For the last few seasons, we’ve run a fashion Tweet-Off where we ask our Twitter followers to post a review of the Topshop Unique show in just 140 characters with our favourite winning an all expenses paid trip to London, including a Personal Shopping appointment and tickets to Topshop Unique’s next show at London Fashion Week.
Last September, Sarah Murphy (a.k.a @myshoesrock) won hands down with her art inspired tweet about our SS13 collection: Superb @Topshop show showcasing futuristic monochromatic glamour with the occasional pop of colour. Art in motion #LFW #Topshop Unique.” Being such a fashion-loving girl, Sarah was kind enough to jot down her Fashion Week adventures for you. Read on and weep!
My fantasies of attending London Fashion Week were realised last September when I won Topshop’s Tweet-Off competition for two tickets to the AW13 Unique show. There was so much to pack into the weekend so here’s the tale of my fashion frolics thanks to Topshop!
Saturday: Somerset House and Valentino
First stop was Somerset House: the home of LFW. The energetic atmosphere and parade of fashion was like nothing I have experienced. Next season’s style is being dictated by the street and it was never more apparent with the vivid colours and unique looks on display. We were there also to see the Valentino: Master of Couture Exhibition. This was one exhibition I did not want to miss and it did not disappoint. Featuring Maison Valentino design sketches and fabric swatches and an array of gowns from the archive as well as personal letters from the likes of Anna Wintour and Diana Vreeland. I fell in love with the A-line shift dresses from the ’60s and Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s wedding dress (from her wedding to Aristotle Onassis) was a personal highlight.
Sunday: Topshop Unique AW13 Show
Topshop booked us into the elegant St. Martin’s Lane Hotel for our last night and who should we spot but Olivia Palermo en route from the Whistles show for a quick change before heading over to the Tanks at the Tate Modern for Topshop Unique AW13.
We arrived at the Tanks and hung out with the head office team at the pop-up Topshop café celeb-spotting and checking out who’s wearing what. The atmosphere was electric and everyone was psyched to see what Unique AW13 had in store. We ran into the gorgeous Irish TV presenter and stylist Angela Scanlon who looked resplendent in Unique SS13 duffle coat and yellow trousers and was my best dressed at the show. She was so lovely and it’s no surprise that her star is on the rise in the fashion world having been touted as the one to watch in 2013 by Vogue.
We took our seats and the show kicked off to a rocking soundtrack of Melanie Pain, Rodion, the Smiths and Suzanne Vega. The show itself was seamless despite the frenzy of earlier preparations. The Tanks was the perfect venue as the minimalist interior of the space really allowed the colours and textures of the new collection to shine through. All the hard work paid off as it was a triumph of a collection with something for everyone. Any one of the stellar pieces on show could be incorporated into any wardrobe. I adored the patent skirts, print jumpers, handbags and boots, the leather lined fur coat and the dusky pink boyfriend coat.
After the show we headed back to St. Martin’s Lane for a well-deserved cocktail or two, on a high after a truly amazing experience.
Monday: Man Ray and NOPI
Breakfast in St. Martin’s Lane for us was work time for some of our fellow guests. We spotted fashion editors from Vogue Paris reviewing video clips of the shows over breakfast at the next table. No rest during LFW it seems. After breakfast, we popped in to see the Man Ray Portraits Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. It was a surrealist trip through art and fashion in Paris, London and Hollywood from the 1920’s to 1970’s. I loved Man Ray’s stunning 1968 photo of Catherine Deneuve for the Sunday Times Magazine. In the main collection, I also spotted this fabulous Anna Wintour portrait that I wanted to take home with me.
Next stop was Yotam Ottolenghi’s NOPI in Soho for a leisurely lunch with friends before heading back to Dublin. The food was utterly delicious. We munched on courgette fritters, lemon chicken and peanut butter and caramel ice cream before catching the Tube back to Heathrow for our flight home.
A massive thanks to Topshop and their team for making this trip so special and something that will live with me for years to come.
Posted on February 27, 2013
All the backstage news and beauty updates from the three brilliant designers at Fashion East. Watch the show again, here.
