Menswear swings again! Not so long ago, there was a season, A/W 12 to be exact, where suits ruled the runways. Almost every house, alarmed by the recession, showed shop-friendly tailoring. That fear lingered for a while, as houses played safe for the sake of sales. Today's Topman Design show was the ultimate proof that that spirit of compromise and pragmatism has died and fun, frolics and adventure are back in fashion. The good times, free love and the easy breezy attitude of the seventies were all over that runway, with a little bit of nineties Brit Pop attitude thrown in for good measure. The most obvious take on the look was a washed out t-shirt emblazoned with a Woodstrock slogan, but pastel tailoring, retro trainers and groovy floral prints all hammered home the vibe. All in all, you couldn't help but feel joyful and get caught up in the hippy dippy optimism. But then Topman bank rolls so much of L:CM, most notably MAN, so has had a hand in boosting the careers of nearly all of London's brightest stars who are now ushering in a menswear revolution, a new, open minded approach that's sticking two fingers up to the pocket square establishment and pushing a 'no rules' agenda, so why shouldn't they feel cheerful?
The best thing about the collection was the balance of costume and product. We saw all the bad bits of the seventies - tailored towelling, mock turtle necks and Worzel Gummidge hair - and all the good bits as well, and as the show progressed it became harder and harder to work out which was more appealing as silk kimonos and corduroy flares began to look increasingly right. But isn't that what a fashion show should be all about? Bits we can smile at and appreciate on the runway and then bits can slot effortlessly into every man's wardrobe and bring a little dab of psychedelia and free love to all the guys who rely on Topman.