February 19, 2011 London
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.