Topshop Unique

There were a few stand-out shows for me this London Fashion Week. As the last 7 days have passed, I have had time to contemplate and ask myself why they appealed to me so much (and if they still did, post-buzz of LFW.) One of the shows that still stands out in my mind is Topshop Unique.

The first thing that hits you is the show space itself – Topshop masterfully commandeered the former Flower Cellars of Convent Garden. You descend from the yawning openness of the white-washed entrance, down a subterranean path to the dark depths of the catwalk.  The Hospital Club showcases the empty vastness of the vacant space REALLY well. Adjacent to the catwalk is the Topshop Café, a bustling hive of activity pre-show. There’s food (praise be during Fashion Week!) champagne, drinks and a general atmosphere of calm and joviality that I didn’t feel at the other shows as I waited in the queue…outdoors! Garance Doré wrote a whole little bit of wonderfulness on the Café, which I won’t try to top (see the post here.)

Once the show threatened to begin, the usual hive of activity was stirred up. A listers galore began to arrive and an even more frenzied round of flashing and papping commenced. Front row highlights for me included Kate Lanphear, Scott Schuman, Alexa Chung and Julia Restoin Roitfeld. Lorraine Candy from Elle was sitting just opposite me and I had to restrain myself from running over and gushing about her amazing Twitter tweets!

So to the show. For a start it was, well, a SHOW. Every last detail of the theme had been considered. The catwalk was strewn with leaves. The archways were adorned with woven bracken. It was Where the Wild Things Are meets Girl Scouts, meets Little Lord Fauntleroy. There was a sense of “Lordy” elegance coupled with the dirty outdoors. Do any of you remember the show The Box of Delights? That for me was a resounding inspiration. I found the eerie opening titles on You Tube, which contain a lot of the Unique catwalk influences (I was completely terrified by this programme as a child!) The styling reflected the trend effortlessly with wild monobrows, crazy dishevelled hair and glistening “moist-look” skin. This Topshop podcast shows how the space was transformed and discusses the “twisted Narnia” theme and how it was created.

I love how every piece was wearable. Faux furs (thank goodness….more on fur later!) thick cable knit tights, phenomenal shoes. My pictures hopefully paint a better picture – see my Flickr set for a better visual treat. There’s also a little finale video to show the whole collection. I know many people have questioned Topshop’s inclusion on the main schedule, mainly due to their design “team,” as opposed to an individual creator. I think this cohesive, wearable, yet innovative collection should silence the critics. Putting all these elements together, explains why Topshop Unique stood out for me. The venue + clothes + theme = a sheer, refreshing delight. I also could see myself in many of the clothes and hopefully, with Topshop’s pricing, will actually be able to purchase some.

*All photos belong to me or were taken from the Topshop Inside-Out Blog.

London Fashion Week – Segundo Día

Today was a strange one. A. It was hard to wake up after a busy first day. B. A different set of people seemed to descend on Fashion Week. My collage today is chaotic…I feel it sums up the day pictorially! Here’s a brief rundown, photos to follow tomorrow.

Charles Anastase – Situated in South Molton Lane in the lofty coolness of The Music Rooms, the feel was very different from the get go. A much smaller, intimate event ensued, with a different set of people from day one. Firstly my girl-crush, job/look envy idol arrived – Kate Lanphear. Then the equally iconic, for very different reasons, Diane Pernet, complete with her lofty veil. I squished in next to the gorgeous Jackie Dixon (Show Me Your Wardrobe,) gossiped for a while, before the treat of a show began. Fabrics were mixed; felt, wool, colour-block, bows and ruffles, all completed with vertiginous heels. I loved the whole show. the layering and various materials felt opulent, yet accessible.

Kinder Aggugini – There was mohair (Disney Roller Girl‘s wool of choice ;) military with bold flashes of red, painted black hair and most hauntingly, Kate Bush on the soundtrack. I loved the way the tiny flecks of wool dazzled in the light behind the models. Could I photograph it? Unfortunately, no!

Topshop Unique – This one deserves a whole post of its own and shall get it soon. Prior to Fashion Week, there was no Topshop ticket for me. Speaking to lots of other bloggers, Topshop was an elusive ticket to find. I’m not sure what the criterion for ticket allocation was but it seemed sporadic among bloggers. Liberty London Girl and Kiki’s Delivery Service persuaded me to come along, despite my lack of ticket, to see if there was any chance of entry. This is where the “who you know” in the industry came into its own. Sasha (LLG) knew someone working at the door; that was enough, a front row for me. I shall save the experience and the show review for that dedicated post. Needless to say I felt like a fish out of water and in hindsight wish I’d called some of my fellow, more deserving, blogger friends to take my place.

Emilio de la Morena – Another kindly donated ticket from Sasha (I think I owe her A LOT of drinks!) Julia Restoin Roitfeld and Olivia Palermo followed over from Topshop and a beautiful show began. The soundtrack was phenomenal. I filmed parts of the show just to find out what the track-listing was later. The hair was backcombed on the crown and held in place using what looked to be tens of kirby-grips and bobby pins. Ankle socks teamed with phenomenal boots, beautifully matched the coloured prints and sculptural dressed.

