Yesterday morning Patricia Field graced the Marks and Spencer Marble Arch store with her presence to launch her new collection which went on sale on the website at midnight. Hundreds of people queued for hours for a glimpse of Pat and to be amongst the first to have their pick of the full range which included dresses, jackets, bags, scarves, belts and shoes.
Was I up at 7am to join the fun? No I was not! Sadly by the time I arrived at around lunchtime the lady herself had gone and all the hoo-hah had died down. Some rather glamorous staff members (all of the staff were wearing their pick of the range) told me that after a frantic morning, all of the accessories in the collection had sold out.
If quality is measured by customer interest then, the collection is a huge success. But is this a measure of Pat F’s talent as a stylist or the power of the SATC franchise (I even saw SATC Christmas tree decorations in Harrods today)?
Despite missing out on all the accessories, the dresses of the collection were still all available and ready for some up close inspection. My first thought was that perhaps the range could be renamed “How to Look like Carrie Bradshaw” because if I had to sum the collection up in one sentence I would say that it was a series of very good rip offs SJP wore in the SATC movie. See below if you don’t believe me!
Do you see now? Do you see?? But as a devout fan of the SJP look, I don’t see that as a bad thing. I’m not sure how the designers she’s ripping off will feel about the whole thing however! Overall though I think the collection is good. The fabrics were hit and miss ranging from cheap feeling polyester to gorgeous chiffon and thick rich cottons. I am a massive fan of the brocade florals (which I couldn’t get close enough to take pictures of) which are used on a couple of beautiful scoop neck dresses. I also like the simple cut of the coats and the shoes and belts seemed to be particularly well constructed and made of real leather (you don’t get that from Lily Allen at new look!)
A coven of dressed up mannequins (if you look closely you can see the dress I love on the poster in the back ground!)
As with all collections there were a couple of dresses I couldn’t abide. In this case they were those of a non descript polyester “I could have got this from primark for a third of the price” persuasion. A purple tiered rara skirted dress with spaghetti straps? Teamed with a contrasting belt? How original! You get the idea…..
But hey, when was the last time you saw the perfect diffusion range? For right or wrong, the middle market has to be covered. Although neither original or fashion forward, I was a big fan of the sequinned blazer which fit tightly and fastened like a corset. And, as you can see, so was my mama:
Doesn’t she look cute as a button? And it goes to show the range can be adapted for anyone. Although M&S are blatantly targeting a younger demographic by bringing PF onboard, they aren’t isolating their devoted shoppers who can incorporate a smaller piece or two in with their Per Una staples.
Go Marks and Spencer I say. A brave decision, and a good one. Not unlike the St Michaels coat I have in my wardrobe which is over 20 years old, I think an investment in a piece from the PF collection is an investment in the future!