Archive for September 2012:

THE KILLS: DREAM & DRIVE

Posted on September 28, 2012

The Kills’ Alison Mosshart once compared the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle to “waking up in the morning, putting on your boots and shooting yourself out of a canon”.  Now ten years in, the band have decided to mark the last decade of musical history with a photographic trip down memory lane…

Launching their retrospective to the public eye today, The Kills duo, Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince have plastered the walls of East London’s Hoxton Gallery with images taken from their recently published book, ‘Dream & Drive’. With 600 rolls of film and over 20,000 photographs, the book itself manages to document an epic nine years of the band’s most intimate and playful moments and all captured on film by long-time friend and collaborator, photographer Kenneth Cappello.

Hoping to give the same experience to their visitors, the musical pair invited close friends Jamie Winstone, Nick Grimshaw, Noel Fielding, Pam Hogg and of course Mrs Hince (to name but a few) to catch a first glimpse last night and if the snap-happy smiles below are anything to go by, we’re pretty sure this is an event that doesn’t disappoint – though we must admit, we were hoping to see some canons in the mix to really help us get into the rock ‘n’ roll spirit…


The exhibition runs from today until Tuesday 2nd October, so if you’re looking for a little rock ‘n’ roll inspired activity this weekend, then voila – call off the search!

MARILYN MONROE: A BRITISH LOVE AFFAIR

Posted on September 27, 2012

Marilyn Monroe – the name alone speaks volumes, but add to that the face, the smile, the incredible hourglass figure and you’re left with an icon who defies justifiable description.

Imagine being so beautiful, so iconic that the world never tires of its fascination, even 50 years after your death. That was, and still is, the reality for Marilyn Monroe; a woman who ironically once wrote to cinematographer Jack Cardiff, “Dearest Jack, if only I could be the way you created me” – a wish that has since become her legacy.

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of her death, The National Portrait Gallery are opening an exhibition in honour of the blonde bombshell’s affiliation with the UK. ‘Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair’ will host an array of portraits taken by renowned British photographers such as Baron, Cecil Beaton and Antony Beauchamp and a series of press images that include Marilyn’s meeting with the Queen in 1956.

The display will also include a documented journey of the star’s four-month stay during the filming of The Prince and The Showgirl opposite Laurence Olivier (a story that inspired Hollywood’s recent, My Week With Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams and Eddie Redmayne – if you haven’t seen it yet, do!).

Opening this Saturday 29th September until 24th March 2013, there’s plenty of time to get your Marilyn fix – and the best part of all? You can do so without paying a penny because the exhibition is free.

See you there!

DASHING TWEEDS DO TOPSHOP

Posted on September 26, 2012

Here at Topshop HQ, we’ve been long time supporters of the amazing talent that comes from British turf. Although it’s not just the amazing creatives that are born and bred here, but the beautiful wares that are created solely and sustainably on our little island. So, when our ever-experimental design team came across British heritage tweed studio Dashing Tweeds, they knew they had to collaborate!

Founded by textiles designer Kirsty McDougall and photographer (and suit-obsessed!) Guy Hills, Dashing Tweeds is a textile company with a difference. Using all the best British mills and workshops Dashing Tweeds have collaborated with some of the biggest names in fashion – Henry Holland, Holly Fulton, Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford (must we go on?) -  to create vibrant, diverse and modern weaves for the slickest of suits.

For their collaboration with Topshop they created two full suits in slim cut blazers and ankle swinging cigarette trousers in a rich berry or navy blue zig zag weave.

We managed to grab five minutes with Topshop Designer Rachel McColloch to ask how the collaboration came together.

How did working with Dashing Tweeds come about?

We wanted to set up a project which specifically championed the amazing skills and talents we have here in Britain. We have such a vast heritage of British cloth manufacture and garment production and we wanted to create a small collection that celebrated that fact. We had heard about an amazing bespoke British mill called Dashing Tweeds which created really unique, exciting tweeds and so were desperate to work directly with this very cool, up and coming British Mill and all of their amazing cloths.

What was it about Dashing Tweed that stood out from other tweed makers?

The colours and patterns they use are really brave and totally unlike anything else we have come across.

What was the process like?

We were able to meet them and be shown a selection of their cloths and tweed designs. It was so inspiring, we ordered some sampling lengths immediately so that we could get them made up in our own pattern room here at Topshop.

What was the inspiration behind the collection?

I have been feeling inspired by the very masculine tailoring aesthetic coming through at the moment and loved the idea of a boyish jacket shape worn with slimming cigarette pants. This simple, directional silhouette teamed with these stand out cloths makes a great statement whilst being very premium. The suits have all been made here in the UK as well as having British woven cloth and we are really proud of that fact.

Do you have a particular favourite piece?

I like the blue and black zig zag suit jacket. I think this will be a piece that I will wear and love for years to come, it looks cool as a suit but would also be amazing dressed down with a cool t-shirt and mini skirt.

DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL

Posted on September 25, 2012

If you thought Anna Wintour was the first Fashion Editor to instil fear into the loins of designers and wield her publishing power with an iron fist, then you’d be wrong. Diana Vreeland had been breaking models, designers and photographers hearts since she went from society doyenne to Harpers Bazaar columnist in 1937 and rose to Editor in Chief of Vogue in 1962. So, it’s no surprise the “original Devil Wears Prada” has inspired a film dedicated to the mythical, grandiose and incredibly fashionable life she led.

