Sex & the city near you: Carrie's stylist brings Manhattan to M&S

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

If the highs and lows of Marks & Spencer are one of the retail world's favourite soap operas, then the British chain has just revealed its most daring plotline so far. On Saturday night, in New York, at the start of the city's fashion week, the Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field showed the collection that will appear in M&S stores from next month.

Designer-and-celebrity collaborations have become an established way of attracting publicity for high street shops, but Field's overtly sexy, kitsch style is a bold, as well as prestigious, choice for the chain's first major venture of this kind.

The New York-based designer and stylist – whose shop in the Bowery area of the city features multicoloured wigs, sequinned micro-shorts and some garments that are more S&M than M&S – has a cult following. Fans love the outfits and subsequent trends she created in Sex and the City.

However, quite how the shareholders – who objected at this year's annual general meeting to clothing that showed too much cleavage – will respond to the plunging necklines and clingy cuts on many of the items in the collection remains to be seen.

The range was "conceptualised", as Field calls it, as Destination Style New York, and 35 items will be available in M&S stores worldwide. The clothes fused a late 1970s disco feel with silhouettes borrowed from the 1980s Dynasty era and were set to a pumping soundtrack that had the drag queens and club scene regulars at the show shimmying in their front-row seats.



In pictures: See what fashion trends are in for Spring 2009



A black pencil skirt was teamed with a voluminous off-the-shoulder blouse, while a red Lycra dress and turquoise chiffon mini-dress with floating sleeves would have been appropriate attire at Studio 54. A low-backed halterneck sequin jumpsuit is probably the most challenging garment and the one likely to result in a few raised eyebrows if worn to this year's office Christmas party, while a prom dress in pink devore velvet with large red spots is likely to have more universal appeal.

The accessories were similarly bold: mini-dresses and headbands boasted flower corsages made popular by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City; killer stilettos and shoes that were half-sandal, half-boot, provided the risqué footwear; a shoe-print tote bag was a deliberate nod to Bradshaw's obsession with the highest of heels, and Manolo Blahniks in particular. M&S has been successfully positioning itself as somewhere to go for accessible, classic versions of catwalk trends, but this collection celebrates Field's exuberant aesthetic and love of bright colours, rather than focusing on seasonal details.

The stylist said the range was "an amalgamation of my best experiences over the last 10 years or so, whether it be the TV shows or a movie or my own brand. It's for sexy, hot women in power who rule the world."

Field began her fashion career when she opened her boutique in Greenwich Village in 1966, later moving into styling for films such as Miami Rhapsody and TV programmes such as Wiseguy and Spin City. However, it is her wardrobe ensembles for Sex and The City that made her one of the world's best-known stylists.

Shortly after Field began working on the cult TV show in 1998, the eclectic, kooky ensembles she created attracted attention from viewers, fashion press and designers. The latter, noting the show's ability to spark trends and sell products, started putting Field on the front row at their shows and she soon moved from being a marginal designer popular with drag queens, club kids and characters from New York's demi-monde to an important figure in the industry.

Some of the trends she made popular included giant flower corsages, gold nameplate necklaces, huge clutch bags and fetish shoes, while the recent Sex and the City film was a carnival of designer labels and costume changes. Field has won two Emmys, as well as an Academy Award nomination in 2006 for The Devil Wears Prada. She also styles the wardrobes on the TV programme Ugly Betty.

Although they hit the £1bn profit mark this year, M&S's share price and clothing sales fell in July, and executives hope that the celebrity appeal of the collection will override consumer caution in a straitened economy.

Kate Bostock, the executive director of clothing, said after the show: "Initially I was a bit sceptical because her look is quite extreme, but our customers love Sex and the City, and I know how passionate they are about the kind of designs that Patricia has done. It all came together really well, and we knew we were on to a winner."

When the collection hits stores in mid-October, we will discover whether she is right about how adventurous, and how starstruck, the British public really are.

New York Fashion Week began on Friday and has so far seen spring/summer 2009 shows by the newcomer Alexander Wang and more established labels such as Diane Von Furstenberg and DKNY. Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein will also show collections this week.

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

    £17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

    The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

    The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

    £30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there