Winter collection from Marks & Spencer: ‘Our clothes have to work harder than ever’

From cashmere to corduroy, the store’s trend expert Francesca Zedda says versatility is key

Francesa Zedda at the Marks & Spencer Autumn Winter 18 Showcase at its Grafton Street shop. Photograph: Kieran Harnett

Francesa Zedda at the Marks & Spencer Autumn Winter 18 Showcase at its Grafton Street shop. Photograph: Kieran Harnett

 

Francesca Zedda, newly appointed trend expert at Marks & Spencer, flew in to Dublin from London on Thursday to introduce the winter collections at the Grafton Street flagship shop. Customers, she stressed, should demand versatility from their clothes.

Dressed in slim black trousers striped with gold lurex and a soft white blouse with long cuffs from Autograph, she said “our clothes have to work harder than ever and have to slot into what we have in our wardrobes. If you buy a suit, split it up and wear the jacket with jeans and wear the trousers or skirt in different ways – that’s value for money,” is her advice.

She introduced what was termed the foundation edit, her choice of wardrobe essentials “sartorial building blocks” that serve their time, encouraging customers to think of how many times they would wear a piece before buying it.

In her own wardrobe, Zedda revealed that her oldest item is a camel cashmere sweater with patched elbows that belonged to her father – a comfortable oversize shape. Pisa-born Zedda’s Italian flair and style certainly showed in her selection.

A caramel cashmere tunic suitable for all silhouettes was a key winter buy along with two variations of the classic trench, one with all the signature details and a hood, the other softer and more casual. Items in the line-up included staples like blazers, corduroy jackets and jeans, leopard print and pink teddy coats, a white shirt with black stitching and various sweaters. A purple sweater dress with high neckline and a front tie was another flattering buy in either lilac or camel.

The rest of the collections followed the predictable route of the winter offerings – pleated tweed skirts (given a luxe look with glitter tops), a whole section dominated by pinks and purples with chunky knits and cord skirts, in another animal prints and caramel tones came in soft textures like velvet that also spread into lingerie and loungewear.

Though it wins on daywear, under and outerwear like parkas, quilted down jackets and coats, party wear is never M&S’s strongest point. What really shone this time was the footwear – sparkly kitten heels, jewelled pumps, blocky ankle boots and suede mules with orb-like heels showing that footwear has really stepped up.

Longline trench coat with stormwear, €110; cable-knit funnel neck jumper M&S collection, €47.50; checked asymmetric pleated midi skirt, €55
Longline trench coat with stormwear, €110; cable-knit funnel neck jumper M&S collection, €47.50; checked asymmetric pleated midi skirt, €55
Leopardprint faux fur coat, €110; relaxed slim leg jeans, €34; ribbed polo neck, €24
Leopardprint faux fur coat, €110; relaxed slim leg jeans, €34; ribbed polo neck, €24
Per Una sparkly round neck long sleeve top, €54; Checked pleated midi skirt, €70
Per Una sparkly round neck long sleeve top, €54; Checked pleated midi skirt, €70
Jacket €95, t-shirt €24, trousers €60 all from M & S
Jacket €95, jumper €17, polo neck €24, trousers €37, bag €40 all from M & S
Extra-wide-fit stiletto heel ankle boots €65
Extra-wide-fit stiletto heel ankle boots €65
Block heel jewelled slingback courts €49
Block heel jewelled slingback courts €49
Velvet lounge bra, €20
Velvet lounge bra, €20
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