Posted on February 12, 2013

Styling up the trend-setting girls of London seems like the most fun job we can possibly think of! So, we just had to chat with Rachel Bass one of the many amazing Personal Shoppers at our London Oxford Circus flagship store about her job and more importantly, how to survive London Fashion Week. Here Rachel talks vintage dressing, cool hangouts and the shows she’s most looking forward to.

What shows are you most excited about for LFW AW13? Will you be attending any?

I’m really looking forward to the Unique AW13 show, which I’ll be attending. The designs are going from strength to strength every season and it’s amazing to see the clothes I will work so closely with up there on the runway! I’m also really eager to see the Meadham Kirchhoff AW13 show. They always have a really strong story and their shows are lots of fun to watch! And not forgetting JW Anderson. I absolutely adored his last collaboration with Topshop and treated myself to a couple of pieces, specifically the black knitted bat jumper and navy kilt. So I’m so excited to see his next collection and treat myself to a few gems!

Any key hot spots to hang out at during LFW?

The Owl And The Pussy Cat and Callooh Callay which are both in East London. Callooh Callay does some amazing cocktails and has a real quirky, decadent vibe to it. And an old favorite of mine, The Friendly Society in Soho, which is always lots of fun!

Your top 3 tips on surviving LFW

Always carry your phone charger, you need to Tweet and Instagram!

Plasters! You may love your new shoes that you’re showcasing at LFW but they may not love you just yet….ouch!

Red lipstick ….it’ll  always give you that instant glam in all those photo opportunities!

What will you be wearing to LFW this season?

Oversized Biker by Boutique, Cut Out Silk Shirt By Boutique, Stripe Highwaisted Trousers and the Kathy Woven Pointed Lace Ups.

What will you be wearing them with and what hair, make up and accessories might you add?

I will wear the above five pieces to the Unique AW13 show then out for drinks after. I will add my black vintage Cassio watch and my Ray Ban Wayfarers (if the sun is out). My make-up will be minimal with a tinted moisturiser, soft blush on the cheek bones, black mascara on the top set of lashes and finally my statement red lip (Topshop in Lipstick Hazard) I will have my hair blow dried sleek to one side ( like Lana Del Rey) I have my hair blow dried once a week at Tommy Guns Salon on Beak Street.

What are the key pieces you will be advising your clients to add to their LWF wardrobe?

Black And White Boyfriend Coat and Festival Detail Glasses will all add instant chic to your LFW wardrobe!

How did you become a Personal Shopper at Topshop?

I worked as an assistant Personal Shopper at 214 for two years before I was recently promoted in January.

What do you love about your job?

I love that I basically get play dress up everyday. I love experimenting with new looks for my clients and getting new ideas for myself! As a child I always used to dress myself up in my Mum’s clothes and shoes and I can even remember dressing up my younger brother in my Nan’s clothes when we were really little.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as mostly preppy but with vintage and ’90s grunge influence thrown in. One of my colleges once described me as “’50s pin-up meets Andy Warhol.” I love to wear my Doc Martins with skater skirts and blouses buttoned up to the top or high waisted trousers and jeans with a cute knitted jumpers and converse.

Who are your fashion icons?

Lana Del Rey & Fashion Director/Stylist Celestine Cooney.

If you could ransack anyone’s wardrobe, who’s would it be?

This is difficult but if I had to choose it would be Marilyn Monroe’s. I think she is one of the most beautiful people who ever existed. Of course, I love her amazing ball gowns and all the glamour but it would be her more casual ’50s kitch wardrobe that interests me. What she would have worn behind the scenes!

Which is your current favourite Topshop collection and why?

My favourite current Topshop collection is Comic Girl. I love the bold and block colour’s used and the use of polka dots too! It also has some strong street wear influences which I’m a fan of! With high waisted leggings, cropped tees, oversized jackets and beanie hats.

What are your favourite key pieces for SS13 season (tell us a little about why and how you will wear them)?

Crop contrasted polka dot shirt- Polka dots are huge for SS13 and this shirt has a cooler vibe with its short sleeves. I would wear the shirt buttoned up to the top, with high wasted jeans or denim shorts with red converse. Another are the Katz cut out strap shoes. Love these shoes for SS13, super cute with the ankle strap. I would wear them with coloured socks to make the most of the cut out detail and a skater skirt with blouse tucked in or cropped tee.

