London Fashion Week: Topshop Unique
Inspired by a camping trip in the wilderness Topshop Unique provides a textural feast of earthy outdoorsy fabrics in unexpected forms - the great outdoors meets some kind of twisted Narnia.
Stylist Katie Grand stuck to what she always does with abundant layering and a mish-mash of unexpected combinations. It sometimes made it difficult to focus on the intricacies of individual pieces.
The motto was ‘pile it on’ in an effort to defend against the elements. Saddle brown leather parkas were finished with cosy quilted lining, shrunken waxed jackets in uniform blue and khaki brown were cropped or swinging. To keep out the cold duffle coats and trenches were lined with reversed sheepskin and layered up with gigantic wool scarves and cable knit socks to the thigh.
However, this is not a collection with practicality as the sole purpose - a voluminous shearling coat went alongside a tutu skirt with suspender straps, a traditional khaki boy-scout jacket was teamed with short shorts emblazoned with award badges. While much of the fabric was heavy there were also soft chiffon blouses and dresses with crochet detailing and lace panels, mushroom covered dresses in earthy silks.
Never one to do things by halves the Unique accessories included belts with release buckles, sheepskin bags secured by harnesses carrying binoculars and torches as charms. Canvas and leather boots were sturdy with multiple buckles and mini pouches, shoes had tufts of sheepskin. Emma Cook, a regular collaborator for Topshop came on board to design fantastical, animal inspired headwear adorned with fluffy bunny ears, huge antlers and grizzly bear heads.
It may be excessive (and exhausting) to adopt this look in its entirety, but there’s no doubt that Topshop have done it again and every cool chick in Dublin, London and New York will be clamouring for an oversized jacket and indulging their imagination with childlike fantasies of camping.
Topshop Unique show has gone from being the outsider to one of the most highly anticipated on the London Fashion Week schedule. Pulling in more celebrities than almost any other show, Pixie and Peaches Geldof were front row alongside a super skinny Alexa Chung and a perfectly coifed Olivia Polermo.