Archive for January 2013:

MEET THE NEW GIRLS

Posted on January 31, 2013

Carine Roitfeld has said that discovering new models is like ‘falling in love – you just know.’

And we know the feeling because we’ve totally fallen for the four faces of our SS13 campaign, the rising stars Rosie Tapner, Bambi, Juliana Schurig and Nimue Smit. Commit their names to memory now because you’ll be seeing a lot more of them from here on in.

Girls who know their Topshop history will remember that we’ve championed models like Jourdan Dunn and Lily Donaldson long before they hit the big-time, so here’s a little intro to our four new faces so you can get to know them before everyone else does.

Rosie Tapner

Perfectly pouty and oh-so-poised, Rosie Tapner is a true English Rose but with just the right amount of schoolgirl rebelliousness. She was scouted at the age of fifteen on an outing to the Clothes Show Birmingham with her classmates from Downe House boarding school, and it wasn’t long before she was opening shows like Chloe, and had an exclusive Balenciaga campaign under her belt. The sixteen year old high jumping champ was recently featured in LOVE magazine’s top new girls to watch, but we were already hot off the mark having shot the fair-haired beauty for our Spring Campaign, like, aaages ago.

Bambi

Just get a load of those eyebrows. Bambi is our hot new Aussie girl crush, every bit as cute as her name suggests. With a laidback fresh-off-the-beach style and an innocent yet impish face, she’s the perfect summertime muse. The twenty year old Melbourne beauty (real name Stephanie Bambi Northwood Blythe) first came to international attention when she was spotted on a blog with her boyfriend-now-fiance, Ksubi founder Dan Single. Fast forward three years and she’s walked for everyone from Chanel to Rag and Bone, scooped campaigns for Calvin Klein and covered Vogue Japan and V magazine. Girl is on fire.

Nimue Smit

Not strictly speaking a new girl on the block, the doll-like Dutch model has us so enamoured, she’s been in our campaign twice! We photographed the ethereal beauty first for our Spring 2009 when she was fresh as a tulip from Amsterdam, and despite now having racked up campaigns for Prada, Armani, Mulberry and Carven, she remains as fresh and angelic as ever.

Juliana Schurig

The ultimate ice-queen with eyes that look like melted glacier drops, 18-year-old New Jersey girl Juliana Schurig waited until she finished high school before hitting the international catwalks, and boy did she make it worth the wait: last fashion week she walked an impressive 33 shows across the four fashion cities. Her ultra-cool look and don’t-mess-with-me glare made her a perfect muse for our Spring Summer campaign. She’s also the star of Moschino’s spring summer campaign, her unmissable flaxen locks catching the light in a 60s beehive. We predict big things for this all-American girl – watch this space.

 

At nineteen we were just emerging, blinking, into the big bad world, still not entirely sure what we were going to do with our lives.

But 18 year old Hannah Nagle already has a bold photography portfolio, creative recognition from world-renowned publications and a stint with Mario Testino under her belt. Precocious much?

We’ve fallen head over heels for Nagle’s bold, multi-faceted images, at once surreal yet realist, graphic yet dreamy. Her glittery Gustav Klimt-inspired photographs of her younger sister have captured our imaginations, the dynamic swishing hair contrasting with the sprinkles of glitter painstakingly applied by hand to the image. Nagle employs a number of novel techniques to achieve the wide-ranging aesthetic styles of her images, from Photoshop to paint splodges her experimentation is endless.

We interviewed the ingénue to find out more about the rising star…

What’s the inspiration behind your work?

I take a lot of inspiration from art but I get quite a lot of ideas from just sitting on the tube as well. I try not to look at too much photography, especially fashion photography as you can end up copying a photographer without bringing anything new to it.

When did you first pick up a camera?

I started when I was 15, taking photos of my sister.

What’s your first memory of photography?

Looking through old family photos. We have really beautiful family photos and they’re some of the only images I don’t get bored of looking at.

How do you get the effect on your work?

A lot of it’s happened by accident through experimentation. Nothing’s ever really planned and I tend to just make it up as I go along (if you try too hard it doesn’t work). I love using Photoshop and also scratching or painting over photographic prints.

Where did you train and what would you say to wannabe-photographers out there?

I got help from my dad but I’m mainly self-taught. I’d say to use the internet as much as possible to get your work out there. You will be amazed at the people who see your work! Don’t be scared to be different and to trust your instincts. I’ve been given so much advice over the past 3 years but there’s some advice I’ve ignored because I thought they were wrong and I’ve trusted myself and I look back now and see I’ve made the right choices every time. So many people told me not to go to university but I decided to go and it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.

Who is your ideal muse?

They’ve got to be comfortable in front of you and that’s something that takes time, you can’t force it. My first muse was my sister and obviously the connection was there from the start. My muse at the moment is designer Kharise Francis. She’s incredibly striking and isn’t intimidated by the camera. It works best when they’re so comfortable with you taking their picture that they forget you’re even there.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The only person you need to validate yourself as a photographer is yourself.

What would be your dream commission?

I’m working with the band ‘Evil Alien’ at the moment and I’m really enjoying it so it would be to work with an artist or musician that I love collaborating with them on artwork, posters etc. I’m interested in things like graphic design and typography as well so album covers are something that incorporate all these things without limiting me to just photography.

What’s next for Hannah Nagle?

