News for everyone who is taking one look at the dollar-pound exchange rate and thinking better of flying to London for a shopping spree: Topshop is on its way to New York. The hip British high-street phenomenon is slated to open its first U.S. flagship on Broadway in October, a piece of info that sheds new relevance on its Fall runway show. What's on offer is the Unique collectiona creative outlet for a lively in-house team that normally spends its days worrying about jeans and T-shirts. This season, it seems, they're getting serious, or at least more grown-up than usual.
For all the skintight black leather leggings that were used as a kind of foundation piece under roomy square-cut parkas and over-the-head tweed dresses, the collection seemed pitched more at a level-headed thirtysomething than a hell-raising teen. It included a greatcoat, shirts and pants in a vaguely militaristic brown, giant Peruvian-knit hooded ponchos, and an evening section of beige and dusty blue patchworked, printed chiffon dresses that owed something to the unmissable London influence that is Christopher Kane. So far, so soberbut a bit misleading, too. Unique is just one of the plates Topshop has spinning at any one time (more of a side plate, actually). The more famous things Topshop dishes up are Kate Moss' line, the collections created for the store by young designers (currently Jonathan Saunders, Louise Goldin, Todd Lynn, Marios Schwab, and Kane himself), and its multifarious fast-fashion ranges. By the time all that's mixed and merchandised, the Broadway store won't look much like this show, but that's OK.
Those who came to watch were there as much to applaud Topshop's philanthropic underwriting of London's New Generation scheme, without which the city's show-week energy would shudder to a haltand to get a first look at the show venue, which the store hands over to young designers for the duration.