Lou Stoppard reports on the Topman show
At its best moments the collection was fresh and modern, but at its worst it veered towards comedy. Head to toe orange outfits looked more Guantanamo bay than poised gentleman.
Topman sought to take us on a journey to far off lands for Autumn/Winter 2013 by channeling early gentlemen travellers and worldly explorers. It was a promising inspiration and one that is proving popular this season - Bally and John Smedley pushed similar themes - but, at stages, the effect seemed rather more inelegantly homespun. Plumped-up parkers could have been plucked straight from our own London streets, while the beanies and oversized accessories reflected the sartorial preferences of young Dalston hipsters.
All in all shapes were large and loose, while colour was blocked heavily. The opening looks came out all in white, followed by bright orange, burnt red and waxy black. At its best moments the collection was fresh and modern, but at its worst it veered towards comedy. Head to toe orange outfits looked more Guantanamo bay than poised gentleman.
While the travel theme seemed to imply that the Topman man had grown up since last season's fluro sports-day - we were told he had become 'enriched and wiser' - this season's collection continued to push a decidedly boyish agenda. Maybe that's what modern men want - menswear sales at youth-targeted retailers like ASOS and River Island are rocketing - but it'll be interesting to see if and how modern shoppers incorporate some of the more adventurous pieces into their wardrobes. Topman's strength has always been its ability to tap into the zeitgeist, but, at points, this season's offering felt less like a reflection of fashionable men's sartorial preferences and more like a parody of them.