The beautiful Old Billingsgate Market and its unrivaled view of Tower Bridge was the setting for today’s Topshop Unique show. The huge space was full to capacity, and not surprising for the label’s twenty second season. The buzz hasn’t stopped for Topshop in recent weeks, what with the much anticipated Mary Katratzou for Topshop drop in store last Friday, and a promise of ten more years of support from Sir Phillip Green to LFW’s NewGen, announced at the launch of fashion week – future-proofing this wonderful showcase of talent for another decade.
The Unique Autumn/Winter 2012 collection was a definite departure from the label’s bold patterns and urban, youth inspired body-con shapes of Spring-Summer 2012. A more grown up collection, the A/W offering from Topshop’s in-house design team was packed with really wearable, and beautifully finished staple pieces.
The military influence infiltrated the entire collection, from heavy-duty hardware in the form of zips, utilitarian leather belts and almost baseball style caps in khaki felt, to the sturdy fisherman style knitwear and wader knee-high boots, all in hard-working shades of khaki, navy and the odd splash of burgundy.
Pinafores and midi-length kilts brought us back to our school days, modernized with tough leather fabrics and flashes of khaki from between the pleats. Like we’ve seen at Marc Jacobs in New York last week, next season’s coats are abandoning the figure flattering lady-like shapes of SS’12 and the cocoon shape has taken over – at Unique all lengths of cocoon outerwear featured from a full length khaki wool one, to a cross-printed midi length as well as a new take on the biker; cocoon shaped like a stiff varsity jacket in traditional wool with asymmetric zips.
We also saw some more feminine pieces near the end, with gold lamé-effect sequinned sleeves dresses and petal shaped layeres of fabric skimming the figure delicately, all toughened up with leather ankle boots.
Patterns haven’t gone away for good, houndstooth made an appearance in pencil skirts trimmed in leather, a more classic take on the colourful versions we saw at House of Holland yesterday. This collection was full to the brim of future classics; shapes and hard-wearing fabrics that will maintain their style-credentials for seasons to come.