YOUR SUMMER MUST-SEE: MATISSE CUT-OUTS

Posted on April 17, 2014

Cut-Outs are a big deal this summer. And no, we don’t mean cut-out crops or open-back shirts (although they are a favourite for us too). We mean Cut-Outs as invented by legendary painter Matisse, and the Tate exhibition dedicated to his later life’s vibrant work. We’ve seen the hype and read all the papers declaring it the exhibition of the summer so went to check out if the critics were right…

Icarus 1943, maquette for plate VIII of the illustrated book Jazz 1947

From epic wall-spanning canvases to mesmerizing stained glass windows, it’s a feast for the eyes. But it’s not just the size, scale and variety of mediums that have us enraptured, it’s the colours. The petrol blue dancing figures, the geometric burnt-orange collages, the sprawling purple seaweed. Not only is Cut-Outs a prolific and rich exhibition but one that excites our inner creative.

Large Composition with Masks 1953

It’s bright, it’s vibrant and it has made us yearn for summer to hurry on up. The fact that Matisse only came to this form in his latter years, and that it often only took a little paint, card and pins to create most of them, blows our minds! For your Easter weekend culture fix or for any weekend from here til September, we can’t recommend this enough.

Henri Matisse, pictured in his studio. Photograph: Lydia Delectorskaya

This will undoubtedly be a summer sell-out so make sure to book your tickets now and make sure to tell us what you think! 

KATE MOSS TALKS FASHION DESIGN

Posted on April 16, 2014

There’s only two weeks ’til Kate Moss for Topshop hits down and it would be the understatement of the century to say we’re just a little bit excited! Moss has spent a number of busy months with our in-house design team, dreaming up her new collection and overseeing the whole process from initial sketches and fabric sourcing to those all-important final tweaks.

Choosing her beloved summer festivals and poolside holidays as a starting point, the collection is an irresistible ode to the many different sides of Kate’s iconic style. Scroll down to see the mood boards that inspired the collection, listen to the design studio’s Kate Moss playlist and read on as she talks about adding design to her long list of talents…

Talk us through the design process. What is your favourite part?

I like the whole process from hanging out with the design team, deciding on the concept, getting excited about things and realising, “we really can get the quality of the fabrics we want,” and of course seeing the final collection come back.

Were there any challenges? 

Making sure the embellishments were right and making it look chic and glamorous, while keeping the essence of the collection.

When you are designing a collection, what items do you always include?

A jacket is always a good one – our jackets have always been my favourite things. The leather jackets are amazing, and the blazers. But also need the little tea dresses and it’s essential to have the dresses for special occasions, the cocktail dressses, this collection has some great pieces for the evening.

Has designing clothes given you a new appreciation of fashion?

I think it has made me much more aware of the attention to detail, and I can also see how you can achieve great quality clothing and design but still make it affordable.

Has your method of designing changed since your first?

My first collection was seven years ago in 2007. I have grown up since then, and things that I want to wear are different. It is a natural evolvement.

Has it grown up?

I was girlier then, and I could still get away with wearing flowery little things. We still have tea dresses in the collection but they are more grown up now – a bit more sophisticated but you can still wear them if you are young.

Do you feel you’ve grown as a designer since then?

I have just grown up generally. I think I learnt a lot the first time around, because I didn’t know anything about designing then. I learnt a lot from that experience and so I didn’t come in blind this time – I knew the process. Phillip has taught me a lot, I now know about the stitches, the fabrics and the quality.

Could you sum up the collection in three words?

Me, me, me…

Browse the Kate Moss for Topshop collection here and watch Kate at work below.

The Kate Moss Design Studio’s playlist:

- Fleetwood Mac ‘The Chain’

- Patrice Rushen ‘Haven’t you heard’

- Joe Goddard ‘Taking Over’

- Micheal Jackson ‘Rock with you’

- Inner City ‘Good life’

- Sam Smith ‘Latch’

- Primal Scream ‘Rock’s off’

STYLIST STAR: NELL KALONJI

Posted on April 14, 2014

You know those girls who just throw outfits together and look effortlessly amazing every time? Well Nell Kalonji is one of them. The style guru has been lending her discerning eye to cutting-edge fashion shoots for years and after drooling over her work in hipster bibles like Dazed & Confused and AnOther magazine, we just had to get her onboard at Topshop.

This month Nell acted as guest stylist on our ’5 Ways To Wear’ feature, styling up our new floral board shorts for every occasion. From smartly tailored to a new take on festival wear, Nell taught us that one item can go a long way, saving us both time and money… thanks Nell! Watch the video below and read on as we pick her brain for a few more valuable fash tips.

What trends will you be wearing this summer?

I have actually developed a little obsession with culottes so they will definitely be part of my summer wardrobe!

What gets you inspired?

I love old movies and am fascinated by the world of costume. I’ve just bought a selection of Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg movies which will keep me occupied over the weekend. But apart from that I think you can get inspired by anything – books, exhibitions, travels. Anything as long as you are open to it.

What’s been your most exciting shoot to work on?

I would say that’s the first ever shoot I worked on with Dazed & Confused Fashion Editor Katie Shillingford. I had just moved to London for an internship and didn’t know what to expect. Being on set with such creative people was fascinating and made me realise that this is what I want to be doing.

What advice would you give to someone wanting a career as a stylist?

I think interning and assisting is a big part of it. You learn so much more by working for someone and by observing how they approach a project.

What’s on your playlist at a shoot?

