According to design and development director Gordon Richardson, a cornerstone of Topman
's business is the parka, so it's clearly one of the design team's ongoing challenges to refresh the item season after season. Fall's early warning signs already suggest that the idea of exploration is a key inspiration, which meant Topman was ahead of the curve with its trip to the top of the world. Huge parkas with matching deep-pleated cotton drill pants evoked vintage images of the gentleman explorer. Peacoats printed with Tibetan patterns and knits woven with the om symbol hinted at the Shangri-la he might find when he reached his mountaintop. The shift in the show's color scheme from winter white to rich Buddhist oranges and fuchsias made the journey even more vivid, with a blast of George Harrison's "What Is Love?" to reinforce our traveler's spiritual enlightenment. But this is, after all, Topman, the male arm of fast fashion's highest-profile emissary, so the temple bell's ring is echoed in the cash register's ka-ching. Which meant that the Himalayan hooey was ultimately in the employ of gussying-up smart city tailoring and canny accessories. Cute that the rucksack had pockets for a hip flask and a compass, more to the point that there was space for an iPad, too.