Today sees the launch of Marks and Spencer’s hotly anticipated and much lauded Best of British range. Available online and in select UK stores, the collection combines heritage and modern styling with a focus on strong tailoring and premium fabrics. And the best thing about it is that it’s all made in the UK. Whether it be tweed tailoring from Yorkshire, cashmere knitwear from Hawick in Scotland or leather brogues from Northamptonshire, this British institution is returning to its roots and championing manufacturers from our own soil.
Made in Britain – a map of UK manufacturers
Inspiration and illustrations at yesterday’s press launch
Best of British Womenswear AW13
Best of British leather and cashmere accessories AW13
Best of British womenswear comprises of a 34 piece collection featuring quality classics with a fashion twist. This gorgeous pale pink Alpaca wool coat is a must-have for this season and will provide an instant AW13 wardrobe update. I love it! If your taste is more refined, then opt for an androgynous tailored trouser suit in pure wool tweed. Contrast piping and sleek trims add a quirky touch to the refined structured silhouettes.
Best of British AW13 campaign shots
Wool blend check coat, £299
Pure merino wool jacket, £99, trousers, £129, jumper, £99, leather brogues, £165
The menswear collection is modelled by Oliver Cheshire – boyfriend of pop princess Pixie Lott – whose cheekbones could cut glass. With inspiration taken from the store’s archive in Leeds, standout pieces include the gorgeous double-breasted tweed coat, and the tweed and leather sports jacket with natty buckle detailing. Suits are individually cut by hand from heavy flannel or Donegal tweed and button holes and linings are hand stitched for a superior finish.
Oliver Cheshire (and his cheekbones) modelling the collection
Tweed coat, £599
Tweed and leather sports jacket, £299
Leather tote bag, £249
There was a time that most clothing sold in this country was produced in the UK, and that wasn’t limited to one-off designer pieces. With one of our oldest high-street stores championing British mills and manufacturing once again, let’s hope this sees a growth in return to UK production. We know the prices won’t be as competitive as mass-produced goods in India – pieces from the Best of British collection are a long-term investment rather than an impulse purchase – but you can be assured that working conditions are safe, quality is high and the carbon footprint of your garment is low. I’d say that’s a fair price to pay for a well cut suit.
The collection in-store at Marks and Spencer Marble Arch, London
Best of British launches online and in 5 key stores today. Prices range from £25 for a belt to £799 for a suit. Shop online at http://www.marksandspencer.com