And who better to put together 86 years of fabulousness into a digestible and delightful hour and a half documentary than her filmmaker granddaughter-in-law, Lisa Immordino Vreeland. Flitting between Paris, London and New York, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, is told using archival recordings of Vreeland’s own booming voice and grandly-descriptive way, as it follows her with famous friends, fashion shows and on popular talk shows.

On seeing the film, there’s no way you’ll think of the fashion magazine business, and it’s history, in the same way. Vreeland was seminal. A genius. She discovered Twiggy, Edie Sedgewick and Lauren Bacall; cosied up with Cecil Beaton and Richard Avedon; and before Miranda Priestly was a twinkle in Lauren Weisberger’s eye she was the inspiration for two characters in celluloid – the flamboyant fashion editor in Stanley Donen’s Funny Face and another fashion editor in William Klein’s Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? But it is Vreeland’s cheeky charm, ruthless decision making skills and incomparable taste in style, that make this film so addictive for any fashion fans. All we can ask now is, Anna, who?

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is showing at London’s Curzon Mayfair, the ICA and Hackney Picture House.  It is released on DVD from October 29th.

THE WAY WE WORK

Posted on September 25, 2012

This month we caught up with the lovely Susie Dewey from our London HQ Press Office to talk about her amazing job, style icons and a list of London haunts that we guarantee will have you taking notes and visiting in no time…

Photo: Sasha Wilkins/LibertyLondonGirl.com

Name: Susie Dewey

Hometown: East Grinstead, West Sussex

My job title is… PR Coordinator

And that means… I work to place Topshop products in the press. I look after all international  requests for Topshop mainline and liaise with our offices in New York and Paris to make sure the teams are fully supported, and I also support the assistants who look after the UK market. I monitor all Topshop press coverage, in the UK and internationally, in print and online and I support our press officers with any large projects they’re working on.

I studied… English Literature at Leeds.

I got my job by… I was fortunate to get an internship in the Topshop Press Office after I graduated which led to roles at Burberry and my-wardrobe.com before I eventually came back to Topshop last year.

In a typical working day I… There is no such thing in this job, every day is different! However, most days will bring appointments with stylists and press in our showroom, speaking to our international press teams, running round the Buying Floor at HQ to get new samples from the teams and sending them out to press. Reading papers and magazines to monitor Topshop placement and to make sure we’re abreast of what’s going on in the industry and the rest of the world, looking after our interns and answering lots of phone calls.

The best thing about my job is… The unpredictability, you never know what the day will bring. Also, being surrounded by people you find inspiring and who urge you to work harder and achieve further – it sounds cheesy but it’s a privilege to work alongside such a great team.

When I was growing up I wanted to be… An actress! I was convinced I was going to win an Oscar – sad but true.

I couldn’t do my job without… A cracking playlist on the iPod and the selection of savoury snacks that our team dig into… Jacobs crackers basically got us through London Fashion Week.

My advice to students hoping to crack the fashion industry would be… Take every opportunity you can, you never know what something might turn into; some of my toughest experiences have resulted in my highest achievements. Work experience and internships are so sought after so you must be sure to take your opportunity, make yourself indispensable and unforgettable by working as hard as you can. Learn from the people around you, have a positive attitude and excellent standards; if you do that, chances are you’ll be at the top of the list when a vacancy arises.

My signature style is… Quite classic and minimal – my style heroine is Geraldine Saglio (Fashion Editor at French Vogue). I like neutral colours and tend to spend my life in skinny jeans; you can’t go wrong with a silk shirt and a blazer in my mind, but I spice it up with a statement shoe. I love our MJ sparkly slippers at the moment.

And my hero piece for this season is… I’m mildly obsessed with knitwear and coats so I’m looking forward to the AW season. You can’t beat a strong coat, it makes an outfit in the winter. I love the checked blanket coat from Unique and I’ve been wearing the Topshop garçon jumper a lot already. I’m also breaking from my comfort zone to experiment with printed trousers – team a bold print with a neutral top and jacket for a great AW look.

When I’m in London, my hottest hang-outs are… I like my local haunts the best. I live above The Pantry in Wandsworth which is the best for weekend brunches and The Ship pub for the odd raucous Sunday night. I love Wong Kei in Soho for amazing Chinese food and the most terrible – but hilarious – service, if you get a smile out of the waiters, it’s a real achievement! The Chelsea Bun on Limerston St does the best hangover full-English I’ve ever come across and I love Eclipse in South Kensington for cocktails.

And when I’m in my hometown I love hanging out at… The Griffin in Fletching, it’s hands down best country pub in Sussex. You also can’t beat the antique shops in Lewes for amazing finds, I’ve got some great bits of furniture and vintage clothes whilst rummaging.

I can’t live without… My diary, I need to write things down! English breakfast tea, smooth peanut -butter, my iPod and an emergency pair of shoes under my desk, just in case.

My favourite magazine is… Tough question – it’s a tie between Self Service, The Gentlewoman, French Vogue and French Vogue collections – £25 a season but such a treat!

I love grabbing my lunch from…It doesn’t get better than Pret. ‘Pret-Debt’ is a commonly used term on our team.

On my iPod right now is… Arthur Beatrice – I’m obsessed! Tom Odell, St Lou Lou, Jessie Ware, Life In Film, Polica, Leonard Cohen and Fleetwood Mac.

As a special treat, I love to… Buy fresh hydrangeas and peonies.

In five years I’d like to be… Hopefully still at Topshop and out of my Pret-debt!

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