Archive for October 2012:

FIVE FLICKS FOR A FRIGHTENING HALLOWEEN

Posted on October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! Whatever you do this spooky eve, make sure it involves a frightening film fest. Whether you watch just one or all five, we’ve picked out our ultimate picks from fun and family friendly to the truly terrifying…

HALLOWEEN

It wouldn’t be Halloween without watching ‘Halloween’ (the clue being in the title). Be warned though, almost every character suffers a fatal end and all thanks to the murderous hands of Michael Myers. Released from prison 16 years after stabbing his sister to death when he was just 6 years old, it seems his time inside taught him absolutely nothing. Now committed to stalking the neighbourhood’s babysitters, he begins his mission, in sheer silence we might add, towering over his victims and yes, you guessed it – killing them, though you’ll have to watch the film to find out Jamie-Lee Curtis’ fate above…

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Welcome to an extraordinary world filled with magic and wonder… where everyday is Halloween (yes we did steal that line from the film). What originally started as a poem written by Tim Burton in 1982 has since become a holiday classic, whether you watch it at Halloween or Christmas. It tells the story of Jack Skellington, King of Halloweentown and his chance discovery of an alternative world, Christmastown – though his grasp on the latter festive season doesn’t quite go to plan… Perfect for family viewing, especially if you’re a fan of Tim Burton!

HOCUS POCUS

Definitely one to watch with your girlfriends – Hocus Pocus is the ultimate Halloween chick flick. Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy (remember her as the hilarious Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act) head up the cast as three witches with a desire for immortality. While they wreak havoc and fly about on vacuum cleaners, it’s up to a 300-year-old cat to save the day. Genius and even better thanks to its musical interludes, once you watch it you’ll officially be hooked – which may have something to do with Bette Midler putting a spell on you… You’ve been warned.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY

Altogether now – “They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re all together ooky, the Addams family…” Cue two finger clicks, a huge bowl of popcorn and you’re ready for a spooky Halloween feast where Morticia may just encourage you to play with your food (at least that’s the case for her daughter Wednesday anyway). Based on a family strict with their traditions – that are anything but traditional, it’s a little spooky and very funny.

THE RING

Be warned, watching this film may result in a phone call telling you that your time left on earth is reduced to just seven more days and not blissful ones at that, especially if you watch it on VHS. Thankfully we’re more of the DVD generation here at Topshop HQ, but you can forget a last trip to Disney world, Kenyan safaris and the best meal you ever had – instead, your last week on earth will be spent haunted by Samara, a demonic ghost child whose murderous psychic force takes form through the passing on of a videotape. Quite simply – watch it, and death will follow. Scary stuff!

Do you have any Halloween tips or tricks to share? Send your Twitpic, Instagram or Tweets to @Topshop using the hashtag #TrickorTweet for your chance to win a £100/$150 shopping spree!

POP’S ELECTRO QUEEN: ROBYN

Posted on October 30, 2012

As far as pop stars go Robyn has not merely broken the mould, but smashed right through it. The Swedish-born, electro-loving, hyperactive songstress has gone from sickly-sweet pop singer to a much-loved indie favourite. Her reincarnation took place in 2005 when she grew out of her previous record label and realised the only way for her to pursue her serious musical passion was to start up her own record label. And so, Konichiwa Records was born. Cue beat-heavy albums, entrancing tracks and a flurry of rave reviews. Robyn’s music is difficult to pin down but is best thought of as a mash up of twisted love songs, synths galore and enough crazy dancing to put Lady Gaga to shame. As for her look, well of course it fits. From her bowl cut, ice-blonde hair dos to her awkward yet amazing music videos, Robyn just loves to keep us on our toes.

After spending summer 2011 supporting Katy Perry and last autumn supporting Coldplay, the starlet is still in the thick of touring, now headlining the shows. We managed to get some precious Robyn time to talk about her must haves on the road and what she loves most about touring.

What’s been your favourite gig and why? 

I always expect every show to be my best one and it really can happen anywhere. So far it might be at Radio City Music Hall in NY in 2011 or a show I did two weeks ago in Auckland, New Zealand. I had never been there and the audience was super!

What have been some of your favourite stage costumes? 

