Topshop Unique break the mould with an interactive show not just for the fashion elite.
The Topshop Unique show at London Fashion Week 2014 manifested two notable trends for autumn/winter this year: glam grunge and luxe tomboy.
Topshop took over the Tate’s vast, iconic Turbine Hall last Friday to unveil the latest collection from its Unique label. While ringside seats were invitation-only, Tate visitors were invited to watch from the balcony and the windows from the floors above, while the fashion set rubbed shoulder below.
The ‘soft girl wanting to be tough’ vibe was generated through sequinned trousers, patent flared midi skirts, oversized shearling coats and fluffy cropped jumpers, all encompassed within an autumnal sombre palette with splashes of orange, dusty blues, dove greys, muddy greens and tawny yellows.
The fleet of models included Brit-girls-of-the-moment Sam Rollinson and Jourdan Dunn, the latter sporting one of the cornerstone pieces of the collection: a peacock and insect-motif embellished yellow smock dress.
As is traditionally Topshop custom, designers got ‘experimental’ with funky textures like felt, fur, shearling and PVC, while the silhouettes remained simple and comfortable with oversized coats, slouchy trousers and chunky knits.
In essence, the label summarised the current British penchant for mellowed colours, skewed detailing and slouchy layers. The dramatic, edgy and somewhat restrained collection painted a stark contrast to the usually bright, chaotic Oxford Street flagship store.
One of the show’s most popular talking points has undoubtedly been, the FROW. With the brand becoming a more permanent feature of London Fashion Week, the collections are beginning to command a higher division of the fashion elite, drawing the likes of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Kate Moss, Poppy Delevingne, the man himself Sir Phillip Green, and even a Kardashian, to the ringside. The A-list attendees prove just how far the high-street giant has come in terms of style credibility.
Topshop, which has unquestionably been the most accessible brand on the British catwalks for the last few seasons, spared no expense with the composition of their 2014 A/W show by offering 360 digital coverage of both the catwalk and backstage which was live streamed from the windows of their Oxford Street store, as well as on Youtube. Brand enthusiasts could also order pieces directly from the runway online, receiving their purchases weeks before the collection even hits the high street.
Customers were also given a “3D” virtual reality runway experience whereby shoppers could watch an immersive, 180-degree, panoramic experience of the show through a headset while sitting FROW at a mock runway set up in the flagship store. This is not dissimilar to the holographic catwalk reincarnation Burberry staged back in 2010. However, while Burberry’s screenings were private, Topshop created this experience specifically for their everyday store consumers – showing how much more of a consumer marketing event fashion week has become over the last four years.
2014 is irrefutably going to be big for Topshop with Green’s recent announcement that a new 40,000 square foot store will be opening in New York, as well as an additional four opening in Atlanta and Washington DC. Topshop Unique designers appear to know no limitations when it comes to creating edgy, but appealing, collections. The A/W 2014 show has preached a more grown-up feel, which mirror’s the brand’s soaring popularity and integrity both here and in the states.