This October, Marks & Spencer is celebrating the first birthday of its Best of British collection, part of a three-year partnership with the British Fashion Council under the Positive Fashion initiative.
This season the collection has been designed by M&S’s in-house team at the company’s newly opened studio in Shoreditch. Celebrating home-grown expertise, craftsmanship and creativity, the designs draw on M&S’s unique archive and heritage.
“The vivid jacquard floral that defines the Autumn ’14 collection was originally inspired by the beautiful colour combinations of a 1970s tea dress found in the M&S archives in Leeds,” says Head of Womenswear Design Queralt Ferrer. “Using this vibrant palette as a starting point, the Vanners Mill based in Suffolk, which specialise in jacquard silk, used its own fabric archives and worked in collaboration with the M&S in-house design team to develop this dynamic new floral print.”
The men’s collection also draws on the 1970s for inspiration. “This season our menswear…collection focuses on the 1970s and the confidence, swagger and glamour that comes from this era,” explained Head of Menswear Design Tony O’Conner. “We researched at our archive in Leeds looking at garments, fabrics and images to develop the collection…The range is a confident masculine and stylish wardrobe based on a sophisticated tonal palette of camels, browns and taupe, all with the signature luxury of the 1970s.”
The 54-piece womenswear collection has been entirely manufactured in Britain, with many fabrics sourced within the British Isles too – knitwear from Scotland, outerwear from Manchester and footwear from Northamptonshire. From the 47-piece collection for men, a capsule edit of formal premium pieces has been manufactured here.
The Best of British AW14 Womenswear and Menswear collection is available to buy in selected stores and online at marksandspencer.com.