How M&S is trying to get back its sparkle

Simplicity is the watchword as Marks & Spencer launches its spring/summer ‘16 collections today, with high hopes that quality and elegance will halt the decline of its clothing sales and win back the style-conscious but careful M&S shopper.

Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range
Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range

Clean lines and luxurious fabrics, especially leather and suede, demonstrate that, although sales figures are down, with another fall reported last week of 1.9 per cent in general merchandise, which includes clothing, the High Street giant’s passion for fashion remains undimmed.

For next spring, simple elegance sets the tone, with pared-back lines, a strong but minimalist palette of monochrome, plus soft pinks and whites and judicious use of print and texture. The trends follow from the catwalks, with luxe Seventies, soft pink and white mesh, suede, sheeny fabrics and Spanish-inspired styles all represented. Yet this is a considered edit, appealing to the contemporary woman who is looking for quality, wearability and subtle design detail.

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For those in search of the next M&S “It” piece, there’s a chic wrap-style leather skirt, while a £299 brown suede Autograph coat reminds of the ‘70s suede skirt worn by Alexa Chung.

Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range

M&S is used to criticism of its fashion, both that it is old fashioned and “not quite right”, and equally that is too fashion-forward, offering catwalk-inspired designs that simply don’t suit its typical 50-plus shopper. This collection shows that it is possible to tread that tricky line with style.

Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range
Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range
Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range
Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range
Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range
Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range
Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range
Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range
Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range
Marks and Spencer has unveiled its new range