It's virtually impossible to ignore the presence of retailing behemoth Topshop, especially during London Fashion Week with its various long-standing sponsorship deals (in particular, the NEWGEN scheme) and its regular, sell-out designer collaborations, most recently with Christopher Kane, launched in stores last Friday. Now in its eighteenth season, the retailer rolled out its latest Unique line this afternoon to a packed-out venue. Taking their lead from clothing worn for outdoor pursuits in late 1970s West Coast America, the Topshop in-house design team delivered a high-energy, wearable, youth-orientated collection - terms increasingly used to describe the line, especially since stylist Katie Grand came on board three seasons ago. Involved in both the development stages and styling the catwalk show, Grand's influence was most prominent in the hardware details applied to soft, feminine fabrics and designs, ranging from zips, brace clips, pin badges to oversized pointed studs, not dissimilar to the ones used in Giles' S/S 2009 collection. Sportswear basics including cropped tops, cycling shorts a series of more complex swimwear designs were given a sexy twist with the use of eye-popping shades of skintight rubber, twisted thongs and sequins. At the risk of being too sports-heavy the team were careful to punctuate with tailored jackets and quirky 'back-to-front' trousers, low-slung jeans, crepe dresses and heavy leather biker jackets. Promoting a vibrant colour palette, the collection incorporated graffiti prints, a recurring hand-drawn shark motif -a theme which also stretched to fin-shaped dress hems and sculptured fin heels- alongside distressed jerseys and sun-bleached denim.
The Topshop in-house design team took their lead from clothing worn for outdoor pursuits in late 1970s West Coast America.