What piece do you always come back to, season after season?

My vintage pilot jacket… It’s just such a staple piece that has stood the test of time. Everyone needs one in their wardrobe!

What’s your secret style trick?

Simple lines and block colour always create an effortlessly chic look. But mix this up by adding say a vintage style watch, varsity jacket or heavy black boots to your look.

What’s the style rule you live by?

Less is more.

What’s your fashion weakness?

Knitwear! Sounds like I’m a grandma I know, but I love a good jumper!

What’s your favourite Topshop Make Up product?

Topshop lipstick Hazard… I wear it everyday!

What’s your first memory of Topshop?

My first memory of Topshop was wondering around the Oxford Circus store when I was 12-13 years old, thinking I just wanted to buy something because it was so cool. I didn’t care what it was, I just had to buy something just so I could parade around with the Topshop bag to show off!

Where’s your favourite place to go shopping where you live?

I shop with my boyfriend and when we’re not in Topshop we like to have a look around the vintage shops in Soho, such as Bang Bang for some great finds and bargains! Also the more boutique type stores in East London such as Good Hood and YMC are brilliant for more tailored street wear.

What would your best night out involve?

Hanging out with my boyfriend and friends. I’d definitely go for a bite to eat in Bodeans, Soho, it’s one of my favorite places to eat! Or out to some bars in Soho like the Endurance and Dean Street Town House.

Where do you like to relax on a Sunday where you live?

I like to relax at my mum’s on a Sunday with a roast dinner!

Why should someone book a Personal Shopping appointment with you?

Because I love my job. I’ve always been passionate about clothes and I think my passion is relayed in my appointments with my clients. I really enjoy experimenting with new ideas and trends and making them work for each individual. Shopping is so much fun! And I want everyone to share that opinion.

What’s great about the Personal Shopping service?

Topshop Personal Shopping has shown so many people that there’s something for everyone in Topshop. With our highly skilled team of Personal Shoppers we tailor make appointments to suit everyone. So whatever your age, shape or style we’ll find the perfect wardrobe choices for you.

 Get your Personal Shopping appointment completely free of charge here.


Posted on February 12, 2013

Designer J.W. Anderson doesn’t compromise. Our latest collaborator, who’s second and final collection will hit Topshop on Thursday 15th is riding high on the success of four brilliant seasons and the accolades can only be put down to his unwavering aesthetic. Embracing his taste for “beautiful-ugly” pieces, Anderson has stuck steadfast to his penchant for the off-kilter and this same vision can be said for the Topshop shoot we worked with him on for his SS13 collection.

Alongside stylist and collaborator Benjamin Bruno, Anderson envisioned a dark and androgynous shoot for the latest drop. Pairing up two models – a blonde and a brunette – and deciding with photographer Scott Trindle that it would be completely black and white, this was a shoot all about contrast.

“It was a little inspired by the twins of The Shining but also had this dark Harajuku vibe,” said Jonathan as he tweaked the shiny leather trench coats on the models: “there was definitely an element of perversion.” Japan cropped up once again when we caught up with stylist Benjamin, “these are deranged girls from the Japanese countryside. They’re outsiders.”

As soon as we arrived on set, we were taken aback by the models’ waist skimming, poker straight hair that was extended by Streeters’ hair stylist Tomo Jidai and again referenced Harajuku girls. Not the only ones with impressive hair, photographer Scott Trindle brought along his adorable new dog who entertained everyone mid shots and then found home on a suitcase of cameras.

Although it seems that the girls aren’t wearing a lick of make-up, you’d be surprised how much work went into making them look so minimal. Make-up artist Lotten Holmqvist used a heavy helping of special effects make-up to give the models a dramatic look. “[Anderson] didn’t want it to look pretty or beautiful, they wanted to take it a step further,” said Holmqvist, “we wanted to make the skin hyper real, really over the top shine that is actually killed by the black and white photo effect but still gives a glow.”