Ryan Lo AW13
Longtime Topshop favourite Ryan Lo was out in force this season for his debut catwalk collection. Bigger than ever Lo split his collection into three defining looks: working girl, pyjama girl and fantasy girl inspired respectively by Margaret Thatcher, Bridget Jones and Sailor Moon. It wasn’t just the clothes taking this triple thread into effect but hair, beauty and accessory all kept it tri-tastic.
Shadows That Shine
Make-up artist Ayami Nishimura took on the idea of a shadow – transforming the first models to hit the catwalk in just a touch of shadow, day time style, the second section into a slightly darker shadow and the final with their half a face covered. But this isn’t shadowing as you know it and instead took the form of a gentle white glitter under the eyes and along the contours.
See Through Accessories
The talented Lara Jensen was behind the amazing acrylic works of art that coordinated with Lo’s collection. Hard plastic clutches for the Thatcher inspired look, snake-like hair pieces that resembles Bridget Jones’ hair – you know, when she goes to that wedding party and it’s a bit mad- and finally a dog clutch filled with glittered straight from the Sailor Moon cartoon.
Colour Us Crazy
If it wasn’t enough that the clothes were an explosion of bubble gum pink and purples, the hair team created wash-in-wash-off dip dye looks in an array of lightly tinged rainbow hues. If there’s one thing about Ryan Lo it’s the absolute dedication to his look.
On The Catwalk
Front row… Nick Grimshaw and Pixie Geldof were the London scensters celebrating the whole of Fashion East. Louise Gray snuggled up with Cassette Playa and our very own Kate Phelan watched over.
The collection in 5 words… Fantasy dressing – day to night.
The girls on the catwalk… New faces, all young, perky and long limbed.
Playlist… Music mixed from the illustrious Jerry Bouthier. We were tapping our toes.
What we loved… Ryan’s pink fluffy day wear and baby blue overcoat covered in short feathers. His die-hard love of tulle!
Hero piece… The acrylic boxy clutch full of glitter made by Lara Jensen for Ryan Lo. One of Lady Gaga’s favourite artists!
Inspired by… The inspiration was threefold: Margaret Thatcher; Bridget Jones; Sailor Moon. Yeah, we were blown away by those references too!
End notes… Whether it be his pussy bow blouses, robe coats or polka dot lame, Ryan Lo, has got saccarine sweet dressing down to a tee and we can’t stop falling for the taste.
Claire Barrow AW13
The leather loving Stockton-on-Tees designer, Claire Barrow was back for a catwalk collection with some intriguing new accessories!
We came across a collection of hand-painted leather pieces on tables including lamp shades covered in blackened paper, painted twigs and eerie dolls that would decorate the models as they powered down the catwalk.
Minimal Make-Up and Hair Stories
The Toni and Guy team were wielding their magic on the models’ locks and transforming them into shaggy tousled vision that teamed perfect with the disheveled and distressed styling of the models.
On The Catwalk
The collection in 5 words… Punk philosophy goes gothic.
The girls on the catwalk… Girls who rocked a certain ‘other wordly vibe’ and a couple of tall and suitably awkward boys joined in on the game too.
Playlist… Loud, loud, loud! It’s punk after all, right? Curated by editor of the Beat and Features Editor at i-D, Hanna Hanra.
What we loved… The piece de resistance was no question the black leather full length gown that was painted with Barrow’s classic illustrations.
Hero piece… A lampshade as a hat. Ok, we jest, we’ll take the giant fish shaped clutch that seemed to flap around of it’s own accord or the dramatic floor length leather gown. It’s the coolest take on bridal we’ve yet to see!
Inspired by… The mundane. Exploring how blandness can actually be rather thrilling and creating her very own downbeat tribe.
End notes… When we’re feeling a little mischievous we like to think of ourselves as a Claire Barrow girl. Approach with caution!
The girl whose collections always get us beaming debuted her Fashion East sponsored line this season with great fanfare.
Make-up was simple and girlie to co-ordinate with the ’50s style looks that seemed perfect for a date. A sparse base was met with a slick black flick of liquid liner right up the models eyes.
Teddy Girls and Boys
Nope, this wasn’t ’60s inspired but it did involve some cuddly toys. Backstage the models cosied up with their teddy of choice and used them as cute little bags. Our eyes were on the lime green teddy that went perfectly with Lulu Kennedy’s Simone Rocha ensemble.
There’ s been controversy brewing about the age of models these days but the presence of a seven year-old cutie hanging around backstage before her catwalk debut made for lots of coo-ing amidst the three designers and their teams.
