Trying to navigate the mass of festivals in the UK is completely mind blowing. More than ever the little island on which Topshop was born (yes that’s Great Britain) has so many incredible festivals popping up across its shores that it’s hard to see which ones we should be considering for our precious weekends away. Foodie? Raver? Poetry-lover? Regardless of your festival preference we’ve done a little research (with the help of some festival-fans around the office) and picked some of the most exciting events happening this summer. So get ready and start booking those tickets!
THE OMG-EVERYONE-AWESOME-IS-PLAYING ONE: FIELD DAY
25 May @ Victoria Park, London
Solange. Animal Collective. Daughter. Kurt Vile. Basically everyone achingly hip in music right now (bar Frank Ocean) is playing. Plus it’s a mere £50 and a short walk from Bethnal Green tube station. London hipsters unite for this might be the most exciting line up that has yet to grace Victoria Park. Make sure not to miss a good dance out to Egyptian Hip Hop and the cooler than cool, King Krule. As for style, watch out for some serious fashion lovers here with kimonos and wide brim hats galore and more high tops than you can shake a stick at. Also, there really is a beauty to a festival in which you can probably get the last tube home!
Get tickets for Field Day, here.
THE WOW-DAVID-BYRNE-IS-PLAYING ONE: END OF THE ROAD
30 August – 1 September
Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset
We won’t lie to you but here at Topshop HQ most of our Monday morning blues are washed away by a few plays of Talking Heads’s Take Me To The River so we were naturally overcome with excitement when it was announced David Byrne himself would be playing this year’s End of the Road festival. Our obsession with this musical-champion aside, End of the Road festival is worth a look. It’s less about raving it up and more about chilling it out with some glorious bands on the roster. The lovely Belle and Sebastian take a headline spot alongside Sigur Ros and there’s a little bit of new in the form of California cool kids Warpaint who are back with a vengeance. Set in the lovely Larmer Tree Gardens of Dorset we’re thinking maxi skirts and embellished gilets will be the style must-haves for this set of festival goers and we’ve already looked into a camper van for our journey south!
Get tickets for End of the Road festival, here.
THE SOMETHING FOR ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE ONE: LATITUDE
18th – 21st July
Henham Park, Suffolk
Mad about German electro? Adore the ballet? Enjoy a bit of spoken word? Interested in cabaret? That’s right, you can rave it up with Kraftwerk, be mesmerized by the Ballet Boyz, hear Carol Ann Duffy get all poetic as well as rocking out to some naughty dance skills from Soho’s finest burlesque dancers all in one festival. (I know, our minds are blown too). Suffolk’s Henham Park is probably the most unique combination of artists in one spot, Latitude festival really covers all the bases. There’s glam camping for those who need a shower and something a little more substantial than a yoga mat to sleep on and there’s even a gourmet restaurant on site from the folks at Giant Robot. Oh, and did we mention there’s multi-coloured sheep?
Get tickets for Latitude here.
THE BIG ONE: GLASTONBURY
26th – 30th June
Worthy Farm, Pilton
Well, we couldn’t not mention it right? As usual their line-up is comprehensive to say the least. See into the early hours with Crystal Castles and Hurts, throw your hands up and sway into summer with Haim and Laura Mvula or get right into the front for a serious throwback with legends The Rolling Stones. Everyone says you have to do it once and with a relentlessly amazing line-up year after year there’s no way of regretting nabbing a ticket. Yes, walking from field to field may be a bit of a schlep and yes, there’s probably very little chance you’ll get a good view of the The Rolling Stones but it’s Glastonbury! And that means seriously good times.
THE FOODIE ONE: THE WILDERNESS FESTIVAL
8th – 11th August
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
Okay, so it’s not just food but Wilderness Festival has a special place in our hearts for it’s amazing roster of chefs and restaurateurs that offer talks and tasters dedicated to their lives in eating. Think Ottolenghi and his rose water specialities; Russel Norman waxing lyrical on the beauty of Polpo; Mark Hix on his fascination with oysters – our mouths are watering as we write – The Wilderness Festival has filled a gap in the festival market that we didn’t even know was there. It’s our festival wild card! Taste buds aside there’ll be blissed out tunes from Empire of the Sun and Martha Wainwright as well as performances from the talented bunch at Shakespeare’s Globe and talks from the mind-expanding folk at Intelligence Squared. Culturalistas, take a breath, this is the festival your dreams are made of.
