Topshop Unique brings us a pared down glamour for their latest SS16 collection – time to throw on some lace and a boyfriend blazer and head for cocktails!
It’s a definitive mix of luxury and effortlessness, romance and rock’n’roll. For me, the 80’s were the hey-day of British style and yesterday’s Topshop Unique show really heralded that moment.
Speaking to Topshop’s creative director Kate Phelan (left) backstage of how the 80’s ‘Brit Girl’ was a consistent inspiration, “I love digging into British culture and heritage – it’s a never-ending Pandora’s box of ideas.” There was a scene of an incredible editorial shoot running through my head, snapped in a retro recording studio or green room – models draped over instruments, drinking cocktails, decked head to toe in the runway looks.
This season the Topshop Unique girl seemed quite the rebellious beauty, throwing on lace dress, belted with her boyfriend’s blazer and heading out, the sort to never miss a social engagement. “She’s taking a tea dress from her Aunty’s wardrobe and slashing it up to the thigh, she’ll take her Grandmother’s marabou jacket and wear it with her jeans.” explained Phelan of Unique’s new vibe. “We’re also looking towards Savile Row, an established institution in tailoring – alongside prints from Wedgewood china.”
So heritage is answer for Unique SS16, a collection dedicated to the free spirited and social, London girl of the 80’s.
Next were the was the questions I had been dying to ask Kate – what does it take to be creative director of one of the world’s most innovative brands? Where do we even start?
“You need to consume and enjoy fashion, it’s an amazing and interesting industry to be a part of – but there’s a health warning attached to that – you’ve got to be ready to do really hard work. You can’t just take a camera and think you can just Instagram what’s happening, it’s about really getting involved, doing something important, moving the industry forward and really celebrating everything that’s so fantastic about fashion.”
And Phelan should know, having helmed Vogue UK as it’s co-creative director (with Lucinda Chambers) for 18 years before signing on as creative director for Topshop, she’s really been at the forefront of shaping Britain’s style identity. I could have stolen her for an entire afternoon, it would be such a rich experience to pick her brain and learn so much more about her style and business philosophies. Tipping my hat to Kate for a rich and spirited collection, it was such a delight to be a part of the Unique experience this season – looking forward to getting those pieces in my wardrobe for the pending spring/summer!
I also have some fun news for Melbourne based Aussies, my girl Kate Waterhouse (and fellow Fashion Bloggers alumni) is hosting a Styling Session at Topshop Emporium on the 29th of September. Get down there and find the best digs! RSVP is essential so please email firstname.lastname@example.org so you don’t miss your place. xx
Photography, Gustav Carlson
Editing, Zanita Whittington