February 09, 2008 London
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.