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First look at Alexa Chung for Marks & Spencer - and the archive pieces which inspired the range

On the eve of London Fashion Week, two very British names came together to toast what is set to be one of the most anticipated collaborations of 2016:Alexa Chung for Marks & Spencer.

The 32-year-old model, TV presenter, Vogue contributor and taste-maker unveiled a preview of what???s in store from her collaboration with the 132-year-old retailer.

Having delved through the M&S archives located within Leeds University, Chung has put her spin on 31 pieces from yesteryear, adding modern touches and re-thinking them incontemporary fabrics.Last night???s showcase unveiled eight pieces from the range, which it was confirmed will launch on April 13 online and in 66 stores across the country.A spokesperson for the retailer revealed that some 11,000 names had already registered interest on its website.

So what can we expect?

Chung, whose personal style is the subject of mass reverence, has veered towards safe, wardrobe classics but with a twist.A pair of wide-leg, canary yellow trousers from 1972 have been re-imagined in navy blue, and a blazer in the same colour circa 1989 for 2016 holds none of the power shoulder connotations; instead, Chung has presented us with a versatile, double-breasted jacket adorned with six gold buttons.

The foundations of the ultimate capsule wardrobe can all be found in the selection which has been revealed so far: a stripy tunic shirt that can be styled over skinny trousers or on its own as a dress; a grey, pleated midi school-style shirt and a gingham minidress with puffed sleeves that is begging for a hot summer???s day.

Chung attended the party sporting the ???Frances??? khaki trench coat which was inspired by a hard-wearing, gabardine coat from the 1950s.Underneath she wore a white, ruffled blouse ??? similar in style to the pink, high-collared version she wore in shots to announce the collaboration.

Chung, who lives in New York,explained:???I have always had an affection for Marks & Spencer.I am thrilled to be part of this special and unique project.There was something very touching about looking back through the British fashion and social history for which M&S is synonymous???.

Belinda Earl, Marks & Spencer???s style director, added:???It???s really Alexa???s vision and creativity and the combination of the M&S team who from the archive, and the head office, who have made this project come to life.???

Alexa Chung"s best looks

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