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Show Report

Show Report: Topshop Unique A/W 17 Womenswear

by Lou Stoppard on 20 February 2017

Lou Stoppard reports on the Topshop Unique A/W 17 womenswear show.

Lou Stoppard reports on the Topshop Unique A/W 17 womenswear show.

Topshop are one of many big brands to embrace fun and hedonism in the face of all the troubles facing the world. I mean, when you’re helmed by Philip Green what else can you do? A political statement about equality and acceptance would have felt wrong here. So instead the Topshop Unique team embraced the spendy party girls and gap year queens who keep their more pricey lines in business. Modelled by a range of relations of established fashion industry stalwarts - Lottie Moss, Adwoa Aboah and the like - the collection was flirty, highly feminine and strangely easy. Wearability was the word. 

In the past, the design team have sought to extend a dialogue with the greats of fashion - those pushing the boundaries at that very moment - by creating collections that muse on the avant garde zeitgeist. Today, they embraced the mass, the popular. There was nothing challenging, nothing statement, just sweet, revealing dresses for nights outs and hoodies and sweaters for keeping warm. It was styling tricks that gave this collection punch - the clever layering, the way pieces had been draped or manipulated around the body rather than worn as their design intended. It may not have felt instep with the spirit of high fashion, but it certainly reflected the spirit of the times. I thought of the interest today’s it girls - the Jenners and Hadids and co - have in an old school form of dressing up that hasn’t felt in vogue since the Paris Hilton days. They’ve brought back the party wear of yore - sheer tops, chain mail minis, backless halters and the like. They’ll often style them with punchier elements - tough jackets, big coats and so on. Where they go thousands follow, instantly. And instant appeal is what this collection needs to have, given that it’s available to buy online straight away. This took a look and sold it back as key digestible pieces. For all the talk of 'Hacienda wildness' and 'Danny Boyle' (a bizarre reference) they were informed by the now and made for the now. A telling turn of phrase in the show notes was 'digital explorer' - this girl isn’t really raving it up, or exploring Goa on wild travels, she’s surfing Instagram and 'curating' her life from her front room. These clothes will make for good costumes for that faux adventurer.

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