The collection in 5 words… A foxy fifties date night.
Playlist… Radio One DJ and sat front row Nick Grimshaw was behind the tunes for Happy Ashley’s playlist that included a heavy helping of Elvis.
What we loved… The sheer off-white two-pieces and dresses printed with fifties style iconography – lipsticks, bubble writing – and teddy bear faux-fur jackets in pale blue.
Hero piece… The cute black crop tee shirt emblazoned with a giant heart and the slogan, “My heart belongs to Elvis Presley.” We’ll take two!
Inspired by… Complete Americana obsession dedicated to teen idols and slumber parties. Williams also hinted to Riots Girls, ’60s fan-mania and DIY.
End notes… True love! We really fell hard for Ashley Williams’ AW13 collection and have very high hopes for this talented young lady. We think everyone’s style needs a little injection of fun and whether it be her customised converse or teddy bar side bags, it’s cute to boot.
Re-watch the Topshop Unique AW13 show from Topshop.com, check out our live coverage of London Fashion Week over on our Twitter and keep coming back to Inside-Out for more news from Unique as well as all the NEWGEN talent showing at the Topshop Showspace!
Posted on February 19, 2013
London’s terrible twosome Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff of Meadham Kirchhoff fame (who love nothing more than watching The Great British Bake Off and swooning over Miu Miu shoes), are known for their extravagant and ornate collections as well as their epic stage productions. Over the last few years, they’ve gained a cult-like following and have become THE must-see show at London Fashion Week. Judging from the rush backstage after their show, their continued quest for “perfection” was well and truly realised for AW13!
Tears In Her Eyes
The gorgeous Florrie White embraced Meadham Kirchoff’s quintessentially decadent aesthetic and created a look that was “not girly, but very romantic.” The make-up look evolved on the catwalk with the first girls coming out with colder skin, “a raw and dreamlike effect,” said White, “that also gives the impression that they might have been crying.” Eventually the looks transformed into a stronger and more contoured feel. “As the show goes on,” said White whilst still putting the finishing touches to the girls, “we want it to seem like they’re finally making more of an effort, maybe they’re about to meet someone so they’ve got a red lip.” Similarly, the girls’ hair started tightly wound in 1940’s finger curls that were first seen under intricate veils and then topped with extravagant sparkling tiaras and diamante hair combs as the show went on.
Come To Bed Red
Katie Jane Hughes was back with Butter to produce a sleek nail look to juxtapose with the grand-looking clothes. This season it was all about the seductively named “Come to Bed” red. “It’s classic and timeless but it’s a chic and strong colour that gives off a hint of timeless elegance,” said Hughes, “we were of course inspired by the vintage feel of the clothes too and there’s nothing more vintage than red nails!”
On the Catwalk
Front row… Everyone from our uptown New York style crush Taylor Tomasi-Hill to the ever-wacky London DJ Princess Julia.
The collection in five words… Aprons, Victoriana, sailor, rubber, frills!
The girls on the catwalk… Girls were cast from the street – one of them was an ELLE intern! Continuing on the idea of inclusivity, backstage after the show Edward mentioned how he’d have loved if all the kids at The Tate could have come in for the show too!
Playlist… twinkling classical music – waltzes that Anna Karenina might have danced to and fairytale orchestral pieces that made our hearts ache.
What we loved… Everything – it was such an intricate, beautiful collection! The sailor girls, French maids, the Victorian-esque necklines mixed up with subversive rubber frills and the Marie-Antoinette-style shoes.
Hero piece… A beautiful ballerina print trapeze dress with laser-cut rubber detail that was red-carpet worthy. Meadham Kirchoff is always a treat for the senses and this was no exception.
Inspired by… Edward Meadham had been staying home a lot, cooking and keeping house, and had a new found respect for the home maker – from the Victorian woman wearing frills and nipped waists to the more modern woman who’s always in and out of her apron to keep herself looking spic and span (a rubber one in this case!).
End notes… It was hopelessly romantic and melancholic – the music, the wide open ‘stage’, the stark palette and the very feminine references all together made for something beautifully poignant that will stay with us long after Fashion Week is over.