Beyonce, TLC… then more Beyonce!

Whose wardrobe would you love to ransack?

Right now Marlene Dietrich, but it changes all the time!

Are you a high fashion or high street girl?

High fashion, high street or vintage – it doesn’t really matter. It all depends on how you put it together!

Browse the full feature >

 

PROM STYLE SORTED BY TEEN VOGUE

Posted on April 11, 2014

The landmark moment of leaving school is undoubtedly the prom. And although the films focus on Prom Queen votes and finding a date, us Topshop girls know it’s really all about the outfit. Whether it’s that show-stopping dress you’ve been dreaming of for years or cool tailoring to change up the stereotype – prom is a chance to express your own unique style. Need some inspiration to hone yours? We enlisted the know-how of Teen Vogue‘s Market Fashion Editor, Mary Kate Steinmiller, to give us some hints on getting that standout prom look.

Tell us about your own prom…

I had so much fun! I went with a date who was a friend, so wasn’t worried about anything but having fun. I absolutely love dancing, and I love wearing a party dress, so in my mind prom is the best opportunity to do just that.

What tips would you give for finding the perfect prom outfit?

I’m such a supporter of personal style and feeling comfortable. There are few times in life where you really get to dress up and go all out, so have fun with it. I don’t think there are any rules…short dress, long dress, it doesn’t matter. Just be sure you are comfortable, don’t try to be something you are not. Do whatever you can to make the dress “yours”. I love when a girl wears sneakers with her dress, or a leather jacket over it, or accessorises it in her own signature way. It’s easy for girls to look all alike on prom night, but it’s the most inspiring when they really dress up in their own way.

Who would be your ultimate prom King and Queen?

My late teen years were spent watching The OC, so it’s forever Seth and Summer and Marissa and Ryan for me.

Where’s a good place to get inspiration for your prom look?

First, in your own closet…think about what colours you love, what fits your body well, what makes you comfortable, and what makes you confident. From there the red carpet is always a source of information for beauty, hair, dress and accessories inspiration. Look to a celebrity or style icon whose style you admire and take bits and pieces from there.

If you were going to prom tonight, what would you wear?

I’m always wearing some version of white for black tie and dressed up events…white, cream, lace, sparkle..that’s my go-to.

When did you first discover your love of fashion?

When I was little getting dressed was the biggest deal for me…in kindergarten I would only wear my Minnie Mouse dress, day after day after day. I was just always very aware of what I wore and how I put myself together. At school my parents would drive me to another state just to shop at stores we didn’t have yet in our city. It’s always been a very creative thing for me, I’m very inspired by fabric, prints and colour (even though I wear a lot of black and white).

How did you get your big break?

My big break was landing a Teen Vogue internship during my first year at The New School’s Parson’s School of Design. I had a friend who double booked herself with internships, and offered the Teen Vogue one up to me, and that’s where I have stayed for 9 years.

What’s the best bit about your job at Teen Vogue? 

We have the BEST reader. No one inspires me and excites me more than the Teen Vogue reader. I think we have the opportunity to mix brands, and explore trends and utilise technology like no other magazine. When the reader is young, everything becomes that much more energising. We have to keep up!

Any advice for girls wanting to get into fashion?

Don’t get into it for the glamour and fame. It seems like many fashion industry stars and editors are more of celebrities these days. But you have to remember it’s hard work. Everyone has to put in their time and effort in order to succeed. There are a lot of parties, and perks, and glamorous moments, but at the heart of it, it’s the dedication to the product you are putting out that matters. Let your work speak for yourself, and then the success will follow.

What’s you life motto?

My Editor-in-Chief Amy Astley once told me to “let your light shine”, and I try to live by that.

Follow Mary Kate’s words of wisdom and do prom with a difference! Shop the directional dresses, add-on accessories and party perfect make-up right here.

HARLEY VIERA NEWTON STYLES COACHELLA

Posted on April 10, 2014

Festival season is officially here, kicking off this weekend with the sunny style extravaganza that is Coachella festival. Sadly most of us will be stuck at our desks in not-so-scorching Blighty while the style set are living it up in the Californian desert, but that hasn’t stopped us from sending our spies to get the skinny.

And who better to give you the insider scoop than DJ and ultimate cool-girl Harley Viera Newton? Harley will be taking over our Instagram account over the weekend, so stay tuned to get the Coachella goss before anyone else. In the meantime, we quizzed Harley on how she’s gearing up for a super stylish Coachella ’14.

Can you sum up Coachella in three words?

What a weekend!

Do you change up your signature style for a festival?

Definitely not! Festival style ultimately has to be about comfort. You’re walking around for hours and don’t want your outfit to make you feel uncomfortable in any way.

What outfits are you planning this year?

I’ve been to several Coachellas and have learned the hard way that you have to keep it really light, comfortable, and breezy. It’s HOT there, so I’ll be going for easy airy pieces in fun prints.

What’s in your festival survival kit?

SPF, lip balm, a portable charger for my phone, and a great swimsuit!

Top hair & beauty tips for a festival?

Keep skin really natural and sheer so you don’t look cakey in the sun. Hair should be effortless, but I always go for a bright fun lip colour!

What acts are you excited to see play this year?

I’m excited to see Haim and Blood Orange because they have great new albums out. Also especially looking forward to seeing The Replacements and Outkast – both rare appearances!

Follow Topshop on Instagram to keep up-to-date with Harley’s Coachella experience.