Japanese high-street store Uniqlo doesn’t just pile them high, sell them cheap – like H&M and Topshop, it also has a serious knack of coming up with winning collaborations. Previous 'Designer Invitations' have included Alexander Wang and Philip Lim. Currently worth a look are the pieces designed by New York-based label, Costello Tagliapietro, such as this neat key neck dress (£24.99).
Uniqlo’s next team-up is with LA-based Velvet by Graham & Spencer who, like CT, specialise in easy-to-wear jersey separates. The Velvet collection of 14 pieces hits shops/website from 7 June, with a muted palette of khaki, grey and whites, with nothing over 15 quid (see the harem pants, right). Seeing as Velvet clothes generally start at £60 for a vest, this is a fine deal.
Uniqlo’s major coup has been to bag Jil Sander to create an affordable ongoing collection, +J; check out the cotton jackets for £50 quid and cropped trousers (£39.99) if you're after nifty and surprisingly well-made staples for a spring wardrobe. Uniqlo’s also particularly hot on T-shirt dresses right now; see the striped number by mintdesigns, £19.99, below, created by a couple of St Martin’s graduates.
Uniqlo’s stores are all in London so far – when are they going to head north? Their website is ok, but you only get one view of each piece and have to zoom in to see each piece in full. They do have sales pretty much all the time, though, so it’s worth signing up to their online newsletter; it comes annoyingly often but does mean you get first pick of bargains, which start from just a fiver.