The DRG retail index: John Lewis & Partners, M&S, Jigsaw, Zara X Giorgia Tordini, Reformation

Zara fall 2018 trends Giorgia Tordini

Here’s ALISON FARRINGTON’S latest monthly retail round up, celebrating experimentalism and innovation on the high street. We are more than ready for autumn/winter collections newness, so it’s preview time for John Lewis & Partners, M&S, Jigsaw, and Zara’s latest Studio Collection. Meanwhile there’s a late summer high-low fashion fix in-store from Reformation’s relaunch in the UK, courtesy of Browns.


John Lewis & Partners AW18 Womenswear
John Lewis has launched its biggest own-label offer to date with a new womenswear collection called John Lewis & Partners, that focuses on styling choice over seasonal ‘must-haves’. The 300-piece range is about style over fashion, according to Iain Ewing, head of womenswear, who told The Guardian that according to research, customers wanted to update their wardrobes safe in the knowledge that ‘whatever they bought wouldn’t go out of fashion in six months’. So, for AW18 we are looking forward to bursts of tonal colour and multiple options for individual, personal style trials. It’s about time someone came up with a proper seasonless style mantra, and judging by the preview look book, John Lewis & Partners is giving us the tools to experiment with confidence. Set your Google calendar alert for 4 September…..


Marks & Spencer AW18
Like John Lewis, Marks & Spencer has got the ‘seasonless’ style memo. A quick Instagram hashtag search shows how fashion consumers are more interested in conscious wardrobe choices (aka clothes that last), than chasing after yet another must-have winter coat. So, with this in mind M&S’s style director, Belinda Earl describes the new AW18 collection as ‘elevated style’ and all about macro trends that encourage people to build on their individual style. In the (refitted) stores that will remain after M&S announced it would cut down numbers, there will be more Fit & Style personal styling services and more mannequins to showcase key looks. ‘We will have more online stylists ready to chat. The idea is to elevate the offering, show how you put it together,’ Earl told Vogue. Part of the new seasonal offer will be The Foundation Edit, a selection of key pieces that provide the foundation to any wardrobe. First in the basket will be that camel suit, a longevity offering if ever there was one.


Jigsaw aw18
Autumn/winter is always a strong season for Jigsaw and just ahead of this year’s offer dropping in September, fans of the British high-street favourite can look forward to a standout colour palette and a modern approach to feminine style. This season’s collection channels inspirational women such as Anni Albers, Martha Graham and Miriam Makeba; they are playing the role of creative muses in a time when entrepreneurial women look to brands that empower through style. As you might expect, this translates into a meaningful tailoring and outerwear offer – think structured silhouettes such as a dogtooth maxi coat or three-quarter length corduroy culottes that provide just the right angular mix. Rich jewel tones include rainforest green and deep purple for slouchy well-proportioned trouser suits that are interspersed with geometric prints. After our press day preview last month at the newly opened Floral Street Covent Garden store, autumn’s transition can’t come soon enough.


Zara aw18 Giorgia Tordini
There’s a healthy dose of La Dolce Vita in Zara’s new ad campaign (top and above) featuring Milan Fashion Week street style star Giorgia Tordini, who also happens to be the co-founder of Italian fashion label Attico. We like Zara’s mood-board meets behind-the-scenes-shoot editorial direction for this campaign – a case of street style inspiration coming full circle? While Tordini looks effortless in all six of the retail giant’s key looks, it’s the elegant camel-hued silk shirtdress that has caught our attention for its #TheNewGarconne style credentials.


Reformation Browns
After a brief stint of availability in the UK two years ago, cult Los Angeles brand Reformation is over here again courtesy of Browns. The sustainability-first label has partnered with Browns to launch a handful of exclusive tea-dresses, swimwear and denim pieces with all manufacturing processes designed to minimise the environmental impact of production. So, there’s limited numbers of the pieces made from dead-stock sourced fabrics, vintage finds and eco-fabrics. Could this be the precursor to a permanent Reformation UK location? We hope so, we love their RefRecycle mantra videos!


This column is contributed by DRG retail editor, ALISON FARRINGTON. Read her previous posts on Disneyrollergirl and discover more of her retail insights on her blog, The Retail Planner.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Alison Farrington
IMAGES: Zara, John Lewis, M&S, Jigsaw, Reformation
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