M&S goes back in time

M&S goes back in time

Twiggy unveils Marks & Spencer exhibition featuring items from the retailer's extensive archive.

Twiggy was the guest of honour yesterday as Marks and Spencer returned to its roots for the opening of Marks in Time, an exhibition showcasing some 200 items from the infamous retailer's extensive archive.

Part of the ongoing celebrations for the company's 125th anniversary, the free exhibition, which is on display at the University of Leeds for the next three years, even features some of the buttons founder Michael Marks used to sell on a stall at Leeds' Kirkgate Market back in 1884.

Also in the collection is a floral dress from the 1950s based on Christian Dior's New Look (pictured), as well as one of the first bras sold in the 1920s, the original uniforms of M&S staff and all sorts of food products, television adverts and china tea sets. 

But that's not all... M&S has now announced it will be moving the rest of its archive - some 60,000 pieces - up to the university in 2011 where a purpose-built facility will house it permanently, allowing the public access to it for the first time.

Now if you fancy being a part of that, even more exciting is the fact the team are hosting a vintage roadshow at the university on 20 June to encourage people to delve into their wardrobes and bring along their own pieces of M&S history.

Fronted by BBC Antique Roadshow experts, Eric Knowles and Henry Sandon, who will date and value each item, the company is hoping to unearth a treasure trove of memorabilia from the past 125 years.

The best items will or course be added to the exhibition should the owners wish to donate them, while anything spare will be handed over to Oxfam. Time to get raiding Grannie's house, we say.

Check out www.marksintime.marksandspencer.com for more information.

By Rachel Arthur

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