Hirschy, one of the lovely models who has recently fronted a Balenciaga campaign, chatted away with us about what she loved. “I’m listening to a lot of rock and electro at the moment,” said the Ossie beauty, “Massive Attack, Nirvana and there’s a great new solo artist from Australia called Chet Baker.”  Hirschy flew in from New York just hours before the shoot and was really excited to be in London. “I love the cafes here, AllPress and Broadway and Borough Market,” she said, “there’s also great vintage markets here too.” As for her own style she came wrapped in a coat from yours truly, Topshop. “I tend to wear a lot of black at the moment. A littler too much! But it’s so easy and makes you feel powerful.” Any fashion essentials? “A lot of water and moisturiser.”

J.W. Anderson‘s SS13 Topshop collection lands on Thursday 15th so make sure you check back and in the meantime join in the #JWAxTS fashion frenzy on Twitter.


Posted on February 12, 2013

We’re back once again at Topshop HQ to give you an insider’s look at the team behind the scenes. Ever fancied yourself a fashion writer? This week we spoke with fashion and social media writer, Karla Evans, from the editorial team at to talk style, internships and her favourite spots in London.



My job title is…

Junior Fashion and Social Media Writer.

And that means…

I write the creative copy across our website and all our digital platforms. I’m also part of the editorial team that conjures up new ideas and features for our We Love pages, social media channels and special projects. I can be seen tweeting, interviewing our latest designer collaborator, writing copy for emails, Instagraming backstage at a shoot or reviewing an exhibition for our blog.

I studied…

English Literature and Drama at Queen Mary University, London. I also did a short course at Central St Martin’s in Fashion Journalism.

I got my job by…

Bonding with my boss at my interview over Bubble Dogs and geeking off about social media.

My advice to students hoping to crack the fashion industry would be…

Intern, intern, intern. I spent most of my University summers and half terms at newspapers and magazines trying to get as much experience as possible. Keep up to date with the industry too, whether it’s The Business of Fashion or good old, the industry changes very quickly and it’s good to be in the know. Also, if you want to go into the editorial or writing side of the industry I’d recommend putting pen to paper at every moment possible.

The best thing about my job is…

One thing that you can’t beat about Topshop is the pace of change and variety of projects. There’s always something new to get excited about.

When I was growing up I wanted to be…

A Spice Girl or Nala from the Lion King.

I couldn’t do my job without…

The internet. And the rest of my lovely and very talented team, of course.

My signature style is…

I’m pretty casual at the moment. I’m wearing my woollen trousers alot, jumper dresses, sweatshirts and mensy shirts. There’s a considerable amount of black, navy and grey in my wardrobe so I like a bold red lip and a statement MAWI necklace to change it up. I also have a bit of an obsession with trainers…

And my hero piece for this season is…

My black Nike Free Run trainers and tacky Kenzo tee shirt. I’m still wearing my J.W. Anderson x Topshop bomber jacket pretty regularly.

When I’m in London, my hottest hang-outs are…

The Coach & Horses pub in Stoke Newington is great and the closest I have to a local – they do a top Pad Thai and often show the football when my team, Swansea City, are on. Other foodie favourites are a Lucky Chip burger at the Sebright Arms, Pepino cocktails at Bodega Negra and Rita’s ginger and soy chicken wings at Birthdays. I’m rarely happier than wandering around the Tate, seeing a film at Hackney Picturehouse or getting a cheap ticket for the National Theatre.

And when I’m in my hometown I love hanging out…

In the fresh air! It’s all about long walks on the beach or rambles up the mountain near my house. Otherwise I’m in my parents’ kitchen making the most of the unlimited supply of Welsh butter and toast.

I can’t live without…

Black tights or cheese.

I love grabbing my lunch from…

I’m all about bringing lunch from home. It may not be glam but homemade salads and soups are my lunchtime forte.

On my iPod right now is…

Teleman’s Christina, Daughter, Mala in Cuba, Zebra Katz and the London Road Soundtrack.

As a special treat, I love to…

Go to Hawksmoor for a ridiculous steak and a side of mac’n’cheese.

In five years I’d like to be…

Heading up an editorial team at the Topshop offices in New York.

Want to find out about more roles at Topshop HQ? Make sure you’re signed up to our Student email.

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