It’s a fashion love story, says Lee Holmes

It’s a fact of life that, discounting a lottery win, designer shopping is more a fantasy than reality for most of us.

But all is not lost when it comes to buying into the designer lifestyle – thanks in no small part to high-street store Debenhams, which, way back when in 1993, launched its Designers at Debenhams collections. The likes of Ben de Lisi and Pearce Fionda were among the first Nineties boldface catwalk stars enlisted by the label to zhuzh up its womenswear offering. The tradition continues today with leading London designers such as Marios Schwab, Roksanda Ilincic and Jonathan Saunders enlisted to add a touch of sparkle to its seasonal wares. Indeed, the store’s customers have been able to buy affordable togs injected with designers’ DNA for two decades.

So successful have these collaborations become that Debenhams now has real fashion clout when it comes to dressing the nation, which only continues to grow. And it’s not just on the women’s floor: this September sees the launch of its first menswear collection in more than a decade.

Enter stage right Mr Patrick Grant of E Tautz, Norton & Sons and Great British Sewing Bee fame, who in partnership with the store has reimagined the 18th-century brand Hammond & Co for contemporary chaps. Grant is an expert tailor so, as is to be expected, suiting is key. If your quest is to find a well-tailored double-breasted suit that won’t break the bank, you’ll find it here at a very reasonable £299.

And while the collection is strong on Savile Row-inspired pieces, it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to coats and knitwear, both of an impeccable standard. The accessories aren’t bad, either: footwear aficionados can stock up on monk straps and loafers.

Hammond & Co heralds exciting times for both the designer and the store. For Grant, it allows him to  showcase his not-inconsiderable  talent at affordable prices at last,  while for Debenhams, aligning with Grant is a sure-fire way of getting fashion-savvy gentlemen into the store, and spending.

Lottery ticket optional.