The throbbing passion of the 80s pulsated from the beginning of the Topshop Unique collection. The brand’s latest muse and current face, Taylor Hill opened the show in a navy jumpsuit and satin sweater. Her eyes were bronzed, her hair ready for the dance floor. Back in the day, she might’ve rocked up to Camden Palace or Blitz, the two nightclubs with an indelible impact that continually presides over many London designers mood boards.
For Topshop to pick up on the 80s is unsurprising. Demna Gvasalia recently revived the decade in fashion with his debut Balenciaga collection. His interpretation of the epoch, pushed wide shoulders, pronounced hips, secretarial chic and Soviet style to extremes. Topshop dissected those items and simplified them, for a customer whose shoulder span doesn’t exceed 80cm. Instead of a wide-shouldered, pronounced-waist blazer, there was a simple, sharp blazer. It may have been basic, but it’s an area of a women’s wardrobe she’ll be willing to spend. Rather than spending a small fortune on Balenciaga, she can go to Topshop, for a similar, classic item. The baggy, indigo trousers worn in the collection with all their details, and the camel duster buttoned only at the top echoed the styling codes of Vetements, where Demna Gvasalia made his fashion case initially. Sleeves of the yellow sweater were overlong, a haphazard slash in the waist. Lineisy Montero’s oversized jacket, similarly, was another pervasion of Vetements.
Away from Gvasalia-isms was the articles of clothing found in the wardrobe of a charismatic city girl—a familiar character for everyone. Whether it was abbreviated party dresses and tops, zebra print or flaming red shifts, daring PVC or leather trousers, Topshop pounced upon the classic items to convey the 80s. While the 80s is a generation that some repress, opting to forget the fashions of the times, lest we forget the hideous trends that have thankfully died, Topshop carefully selected the best bits and while they didn’t push boundaries, they experimented a little with print, tailoring and silhouette—something that their customer will appreciate. They might’ve also taken a liking to the fact that key pieces were available to purchase online immediately.
Topshop is a key provider for the young women of today. They pride themselves on their representation of youth culture. Frequently, they tap into the fanbases of models such as Gigi or Bella Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Hailey Baldwin, Cara Delevingne and Taylor Hill, the follower-wielding troupe of the day. When young girls see these faces in their local Topshop in a flashy party dress, they will buy into that. Alternatively, the customer is unaware of these runway heavy hitters but values good quality, low-cost jeans and utilitarian trousers, there’s something there for her too. The high street retailer is the prime of example of having something for everybody.
“The thrill of the new has never come so fast, spirited and cool,” read the press release. Topshop Unique may not be a high fashion label in the truest sense of the term, but endeavouring to find newness in fast, spirited and cool ways is something it has in common with every other brand.
Photo Credit: voguerunway.com