First look: M&S unveils its autumn TV ad campaign featuring grey hair and curves … and gets a glowing review from our fashion expert Liz Jones

First look: M&S unveils its autumn TV ad campaign featuring grey hair and curves … and gets a glowing review from our fashion expert Liz Jones

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UPDATED:

13:13 GMT, 5 September 2012

The night of the long knives is upon us.

Or at least, a very sharp pair of pinking shears.

Because tonight Marks & Spencer will unveil its brand new TV advert for it autumn/winter womenswear collection. And ruthlessly culled are Twiggy, Dannii and Myleene.

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Marks & Spencer's autumn/winter campaign features models aged 20 to 57 and size eight to 16

Marks & Spencer's autumn/winter campaign features models aged 20 to 57 and size eight to 16

I saw a sneak preview of the ad yesterday, and I have to admit I punched the air and yelled 'Yes!'

Finally, M&S has realised that women need to see the clothes clearly.

They need to see each trend, from military to ladylike to geometric to textured in groups, with appropriate accessories, showing how each look will work on women of all ages, sizes and heights.

On you and me, in other words.

The chain has swapped celebrities like Myleene Klass, Dannii Minogue and Twiggy for models who better represent their customers

The chain has swapped celebrities like Myleene Klass, Dannii Minogue and Twiggy for models who better represent their customers

The military trend is a one of the key fashion stories for the retailer this autumn

The military trend is a one of the key fashion stories for the retailer this autumn

The new M&S models range in age from 20 to 57, and in size from eight to a 16. I can't emphasise what a landmark the inclusion of the bigger, older and shorter is in fashion advertising.

OK, the strapline, For Every Woman You Are, is a bit naff, but this is a small gripe in a triumphant turnaround.

M&S's clothing sales have been dire, not just because we have tired a little of the superstar happy families campaigns, but because the womenswear in particular – all orange gypsy skirts – has been shocking.

This autumn/winter collection is a huge improvement, but while the looks are gorgeous on-screen, a lot will depend on how they translate into stores in the provinces.

We need fewer items on rails and clothes grouped by trend, not meaningless sub-brand, like Per Una or Autograph.

These looks are very high fashion, too, so let's hope there are plenty of classic basics as back-up.

But all round, top Marks.

See the full range here


The store's Rosie Huntington-Whiteley lingerie collection, launched last week, is already the best-selling in its history

The store's Rosie Huntington-Whiteley lingerie collection, launched last week, is already the best-selling in its history

WATCH: See the brand new M&S autumn/winter television advert here first

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