I’m wearing a lot of beautiful things from Kenzo on stage at the moment. The colours! And I love this Opening Ceremony/Adidas flowery bike pant and sweater thing that I have in the tour wardrobe right now as well.

What do you love about touring? 

Getting to do work on stage, meeting my audience and playing with my band.

What’s not so great about touring? 

Sleeping on a bus and being away from home a lot – pretty simple!

Do you have any must-have pieces to pack? 

Yes, books! My huge Ungaro cardigan/blanket, some extremely comfortable Timberland platforms and a silk sleeping bag.

What in particular gets you through a long tour? 

Good audiences, good food, Skype and jokes with the band and crew.

Are there any live performers you love or look up to? 

Prince and Freddie Mercury.

There’s still tickets left for Robyn’s show at Brixton Academy, London this Thursday. Get them while you can!

ANYWHERE ROAD: GIRLS WHO SKATE

Posted on October 29, 2012

After a summer jam-packed with amazing women in sport –Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Laura Trott, need we go on? – our favourite skate magazine Huck and blog-founder of Copson Street and serious skater Maria Falbo are keeping up momentum with an exhibition dedicated to girls who skate and the pictures they capture on their way.

Photo by Jenna Selby

Photo by Alana Paterson

Whether it’s Venice Beach California, the outskirts of Barcelona or New York’s urban landscape, Anywhere Road captures the girls living a free spirited life dedicated to their trusty boards. The subjects featured stretch from serious professionals such as Alana Paterson (who has shot campaigns for the likes of Norse Store and Comune) to budding filmmaker Jenna Selby and skater-cum-snapper Sarah Meurle.

Photo by Lisa Kindberg

“The show grew out of a conversation we were having with Maria about the fact that a lot of really good female skateboarders happen to be natural documentarians,” said editor of Huck Andrea Kurland, “some are published photographers, others just shoot for themselves. Either way, the images they shoot capture their lifestyle in the most authentic light.” And it is the very realness that sets this show apart. There are no clichéd versions of skate girls wearing pink hoodies or (gulp) Avril Lavigne style socks! It’s a raw and beautiful look at these girls who are passionate about their boards, their crews and their experience. (They also happen to look pretty darn cool in lots of layered tees, cut off denim shorts and baggy jumpers amongst the bowls, cuts and bruises.)

Photo by Louisa Menke

Photo by Michelle Pezel

As for the dreamy exhibition title – Anywhere Road – it was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s genre-defining On The Road and there’s clear links between the Beat novel and the exhibition’s lively, off the cuff aesthetic. As editor Andrea puts just perfectly, “it’s about a certain attitude to life; that feeling you get when you hit the road with no set plans and anything seems possible.” And with that, we’re already thinking about some serious and spontaneous road tripping next summer!

Catch the exhibition at The Church of London’s gallery 71a or get into the Anywhere Road vibe by submitting a photo that captures the kind of experience you encountered when you hit the road with no set plans via Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #Anywhereroad

HALLOWEEN INSPIRATION FROM THE STARS

Posted on October 26, 2012

When it comes to celebrity Halloween parties there’s no fancy dress party quite like a Heidi Klum fancy dress party. The German model and TV presenter is notorious for her boundary pushing costumes, fanciful spreads and A-list guests who are equally as enthusiastic in their transformation stakes. As the season of skulls, pumpkins and #TrickorTweet approaches we thought what better way to inspire some serious costumes than with a post dedicated to the excessive looks created by the stars who love Halloween almost as much as we do!

If even Ska girl Gwen Stefani goes to the ball as Cinderella, then it must be true, every girl wants to be a Disney Princess! Goodbye to Stefani’s check trousers and yolk yellow hair and hello to the most realistic princess dress we’ve ever seen. Stefani has clearly had Cinderella on repeat to get this sort of attention to detail. Cue: elegant tiara, blown out fringe and white gloves. Perfect! That’s not to take anything away from our Queen Bee – Beyonce! – who couldn’t have picked a more apt costume. The diva was pregnant with Ivy Blue Carter when she donned her furry, spherical bee costume which not only nicely hid her baby bump but showed off her fabulous as always pins. There’s got to be a way of recreating this with chicken wire and faux-fur, yes?!

