A little while back, I sold this 90s midi denim skirt to the archive of British retailer, Marks & Spencer (previously known as St Michael and often abbreviated to M&S here in the U.K.). Most of the time, I sell directly to customers so orders to designers, costumers and companies always stand out a little! Fast forward eight months and M&S has just launched a special 'archive' collection with pieces re-designed and re-issued from their back catalogue. There's no denim skirt in the current crop... but the skirt is now featured in their online database and, who knows, maybe it'll be resurrected in the next archive collection?!
I regularly choose M&S pieces for Elly Maggy Vintage... in fact, there are a couple in the shop right now, including the shirt and dress pictured above. Older St Michael garments from the 40s-60s typify British mid-century style with bright, beautiful novelty prints while their more recent pieces are classic, easy-to-wear and frequently very nicely made, even up until the 1990s ...before the company shifted away from the unionised British garment industry to today's 'fast fashion' style of manufacturing.
The new archive collection made me think how great Etsy is as an archive in itself - a brilliant place for finding the true 'originals' and buying them ethically and often at a snip of current high street prices! So, I've started a little Pinterest board bringing together some favourite pieces from Etsy and elsewhere on the web. Feel free to follow the board... and share links to your favourite vintage St Michael pieces in the comments below. I'd love to see!