A vintage M&S/ Alexa moment

Saturday 20 February 2016

News

Report by Julia Robson

“Friends in New York say, ‘Alexa, you are so English!’” ’fessed Alexa Chung at the launch of her new Marks & Spencer collaboration.

Though no stranger to putting her face to high-profile brands, Chung (above) was hands-on with the project. The LFW ambassador travelled to Leeds, the birthplace of the British high-street bastion, where she sifted through 70,000-plus items to curate Archive by Alexa. “It was less about bringing in my personal demographic, and more about showing what appeals to my style and celebrating the qualities of M&S,” she said.

Each of the collection’s 31 pieces, rendered in modern fabrics, tells a story – and therefore deserved a name. “I Googled the most popular names from 1884, the year M&S started,” Chung explained. Genius. ‘Frances’, the classic trench she wore to the launch, is derived from a 50s gabardine heirloom; ‘Effie’, a pale-grey pleated skirt, hails from a 1985 school uniform; the pie-crust- collared ‘Edna’ shirt is a reworked 40s style; and ‘Hattie’ is a cami descended from a post-WWII slip.

This fashion marriage between two very British icons looks set to last: M&S Style Director Belinda Earl confided that a second collection will arrive in September.

Archive by Alexa launches on 13 April. marksandspencer.com

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