Topshop part I

Today I (and bazillions of others) received a view/preview of Topshop’s lookbook for Spring/Summer09.

For those of you not in the know Topshop has three or four bizarrely named and seemingly arbitrary trends at any one time. I remember the last few years saw Zanzibar, Medieval and Gothic Fairytale. Today’s perusal of the new lookbook has brought us “Glory Days”, “Memphis”, “Sport Nouveau”, and “Witchcraft”. Go here for illumination…

Having stared at them hard for a while I have renamed them “The Eighties”, “The Eighties”, “The Eighties”, and “The Late Eighties”.

Perhaps I’m not trying hard enough…

Glory Days.

Here we are harking back to post-war floral eccentricity and Union Jack flags. Are we? Are we *really*? Wasn’t the fashion period following 1945 actually marked by rather long hemlines, much in the way of petticoats and a LOT of strongly (and perhaps insincerely) cheery femininity? What I’m seeing is a lot of solid neutral coloured crap with short hemlines and an occasional floral print. Floral print has been around for ever and isn’t tied to a particular decade unless you use a particular recognised print and they don’t. The point, then, must be in the detail but the detail is resolutely eighties. The Union Jack’s bizarre appearance in this mishmash is probably a reference to the end of the war and some sort of ragged national pride, unfortunately jamming the darn thing on clothes transports the collection to the mid sixties or the eighties. The only possible explanation I can come up with is that post-war means post-Cold War. I give Glory Days a FAIL out of ten.


Here we have a Mexican Rodeo with “ethnic nuances”. I think that means “lots of fringing”. When I look at the model templates for this I see grunge cowboys. And not very committed ones at that. The studded and patterned denim is the eighties, the bleached jeans are eighties hair rock, the tshirt dress is eighties… in fact the only thing dragging it to a different time period is a single checked shirt which hauls everything a couple of years towards 90s grunge. And WHY “Memphis”? What has that got to do with anything? They talk of Mexico. Mexico is approx 900 miles from Memphis. They talk of rodeos. In my confusion I reached for Wikipedia and I learned about Graceland, The Cotton Museum, and the Memphis Mafia. Clearly a cowboy stronghold. FAIL out of ten for being a boring denim-fest with a terrible collection title.

Sport Nouveau.

Sport Nouveau has the decency to admit it’s inspired by the eighties. It is a collection of sportswear appropriate to any occasion but one in which one is playing any kind of sport. It’s like they took sportswear and said “But why is it so unrelentingly practical and why does it not hinder movement in unforseen and uncomfortable ways? Where is the silk? Where is the killer heel? WHERE IS MC HAMMER?” Sadly this is “Coming Soon” so I can only seethe in anticipation rather than point out example after example, HOWEVER, since they use the word “bodycon” I am more than willing to do this. Bodycon is a crime against the female form and involves ridiculously tight clingy dresses (see Cheryl Cole compressed into her Hervé Léger bandage dress and you will know what I mean) which supposedly hold in your wobbly bits. Great theory, sadly it only applies to the dresses which hover around the £1,000 mark. High street fare either showcases every excess gram of fat by clinging but not cinching or holds everything in so tightly it is not sculped at all. Rather, it escapes at top and bottom to form surprise rolls of fat around knee and shoulder. FAIL for bodycon and pastel coloured boringness. I could have ignored the pastels because I love the name Sport Nouveau an obscene amount but nothing could persuade me to ignore bodycon.


Another “Coming Soon”. Another mention of bodycon. Obviously this entitles “Witchcraft” to an autoFAIL so is there any point in exploring it further? Only to give a brief outline: leggings (eighties), bodycon (eighties), studded leather jackets (eighties)… I think you see where I’m going with this. Topshop, you have failed two seasons out of four already. Autumn and Winter better be fucking awesome.