Topshop Unique: Cute, quirky, commercial (and a bit confusing)
I wasn’t sold on Topshop’s last Unique runway collection, the September see-now-buy-now one. But I liked the one before that. Now, was that one see-now-buy-now or was it see-now-buy-later? You know, I’m really not sure.
And the collection that showed at London Fashion Week on Sunday? Well a) yes, I like it too and b) yes, it must be a buy-now one as it’s there on the website already. Frankly, if it wasn’t, I’d be even more confused by all this see-now-buy-at-some-point-up-to-next-September malarkey than I actually am.
It was all so simple back in the day. You showed in March and dropped in September. Nowadays, even if you show in February, your AW collection hits the stores a short while after midsummer when the sun is at its highest but the two-week British summer is still actually months away.
Which brings me back to Topshop Unique. Its ‘February’ collection (does that that mean we can’t wear it in April?) is the ultimate transitional offer. We’re currently entering what for most retail stores is known, more in hope than realistic expectation, as spring/summer. So it’s full of clothes that will keep us both cosy and warm as well as cool and fresh. Showing on a day in February when the temperature has bizarrely topped 16 degrees Celsius, that seems quite apt.
So what did we get? Some quirky pieces, some cute pieces and lots of commercial looks. For those of us seeking cold weather solutions, there were shearlings in natural tones or trimmed with brights, fun curly fur coats in black or fruity orange, plus slouchy knits and sweats. The latter made the word oversized look like an understatement and to be honest, the giant white sweatshirt just looks like they made it too big. But the white sweater with knitted-in daisies was definitely a wishlist piece.
We also got some relaxed-but-skinny tailoring. A shrunken jacket in the kind of yellow that’s almost orange (or maybe it’s orange that’s almost yellow) sat with a floral zip-front blouse and tweed pants and looked like a great careerwear option, as did the smart wider pants that have been a feature of both NYFW and LFW.
Meanwhile silky jumpsuits in stripes or circles of trailing daisies added a girly edge to casualwear. And badge-strewn denim, cargo pants with the season’s all-important trailing straps, and cagoules in denim or woollens proved that this collection is nothing if not eclectic, and that it has plenty to choose from come festival season.
Particularly strong were the creatively cut tops, printed or embellished with florals, and the dresses. Cut to hug the body without encasing it too tightly, they make the most of strategic cutouts and asymmetry as well as those all-important floral prints in a palette of soft pinks, lilac, oyster and grey.
As I said, I liked it. But boy, am I confused…