Louise Gray – Presentation. The lure of finally meeting Fred Butler and the fab company of Disney Roller Girl persuaded me to head to Louise Gray (not much persuading was required ;) The presentation was in a gorgeous space in the Portico Rooms. The styling and arrangement of the room was perfect, with an open balcony space overlooking the Thames. Brix Smith Start and Fashion Editor at Large were in attendance, adding to the fun. The models posed around and about the cut-out frames on which the clothes were hung – head holes for comedy photos were optional. The eyebrows deserve a blog of their own!

And there ended my day. There was going to be more, but exhaustion kicked in and the train home beckoned. That is also it for my Fashion Week. The “real” world of work resumes on Monday so tomorrow may be a day of complete contrast – total nothingness in PJs. That seems a phenomenal choice right now as my train trundles home at an inordinately slow pace but tomorrow I shall be envious as the fashionistas continue to report.  One definite task for tomorrow is photo and video uploading. Those of you that follow my Twitter will have seen some of my Polaroid offerings. There’s a slew of them to follow, plus higher quality images and videos. My mini-Fashion Week, you have been kind to me, I shall hold fond memories of A/W 2010.

(All photos in the above post belong to me EXCEPT the large image far-left which comes from Topshop’s Facebook page)

London Fashion Week – Premier Jour

London Fashion Week began in earnest today. This was my first “proper” fashion week and to be honest, I had NO idea what to expect. My main preoccupations prior to shows:

1. I wouldn’t fit in
2. No-one would want to talk to me
3. I would break my ankle

Regarding the first two points, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The 3rd hasn’t yet happened but tomorrow’s another day for this clumsy blogger fool!

Here is the abridged version of today’s events. I have videos, polaroids and pictures to come when more detail will be added. I am going to wait to be out of the confines for my Easy-Hotel/Orange Cell to do all my uploading!
1. Paul Costelloe – I was apprehensive. Paul is “old school,” a veteran of Fashion Weeks but I was VERY pleasantly surprised. The styling was awesome. HUGE backcombed hair, gorgeous make-up, perfect models. The clothes were a lot more fashion forward than I was expecting.
2. Maria Grachvogel – BEAUTIFUL. The setting was perfect, the Palm Court at The Waldorf. The music and atmosphere were ethereal, the clothes were all equally dreamy for me. The ONLY downside – the models were SUPER skinny, jutty out, jagged bones and all seemed very young. There was no doubt of their beauty but they stood out as being extremely slight. (Since watching the video on my return, I’m not sure if the natural light of the room enhanced these features…would bold runway light hide true size? Something to think on further)
3. David Koma – A slight disaster (this one deserves a WHOLE post to itself) I had a ticket (kindly donated by Mademoiselle Robot) but was refused entry as it was too full.
4. Bodyamr – I believed it to be a presentation but it was actually a show. Although some of the clothes weren’t to my taste, every other single element was perfect. The soundtrack lunged from ferocious to floaty. The setting was elegant, yet austere and had a real church feel. The superb models walked to the end of the “catwalk” as if guided towards the heavenly light seeping in through the stained glass window. Gorgeous!
5. Jena.Theo – Amazing atmosphere, stunning styling (especially eye make-up & rolls of hair) perfect soundtrack. Some real stand out pieces; skilfully folded fabrics with voluminous elegance. There was a repeated fabric print that wasn’t necessarily to my taste but the overall feel was beautiful.
6. Sass & Bide – A fluke of a show. I had no ticket but Liberty London Girl kindly introduced me to a very lovely someone and I was in, second row. Music played a huge part in this show for me; from Mozart in the introduction, to The XX’s version of “You’ve Got The Love” The feel of the show was bold and the looks matched. Gold featured heavily; crochets, woollen shoulder-pads and jewelled embellishments all ruled the catwalk. The metallic headpieces finished each look perfectly.

The day was made for me by my fellow bloggers. Their kindness and welcome was greatly appreciated and will not be forgotten. Liberty London Girl, Mademoiselle Robot, Disney Roller Girl, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Bitch Buzz, Show Me Your Wardrobe & Tales Near The Runway (phew….think I remembered them all) were the highlight of the day for me. Better than any show or item of clothing, the generosity of human spirit that they demonstrated towards me is the main thing I will take away from my first day at London Fashion Week.

(Show pictures “borrowed” from The Telegraph…if you’d like me to “unborrow” them, let me know. P.S. I gave Hilary Alexander my card just in case ;)

POP Magazine Partner: Random Fashion Coolness

Partner of POP Magazine

• Blogger for POP Magazine •

AnOther Loves...

Random Fashion Coolness - Flickr Fashion

Topshop UK
Cover Up 150x150
THE OUTNET.COM - The Most Fashionable Fashion Outlet.