Now, as you all know I’m no cynic – especially when it comes to fashion – so it was with no small amount of distress that I opened the Topshop mailing entitled “Day of the Dead”…
Taking Grim Fandango as my baseline (where the artwork encapsulated the ideas of remembrance, love, and loss and intertwined them with traditional Mexican imagery) Topshop’s DOTD has a lot to live up to. This might be unfair but then so is life.
Upon opening the mailing I saw this:
No, your eyes do not deceive you. They really have got a picture of a load of pansies, pasted in the same skulls they’ve used in every vaguely gothic trend since Avril found an eyeliner pencil, and then smudged it about a bit. I think it’s the skulls that are annoying me the most – the Day of the Dead calaveras look approximately thus:
Now I do know that you can say any skull is appropriate but the point is that Topshop are trying to invoke a particular cultural event so using the same skull they use for everything else achieves precisely nothing. To see whether I was just being unfair I clicked through.
Nope. It’s truly a mess. Some of the things have been yoinked from other collections to fill neutral spaces with vaguely relevant colours, things like the jacket above are wholly irrelevant, and the rest has a lazy spattering of skulls. The only interesting item is the embroidered vest thing but that suffers from the peculiar only-the-front-half-has-anything-on problem.
Look Topshop, you create some really nice clothes but you currently can’t put together a collection for toffee. Pick a theme, gear the clothes round it, stop letting bits from other collections wandering in. It’s not difficult!