Re-live the entire show over on our YouTube channel check out our live coverage of London Fashion Week over on our Twitter and keep coming back to Inside-Out for more news from Unique as well as all the NEWGEN talent showing at the Topshop Showspace!
Posted on February 19, 2013
We have a serious crush on Simone Rocha’s clothes! Ever since we first laid eyes on her laser cut skirts and see-through heeled brogues, we’ve been head over heels for her awkwardly girly aesthetic so when her perfectly cut Pepto-Bismol neoprene coat opened the show, it was love at first sight for AW13.
Walk This Way
Twin Magazine’s fashion editor – and Topshop style icon – Celestine Cooney was backstage to make sure the girls were preened and styled in Simone Rocha’s off-kilter way. Wearing a key-hole cut-out dress from Simone’s last collection and some rad Balenciaga boots, Celestine was was incredibly hands on talking through not just how the clothes should sit but how the models should be working them. “She’s not a lady! This girl is cool and confident,” said Celestine as she spoke to one of the models about their walk, “more angry!” It’s clear Celestine has a clear idea of the Simone-wearing-girl and she’s not a wallflower despite the bows she may wear in her hair.
Messy Hair Don’t Care
The hair look at Simone Rocha was a breath of fresh air. This season it’s been all about the slicked back, gel-heavy pony tails and we were happy to see something a little different in the form of a fizzy couldn’t-care-less bouffant. Stylist James Pecis backcombed the front of the hair into a scruffy quiff and folded the back locks into a bun-cum-ponytail that sprouted loose pieces of hair so it all looked like the remains of a “posh” salon hair-do the night before. It was in the same idea of hair that had already been partied in that the girls’ beauty was set: little face make-up, a dash of mascara and a touch of pinky balm on the lips.
On The Catwalk
Sat front row… It was a family affair with Simone’s very proud parents (her dad’s the designer John Rocha) sat front row with Louise Wilson who taught Simone on her Fashion MA at Central Saint Martins.
The collection in 5 words… Furry, shiny, granny, prim, pink!
Playlist… Girly vocals to upbeat tracks like ‘Walking Disaster’, all curated by her little bro Max Rocha. As you’ll see from her collection, the girls were anything but!
What we loved… The fabrications begged to be touched: the Pepto-Bismol pink dresses and co-ords at the start were made of neoprene and a cool wafer mesh, and there were sparkly tweeds, hand crochets and patent leather (the fabric of London Fashion Week for sure). There was a stiffness to the fabrics that was perfect for the ladylike silhouettes Simone sent down the cawtwalk.
Hero piece… A clear plastic tortoiseshell skirt in an A-line shape, giving a cheeky glimpse of legs underneath and her heeled velvet slippers!
Inspired by… Simone’s grannies. The collection was called ‘Respect Your Elders’ and the neat co-ordinated dresses and jackets, smart coats and granny bags paid tribute to the stylish ladies that influenced Simone growing up.
End notes… This was a collection that we were really looking forward to seeing. At a mere 26 years of age, Simone is a young talent that London can really be proud of. It may have been more ladylike than we’ve seen before but her crochet glasses, use of leopard faux fur and bowed veils were a reminder that Simone’s girl is still brimming with the off-kilter charm she’s making her own.
Re-watch the Simone Rocha AW13 show on Topshop.com, check out our live coverage of London Fashion Week over on our Twitter and keep coming back to Inside-Out for more news from Unique as well as all the NEWGEN talent showing at the Topshop Showspace!
Posted on February 19, 2013
Who… Dazed’s fashion team came out in force to support the designer and the magazine’s Fashion Editor Karen Langley who was behind the sleek and chic styling.
The collection in five words… Minimal goes to the future.
The girls on the catwalk… Modern young women all pale-faced and serene.
Hair & Beauty… Hair was tied in low scruffy buns in a side parting and topped off with a backwards hair band. Beauty stuck close to the current trend for natural beautiful skin and very little eye make-up. These girls were all about threads.
What we loved… The layers! Turtle necks underneath tank tops atop of midi skirts that fell in stark shapes and geometric lines. Blue and yellow also turned out to be very happy bedfellows.
Hero piece… A mustard yellow woollen overcoat. Who cares what’s underneath when your jacket is this gorgeous?
End notes… Separates to die for. Nascimento is proving himself to be a the go-to young designer for swoon-worthy everyday classics.