If there’s a prize for cuteness, it’s got to go to Buffy star Alyson Hannigan. Us Topshop girls have yet to stop cooing over her all-in-one kangaroo costume complete with a pouch for her very own marsupial dressed baby. (We highly recommend googling Alyson Hannigan for more oh-so-adorable Halloween costumes). As for Gossip Girl and fellow Buffy star Michelle Trachtenberg decided to go for a more artsy approach and took to one of director Tim Burton’s sketches ‘Blue Girl with Wine’ for inspiration to her costume. With all that smurf paint and serious eyelashes, this is what we call a dedicated effort!

With all these brilliant ideas we’re overwhelmed with what we should go as! Any tips or tricks? Send your Twitpic, Instagram or Tweets to @Topshop using the hashtag #TrickorTweet with a chance to win £100/$150 shopping spree!

THE WAY WE WORK

Posted on October 25, 2012

This month we caught up with Jenna Dale, our Retail Operations Assistant at Topshop HQ to bring you another exciting glimpse into the world of Topshop HQ. Read on to find out her tips for students breaking into fashion and the three things she just can’t live without…

Name: Jenna Dale

Hometown: Birmingham

My job title is… Retail Operations Assistant

And that means… assisting stores with operations, researching and implementing new technologies, systems and processes to improve store life for our teams. Store teams are my customers – their needs and workloads are my top priority.

I studied…  Fashion Retail Management at Birmingham City Uni

I got my job by… hard work, determination and a bit of fate! After working as an Administration Assistant in Topshop Birmingham Bullring for 6 years, through college and uni, I was set on gaining a HQ position. I was accepted into the Arcadia Talent Pool for Buying Admin Assistant roles, but my Store Manager still encouraged me to apply for a six month secondment position in Retail Operations for Las Vegas and Olympics support. I was offered the position and loved it so much I accepted a permanent position in March.

In a typical working day I… deal with a variety of store queries having to liaise with pretty much every department to find solutions. I assist in creating and uploading internal store communications, manage our internal social media and researching new and innovative ways to communicate with our store teams.

The best thing about my job is… the variety, It’s insane! One minute I’m dealing with transactional issues and the next I’m running down to 214 to film a team engagement video. I am constantly learning and every aspect of the role is interesting.

When I was growing up I wanted to be… a wedding dress designer! All my childhood designs featured a flamenco style train… so as you can tell my career definitely took a better path.

I couldn’t do my job without… my team. The whole of the retail team are amazing and are always a massive support. Problem solving is handy too! Not forgetting several ‘brews’ throughout the day.

My advice to students hoping to crack the fashion industry would be… don’t give up. It can be demoralising getting knocked back but behind every experience there is a handful of lessons learned. Be versatile and enthusiastic; take every opportunity you are offered, even if it’s not necessarily what you had in mind. Most importantly make sure you make your mark and are irreplaceable!

My signature style is… effortless chic, nothing too complicated or overpowering. There are many people’s style I aspire to; Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller, Olivia Palmero and Rosie Huntington Whiteley and a few of the girls round the office too.

And my hero piece for this season is… a chunky knit! It’s a bonus if it has studs, crosses or is monochrome – I’m instantly sold.

When I’m in London, my hottest hang-outs are… I’m still exploring London but to name my fave’s so far would be: Aqua Bar, Sketch, B@1 and pretty much anywhere in Hoxton.

And when I’m in my hometown I love hanging out at… anywhere in the city centre be it The Mailbox, Face and GLAS at The Rainbow or Bushwackers.

I can’t live without… my iPhone or Topshop Louise Gray Mascara – it is THE BEST! Oh and Halloumi!

My favourite magazine is… I have had a Vogue subscription since high school – I’m truly addicted. I like Dazed and Confused and Harpers Bazaar too, they always have a good runway roundup. My weekly must has to be Stylist.

I love grabbing my lunch from… Pret or M&S they never fail me!

On my iPod right now is… a real mixture; r’n'b, dance, house even a bit of old school garage! I was raised on Motown and The Beatles, but my summer’s wouldn’t be complete without my annual visit to Ibiza! My driving album at the moment is The XX.

As a special treat, I love to… buy shoes! My next purchase is the Topshop Gambit Courts.

In five years I’d like to be…  still at Topshop as Retail Operations Manager and will have hopefully implemented some ground breaking technologies for our store teams.

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