By the time soundtrack supremo John Gosling blasted the room with Bow Wow Wow's "Go Wild in the Country," we'd already gone there. The presentation for Topshop's Unique
collection was a sensationally feral romp through the great outdoors. Opening with the relative primness of a boy-scout uniform cut into a tiny little khaki jacket and matching short shorts (covered with badges), it careened at record speed through distressed leather parkas lined with shaggy shearling; the longest, most languid knitwear with wolves and owls tangled in the complex patterns; and wood-nymph-worthy chiffons printed with mushrooms. There was so much wit and ingenuity in the clothes that you felt mushrooms might even have been involved in the creative process. Take the lustrous fake fur that looked better than the most ludicrously deluxe mink coat. (And if you don't take it, there will be thousands who do, come next winter.) Or the sexy take on functional old oilcloth, cut here into a fitted jacket with a swooping flare in back.
The reconfiguration of country classics produced a chic shearling-lined duffel, a herringbone jacket harnessed to the body, and farmer's daughter's dresses in jersey, hotted up with strips of leather binding for a corseting effect. One coat trailed a giant tangle of feral bits and bobs, like something from an Inuit shaman's tent. It was the kind of chaotic fashion piece that exerts a primal tug. And everything contributed to that mood at Unique: Emma Cook's animal masks/hats, Hannah Murray's brilliant wild-child eyebrows, Paul Hanlon's hedge-bush hair, and, most of all, Katie Grand's pull-it-all-together-then-tear-it-apart styling.