The evolution of the Topman collection has seen a masterful injection of high-quality technique into the brand's fast-fashion ethos, but for Spring 2013, that whole notion went south—or rather west, to California and a skate-surf-grunge story that skewed Topman much younger and even faster. It was obvious from the start, with a suit in a classic Prince of Wales check stripped of its guts, cropped into pleated shorts, and paired with a shirt that offered another variant on the gothic-Hawaiian hybrid that got some play last season from the likes of Adam Kimmel and Valentino.

It was made even more obvious when models appeared with skateboards tucked into their backpacks, or in tees whose graphics echoed the work of artist Raymond Pettibon, erstwhile illustrator of Black Flag fliers. The schoolboy-gone-bad flavor was intensified by neoprene bike shorts that insinuated themselves under florid prints, the grunginess of which was matched by a dégradé twinset in the shades of sunset over Coachella. That actually sounds more upbeat than the clothes themselves. There was something paradoxically lifeless about them, despite an almostly luridly bright color palette. Regrettably, the sophistication of Topman's recent past seemed to have been shelved with this collection, which struck a single chord and held it long past its welcome.