LFW: TOPSHOP UNIQUE S/S 2014

There’s a long-running bias in the fashion world that if a line is publicly popular then it can’t be all that good. There is a strong inference that quality is expensive and that cost factor leads to elitism that keeps the clothes from the hands of the common riff raff. Topshop, it would seem, has found a way to defy that bias.

On one hand, there was Kate Moss and Anna Wintour sitting front row representing fashion’s elite. Then, there was Pixie Geldof and Ellie Goulding on the other side, representing the popular kids (even if these two have enviable trust funds). Topshop is one of the UK’s top brands precisely because of this broad appeal.

What are they doing right? For starters, the clothes in this spring/summer collection look and feel genuinely casual, but without sacrificing quality.  Yes, that’s silk. Yes, that’s hand detailing. But no, you don’t have to wear heels/ Models wore wedged slip-ons as they walked down a grass-covered runway. What girl, rich or poor, couldn’t imagine herself in one of these outfits?

Secondly, their styles are contemporary without being gaudy. The color palette was primarily earth tones with a few pastels included here and there. Prints were meshed with solid in a manner that actually looks good, not forced. When one enters a room wearing Topshop, heads turn because you look good, not because the clothes are too loud.

Third, the silhouettes are loose, flowing, and accessible. One doesn’t have to be a size 2 or smaller to fit into Topshop. One can actually enjoy eating that barbecue without fearing that a seam might rip. Yet, they still manage to be alluring and softly sensual. A large number of pieces in this collection are completely backless, emphasizing one’s natural form and sexiness.

Obviously, not everyone likes a brand that bridges the social gap so well. I’ve heard plenty of complaints from both sides this afternoon. Yet, there’s no denying that the Topshelf Unique line has exactly what everyone wants from their clothes: beauty, style, quality and wearability. With a combination like that, there’s no way the brand can miss.

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