Get tickets for The Wilderness Festival.
THE ONE THAT’S WORTH THE TREK: NO. 6 FESTIVAL
13th – 15th September
Yes we know, the dates brutally co-incide with London Fashion Week so there’s no chance we’re getting any time off work (weep!) but if we did we’d be signing up to this beautiful little festival in a flash. Set in the gorgeous surroundings of Portmerion in North Wales which it’s pretty much a fairy tale village come true. There’s even a castle to stay in for accommodation. (YES, a castle!) This is a festival for those of you wanting to completely escape the real world and head somewhere far away from anything “ordinary”. And with a musical and arts program that would make any festival-goer overjoyed, what’s not to love? There’s the haunting vocals of James Blake, the renaissance of Chic ft. Nile Rodgers (is that a Daft Punk Get Lucky inspired comeback we see?) and some of our favourite songstresses of the moment taking the stage… hello Laura Mvula and Lianne La Havas! This one is definitely worth the journey.
Get tickets for No. 6 Festival, here.
We don’t know about you but often find ourselves chatting on about how great last summer’s London Olympics were. We’re mostly talking about the Opening Ceremony and the epic job director Danny Boyle did to make it all happen so beautifully. But do you also remember the dance sequences and standout choreography too? Well, the striking show of limbs and impeccable coordination was down to choreographer Akram Khan. We can promise you this is one name you don’t want to forget.
Production shot from Vertical Road, Laurent Ziegler
Khan is the most celebrated contemporary choreographer of the moment and there’s now a chance for you to get a little slice of dance heaven in your life. Khan is set for another jam-packed summer with two new productions taking place at Sadler’s Well in London and across Europe in under two weeks. ITMOI, or In The Mind of Igor is his new work inspired by the composer Igor Stravinsky’s iconic score The Rite of Spring. Khan will be drawing on the themes from the original ballet and the way in which Stravinsky broke new ground with his music. It’s the first full company’s work since 2010′s Vertical Road so we’re waiting with baited breath! Transforming themselves into animals or using incredible props, just where will Akram and his cast of 12 dreamy dancers take us this time?
Akram Khan Company, ITMOI, Richard Haughton
Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita.
Ok, so we guess you’ve heard? The V&A is currently showing their most popular and fastest selling show to date. Yes, of course you know. It’s dedicated to the enigmatic and visionary, David Bowie. Us Topshop girls love a good fashion and music exhibition and have been over the moon that more and more established galleries are getting in on the beauty and individuals behind so much amazing art that isn’t classically museum material (Margiela at Somerset House, Alexander McQueen at the MET, Chloe at Palais de Tokyo… need we say more?)
The V&A’s two star curators have sifted through Bowie’s personal archive of over 7,000 bits and pieces – okay, they’re much more important than that, rather signed records, lyrics and costumes – and have put together an extensive and comprehensive exhibition that overloads the senses.
Photography by Brian Duffy.
Whether you love him as the cabaret-performing suit wearing Thin White Duke or as the red-headed alien-like Ziggy Stardust, Bowie was undoubtedly a genius when it came to reinvention and the exhibition follows his many personas with real precision. Marvel at some of his craziest outfits (the red Kansai Yamamoto one above stars) or get a closer look at his creative mind. One of the pieces that tickled us particularly was a ’67 letter from his ex-manager stating, “I have now changed Davie’s name to David Bowie.” We can’t ever imagined the great Bowie known as Davie!
Still from The Man Who Fell to Earth.
Other highlights including an inspiration room that features the likes of Marlene Dietrich and Oscar Wilde as well as sketches he’s personally made for on stage outfits – our favourite is the surreal oversized tuxedo he wore to Saturday Night Live in ’79. There’s a nod to his absurd nature and his focus on pure performance with suggestions to the mime and kabuki he would do on stage as well as his acting career – Labyrinth, anyone?!
Whether Aladdin Sane is your dream Bowie or his starry turn in Sponge Bob Square Pants is your best version, this is an exhibition that’s worth fighting to get a ticket for.
Photo by Frank W Ockenfels.
We must admit, we’re a sucker for a night in with our favourite rom-coms but there are times when we’re just not in the mood for another viewing of Bring It On. Cut to Bird’s Eye View Film Festival, an annual celebration of women in film that has slowly but surely become one of Topshop’s favourite events of the year. Unlike other competitive festival this one’s focus is purely on the movies, shorts and documentary that are created by extraordinary women across the globe. And if there’s one thing we like more than Kirsten Dunst’s pom poms it’s girl power!
