Socks, shocks and schoolwear: when celebrities and fashion collide

Celebrity collaborations with retailers are everywhere, from Alexa Chung’s 1980s M&S line to Rihanna’s sexy Stance socks

Another day, another collaboration. The past month has seen M&S release collaborations with Alexa Chung, model Jourdan Dunn and menswear designer Kestin Hare. We have also witnessed Beyoncé release Ivy Park for TopShop, Kenzo collaborate with Disney and the release of Rihanna's sock collection. But which pieces will we be wearing and which are destined for the charity shop?

Alexa Chung isn’t shy when it comes to lending her image to retailers for a sales boost, and she’s very good at it. Last year she wore M&S’s £199 suede skirt and it sold out in two days.

This year M&S gave Chung access to their archives in Leeds and asked her to pick out her favourite pieces. These pieces have been updated and reissued and make up most of Archive by Alexa. Many of them seem to reference school days in the 1980s, with pleated skirts, woolly cardigans and even vests featuring.

The iconic piece from the collection is the Harry pie-crust blouse (€53). This is not an easy item to pull off, but if you can, you should. The Myrtle jumper (€44) is another nice pick, although don’t feel you have to wear it with wellies and hot pants, as the label suggests. The Misty dress (€68) is another favourite, and will be great for warmer summer days.


Kenzo's collaboration with Disney was also inspired by rummaging around an archive. To celebrate the 2016 release of The Jungle Book, the Parisian fashion house was inspired by the original drawings for the 1967 film. Creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim combined old Kenzo florals with the original sketches, and the result is a dream for any Disney collector, although the pieces don't come cheap. The poplin Hawaiian shirt is €190, and the jumper with the clever riff on the original Kenzo logo featuring Shere Khan is €195.

Beyoncé's park life

The release of Beyoncé's Lemonade album coincided with her Ivy Park collection for TopShop. The retailer's website crashed when the collection first appeared. Although there are still items left, the sizes are dwindling. The collection is inspired by the park where Beyoncé ran when she was growing up, and the singer intends the collection to support and inspire young women.

The collection is divided into two sections: casualwear and activewear. The activewear is technically advanced and looks good on. The bodysuit worn by Queen Bey in the ad can be snapped up for €43. The leggings come in three lengths – capri, cropped and full length – and also in three different waist heights, which is novel. Prices start at €35.

In casualwear, the collection features logo-emblazoned sweatshirts, T-shirts, headbands and so on, but it is the nonlogo items that are interesting. There are some gorgeous honeycombed prints, unusual corded jumpers and mesh coats.

The world of celebrity collaborations wouldn't be complete without a contribution from Rihanna. This month has seen the release of her sock collection with Stance. This sock collection takes underwear as outwear to a whole other level. They are half sexy, half locker room, and they look great under her Fenty x Puma fur sliders (sold out pretty much everywhere).