Doncha just love life's little synchronicities? The 101 Dalmatians were all over the new Topshop collection. The woman who wrote the book on them in 1956 was Dodie Smith. Topshop's design supremo Karen Bonser currently lives next door to the house where Dodie lived. Spooky! But that was scarcely why Bonser directed her team to the wonders of duotone. Last season's polychromatic splendor left black and white looking a little pallid by comparison. Bonser wanted to prove they could have just as much oomph as primary colors. And what better way to do that than by evoking the era when black and white ruled the world, courtesy of its Hollywood ambassadors? So this season, Unique was all about the thirties—Topshop and Hollywood style. The black-tie glamour of Fred and Ginger, the gangster pinstripes of Cagney and Robinson, Manhattan's iconic Art Deco skyline…present and correct. But this is, after all, Top-as-in-Pop Shop, so Disney's Dalmatians and Madonna's Blonde Ambition (remember, she was pinstriped in "Express Yourself") also made it into the mix.

Dalmatian spots spattered a white "fur" coat, the frankly fake lapels and hem of a suit, a sailor suit, and its stole. Black and white polka dots took up the slack everywhere else. Art Deco-fied print motifs included dogs, fans, and cars (a Stutz Bearcat, presumably) cut into the kind of pieces we'll probably recognize in Kate Winslet's upcoming remake of Mildred Pierce. The Brooklyn Bridge was dévoré'd in black velvet. A fringed showgirl dress was right off 42nd Street. What Bonser, her team, and her stylist Katie Grand got so right is that the clothes business is now show business. Throughout, there were the kind of poppy, peppy pieces that any wannabe chorine could pick up for a song, from tap shorts to a full feather-and-chenille fantasia. And if your conscience never allowed you to crave a chinchilla wrap, Topshop lives to realize your secret wish next season.

Gimlet-eyed footnote: With Topshop about to open wide in America, the almost subliminal name-checking of hot-spot targets New York, Hollywood, and Miami made the kind of commercial sense that would have Marshall McLuhan clapping his hands with prophetic glee.