This year’s programme is more exciting than ever and is honing in on the talented and ever-growing pool of Arab women filmmakers. Happening across London in cultural meccas like the BFI Southbank, Barbican, ICA and Hackney Picturehouse, there’ll be inspiring feature length films, eye-opening documentaries, panel discussions, music events and premieres to boot. Overwhelmed with choice? Well, we’ve picked out some of the most exciting sounding events for you to pencil into your diary…
Friday 5th April
Lebanese Bashra El-Turk is the rising star of contemporary composition – I know, this festival is about films, but El-Turk is wowing audiences by putting her dramatic scores and east meets west melodies to films. Tonight she’s behind the chamber ensemble playing along to Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed where there’s a promise of arresting scores and a new take on traditional instruments of the Middle East.
Short Films to Fall in Love With
Tuesday 9th April
Can’t make up your mind on what to see? Treat yourself to a night of all sorts. The Birds Eye View Arab Short Films: DFI Showcase will be showing off the best new work by up-and-coming filmmakers at the BFI. We’re mostly excited about Sanctity from hotly tipped young director, Ahd Kamel which recently featured at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival.
A Focus on Fashion Film
Tuesday 9th April
Any opportunity to see a new take on the endlessly evolving medium of the fashion film and we’re there! The ICA will be holding Fashion Loves Film: Arab Fashion Past and Present and we predict a night packed with culture. Charting the history of Middle Eastern fashion to up-to-the-minute accounts of the latest developments alongside the best fashion films from the region, there’s hardly time to hold your breath before a panel discussion on trends and breakout figures from the scene. Phew!
Great Love Stories
Wednesday 10th April
This year, BEV is finishing in style with a Closing Night Gala screening of the lauded feature film, Habibi, It’s the first feature set in Gaza for over 15 years and follows a forbidden love story amidst the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also won Best Feature at 2012 Dubai Film Festival.
What are you waiting for? Browse the programme yourself and snap up a ticket pronto.
Stevie Dance is one of those girls. Beautiful, stylish and endlessly talented, she’s got the world at her feet. So, who better than to kick start our Topshop Australia Edited? The creative consultant and stylist, who calls New York home but was born and bred in Oz, will be taking over a section of our Gowings store in Sydney and Chapel Street in Melbourne with a guest edit of her favourite items. Dance currently has projects galore: Contributing Editor of Vogue Australia, Fashion Director of Pop and Creative Director of Shop Ghost and will this month be taking on yet another task. Dance is curating her most-loved pieces from the whole of Topshop and from 4th – 14th April, you’ll be able to find them in the stores above and snap them up yourselves!
We spoke with the multi-tasking creative and designer lover stylist here.
My earliest fashion memory is…
Insisting on wearing my long johns with leotards as my go to. I was heavily into Flash Dance.
Growing up I wanted to be…
A Dancer. A choreographer.
My all time favourite designers are…
Nicolas Ghesquière, Marques Almeida, and basics like James Perse, vintage Levi’s, & Acne.
The highlight of my career so far has to be…
Any time I am lucky enough to be on set in the middle of nowhere with the ones I love.
My fashion weakness is…
Dressing down. Vintage t-shirts.
If I could go back to any era, I’d love to live in…
When I have a moment spare I love to…
Dance, run, eat acai, burn incense, laugh really hard.
My favourite thing about Australia is…
Jumping off the rocks into the sea.
I would most love to collaborate with…
Anyone who is inspired and propelling their ideas forward. Or, dream run, Terrence Malick.
If I wasn’t working with fashion, I’d be…
For AW13, I’d like to see the return of….
The subversive, the discrete.
If you look inside my wardrobe you’d see…
How would you describe your style?
What’s the one piece of clothing you couldn’t live without?
My suede navy boots. They go everywhere.
What do you love about Australian girls’ style?
They make it all work and they take big risks, and they don’t take themselves too seriously.
What do you think you’ll be wearing most in SS13?
Who are your style icons?
Zippy Seven. Charlotte Rampling. Judd Nelson circa Breakfast club.
What were the most exciting collections at the AW13 shows?
JW Anderson. Celine.
What tips would you give to get SS13 style?
Do your own thing.
What do you love about Topshop?
They make trends available to everyone, fast.
So if you’re in Sydney, make sure you head down to store to get a piece of Stevie’s style!