Shop the interactive Topshop Unique Fall 2016 runway show where the ‘50s meet the ‘80s with statement zebra print, voluminous tailoring and heavily embellished finale dresses.
This season’s inspiration came from the market itself. “We looked back to the heyday of London fashion in the late ’80s, when markets were everywhere,” Topshop Creative Director Kate Phelan told us backstage. “There was Camden, Kensington, Hyper Hyper… these fashion emporiums opened up so many diverse styles; it’s that great individual British style that comes through in today’s collection.”
Mixing eras and references like only Topshop Unique does best, the collection merged a prim and proper ’50s silhouette with the anarchic feel of the ’80s. Think demure high-neck blouses and fuchsia cocoon coats, offset with edgy lingerie inspired by Camden Ballroom club kids. PVC vinyl came styled with buttoned-up silk florals and quintessentially British tweed, while evening dresses got New Wave sensibility thanks to ‘gaffer tape’ strapping, safety pin embellishments and thigh-high splits.
’80s singer Sade provided the muse for this collection’s girl. “There’s something about that “smooth operator” woman that we wanted to bring to life, and the models in the show reflect that,” Kate says. “It’s all about confidence,” added Topshop Unique stylist Beth Fenton. “We cast the girls with that ’80s supermodel-mentality in mind. Girls like (our new campaign model) Taylor Hill and Stella Maxwell, who really epitomise individuality and confidence in their own look.”
The prints you need now? One of the show’s standout motifs had to be rose florals, given the Topshop Unique treatment with a graphic, surrealist spin inspired by radical ’70s artist Linder Sterling. More into animal print? Zebra made a big impression too, with our girl wearing it top to toe: “A full zebra print look – why not?” said stylist Beth. “The styling was all about really committing to one ‘out-there’ look – going out and just owning it.”
If one trend’s for certain, today’s show was all about the waist. “An enhanced silhouette is one of the biggest new directions for this collection,” Kate Phelan told us. “We’ve bought back the neatness of the waist. It’s a very long, lean silhouette with trousers tapered in at the waist in a cigarette style – it’s reminiscent of styling back in the ’80s, in magazines like The Face.”