Launching a clothing line, working with more musicians, collaborating with Kharise Francis on various projects and some how finding the time to complete a photography degree as well!

REBEL REBEL BINGO

Posted on January 29, 2013

This is bingo but not as you know it. Old ladies and fish and chip suppers be gone, this is high-octane, hard-core bingo, made for adrenalin lovers who like their nights raucous.

We recently stumbled upon Rebel Bingo as part of the Monkey Shoulder Social Club. There was make your own cocktail stations and vintage amusement games but these were secondary to the throes of people clambering towards the stage as if worshiping a DJ, attempting to get squeeze forward to the Rebel Bingo stage. That’s the thing about Rebel Bingo, everyone wants to get closer to the action

On arrival, you’re assigned a bingo card and a felt tip pen but that’s where the similarities to everyday bingo end and the chaos starts. Two vivacious and leotard-clad ladies appear to call out the numbers – always with a cheeky rhyme – and the host, a top-hatted enthusiastic fellow, riles up the crowd. But no one really needs riling! There’s indie disco, old school hip hop and garage flooding out of the speakers to keep everyone on their feet amongst the cheers and cries of people getting a number. The magic comes from a combination of the stellar tunes, bouncing hosts and everyone’s competitive nature that seems to burst out on to the floor. Oh, and did we mention the prizes? There’s always plenty up for grabs, when we took part it was an impressive speaker set and a chair fit for any design aficionados. Who knows what will appear at the next one!

This one-time secret London night is slowly on it’s way to take over the world with Rebel Bingo nights opening up in New York, Madrid, Brazil and Portugal. But act quickly, these tickets are the hottest piece London has to offer right now, nearly every night is sold out BUT a new batch of tickets are to be released tomorrow! What are you waiting for? BINGO!

THE PURRRFECT COFFEE PLACE

Posted on January 28, 2013

You probably already know that here at Topshop HQ we adore those fluffy little purring balls known as cats. Unfortunately, not all of us have a kitty waiting for us when we walk through the door at home and oh, how we’ve dreamed about a place where you can have a nice mocha with a brownie and a cat on your lap.

Well, there’s no need for us to pout about it any longer because we hear that a cat café could be opening near us pretty soon! A cat café, you gotta be kittening us, we here you say?! Well what’s not to love? It’s essentially just like your usual café, serving sandwiches, cakes and coffees with the only difference being that it’s filled with cats you can pretend are your own for an hour or two.

The first cat-café opened in Taiwan in 1998, before China, Japan and South Korea made it a massive trend. At the moment, there are about 40 in Tokyo and that number’s growing fast! In Europe, Cafe Neko (which means cat in Japanese) opened last year in Austria as did Cat Republic in St Petersburg. And now *drum roll* … East London looks set to be the next cat-tastic destination! Yay!

Kitten lover and hopeful owner, Lauren Pears, is seeking contributions towards the £108,000 it will cost to open the feline friendly ‘Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium’ through Indiegogo.com – an international crowd funding site that uses social media to raise money for innovative ideas. The idea of a cat cafe came about after she noticed that people on her commute would always stop to pet other peoples’ pets once they got off the train.

Not only looking to give give Londoners their fix of animal affection, Pears is also looking to give lonely cats a comfortable home that they may otherwise miss out on. The café is planned to have about 20 cats, which would come from an Animal Home which we think is a lovely idea.

As we’re sure you can tell, if East London’s cat café goes ahead you’ll be sure to find us Topshop girls there on Sundays, drinking tea, eating cake and reading magazines with a cat curled up right next to us.

WOO! FOR JUERGEN TELLER

Posted on January 23, 2013

The art and fashion worlds collide when it comes to Juergen Teller’s raw and intimate photographs. Whether it’s an up-close shot of his mother’s head in the jaws of a stuffed alligator or Victoria Beckham piled legs akimbo into a giant shopping bag for Marc Jacobs’ campaign, Teller brings humour and a taste for the surreal to all of his work. Chomping at the bit to see his amazing prints in the flesh, we were blown away to hear London’s ICA would be celebrating the German photography force with a major solo exhibition, Woo! There’s really is no one quite like Teller.

He honed his unmistakeable style in the ‘80s when young London’s fashion bibles i-D and The Face started booking him and soon enough he seduced the big guns of fashion. His stripped away aesthetic won him commissions with the likes of Celine’s Phoebe Philo —a bare-faced Carmen Kass and Daria Werbowy starred in the SS13 campaign— as well as Missoni and Moschino. Glamorous industry lovers aside, his work has not just appeared on the pages of our favourite magazines but at the likes of Tate Modern and the Venice Bienale. Teller sits comfortably amongst the photography greats like of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus and William Eggleston.

The exhibition surveys his entire canon and sees some of his best and most intriguing images. From the shocking Vivienne Westwood stretched out nude, lying on a chaise longue to his adorable intimate shot of his soaped-up pet dog. Amazingly, in these days of heavy airbrushes and post-production tweaking Teller never retouches his pictures.

There’s been a stedy growing love for Teller. His harshly lit technique has bred a whole generation of copy cats who continue to worship at the alter of his over-exposed photography. We must admit we’re enamored with it too! So, for a hearty helping of fashion, art and a little oh and ahhing, head down to the ICA before all the fashion kids get there first! It closes on March 17th so there’s plenty of time to plan a trip.

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