretty sports bra and a luxe sweatshirt.
And if the leather dress can’t save M&S, then the flirty new knicker shape, the Rio, will. its sweetheart-shaped back creates the illusion of a curvier derriere — suggesting that, at last, M&S is getting it’s act together from the bottom up.