Part fantasy, part utilitarian functionality, Topshop Unique's Autumn/Winter '10 collection mixes on-trend with dreamy pieces that feel perfectly suited for a stroll through the English woodlands. The collection hit stores, indulging our fashion sense with leather and shearing, then frills on skirts, not to mention thoughtful attention to all things military; it inspires and surprises with something for everyone, even if you're not bold enough for garter-trimmed skirts. Tailored gray blazers and cozy pea coats might just be the gateway to a pair of military hot pants.
To see the whole collection, just read more.
London Fashion Week is like New York's eccentric, cheeky older sister, and the designers take risks that would make some fashionistas on this side of the pond blush. This year was even more daring than usual, with nude models, antlers, wild wigs, and face paint galore. I've put together 10 of the most jaw-dropping moments from the runway, so be sure to check out what the Brits have been up to right now.
>> Alessandra Ambrosio has taken a couple of turns on the Spring 2011 catwalks — the latest was at Giles, where she wore her bread and butter: a bikini. "I wake up and read [show stylist] Katie [Grand]'s message on my phone — 'Are you okay wearing a bikini?'" she told The Cut. "I had to think second thoughts about what I was going to have for breakfast. [But] I'm like, 'I guess.' Because I'm Brazilian and I do Victoria's Secret, it wouldn't be polite to say I'm not okay. As long as it's not a G-string, I'm okay. I'm a mom now: I can't [do G-strings]." See Ambrosio, Jessica Stam, and more doing the backstage thing during London Fashion Week — we've got snaps from Christopher Kane, Erdem, Giles, Mary Katrantzou, Matthew Williamson, Marios Schwab, Mark Fast, Peter Pilotto, Pringle of Scotland, Richard Nicoll, Jonathan Saunders, Topshop Unique, and Vivienne Westwood.
Photos: Greg Kessler
>> Why Was Pamela Love at the Topshop Show? — Pamela Love debuts her blackly beautiful jewelry line to British press tonight with a party at Browns department store in Mayfair that's cohosted by Style.com scribe Maya Singer. But the jewelry designer was spotted Saturday sitting second row at Topshop, just behind Tallulah Harlech and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld. Since the show was packed — an editor from Italian Vogue was spotted sitting on the floor because the rows were so crammed — how and why did Love procure a seat? London fashion insiders are already speculating: "It's because she's in talks for a Topshop accessories line. Her name gets thrown around by their designers all the time." Meanwhile, Sir Phillip Green missed the show completely because of timing: it occurred on Yom Kippur.
Looking at clothing from Topshop Unique is like looking at trends on steriods and, this season, the message was exceptionally aggressive. Trends were layered over trends, embellished with sequins, and then accessorized down to the neon shoelaces, and, as much as it seemed to us, too much, we're sure that each piece on its own will be a temptation.
So it seems our British friends have taken A/W 08 in an entirely different direction. That is, the fur and sparkle of New York's A/W 08, not to mention the deep plums and vibrant greens are virtually non-existent. London Fashion Week, thus far has been a little more Terminator, a little less Kindergarden Cop. Just take a peek at our photo galleries from Topshop Unique, Jacob Kimmie,
Krystof Strozyna, and Modernist Autumn, it's virtually another fashion world. All of these collections dominated by black and white, most with eruptions of red in the most brazen display (it's not worked in slowly, it's thrust into the collection and promptly removed). Sure, you could call upon Paul Smith from the Londoners, and
Camilla Staerk from the New Yorkers to argue that there is crossover. To which we'd say: "Despite some dandy-embellishments, Paul Smith is no different than Ralph Lauren, and Camilla Staerk is a newcomer. Those are bad examples.". So we win. And boy, do we love the fight.