This season, Topshop Unique has gone 90’s Britpop. In the cavernous and mobile signal-free basement of Tate Modern, lead makeup artist Hannah Marshall explained the inspiration behind the collection: “It’s all about British heritage. We were influenced by English pubs and mixed it up with the new rave era. Justine Frischmann from Elastica was a real inspiration.”
What better music to accompany the first look of the collection (worn by model Cara Delevingne, aka singer-songwriter Rita Ora’s “wife,” no less) than the hit song Boys & Girls from Frischmann’s ex-paramour Damon Albarn’s band Blur.
But this wasn’t cookie-cutter nostalgia. The PVC bell-shaped skirts, oversized soft-shouldered coats and sparkling crop-tops may have been designed with “girls hanging out in pubs in Manchester” in mind, but the execution was totally contemporary. As was the colour palette, a rich variety of ox blood, navy, camel, and powder blue. While the inspiration came from a popular culture that celebrated youth in the extreme, this collection felt grown up in a good way. A navy satin jumpsuit was matched with an oversized navy jacket, while a cropped sheepskin biker jacket was paired with a pink-sequined, A-line skirt.