Ah... The Good Ol' Days of Grunge! Lollapalooza and Lillith Fair and Granny Dresses and Dr. Martens and the Always Ubiquitous Plaid Flannel Lurking somewhere. Somehow, Topshop managed to Laser Focus in on the Ether of that era and yet project it into a totally Modern Mould.
It was a fun showing. Nothing Earth-Shattering, Just Charming Clothes for Hot Young Things. Suede was transformed into a Jean Jacket in the opening exit while it transformed into a chic coat a few exits later. A Cerulean Blue shirt dress at Exit No. 8 had that grunge factor thing going strong... Sans Birkenstocks...
A section of that 90's Phenom, The Slip dress, was one of the highlights of the show and actually made them the most viable looking so far this season, An especially pretty one was Exit No. 24 in a Marigold Burnout silk. Topshop has a good formula to build on and play with and this outing was a Giddy romp. Playful, Retro, and a successful merging of 90's era freedom and modern Sportif that was will keep the Topshop gal well appointed in her Hip, Hot Girl Attire!
Sir Paul Smith is One of the Old Guard of London Fashion and like most of the Old Guard, he is Younger at heart than all the new Whippersnappers on the London Fashion Week Circuit! He showed in his Spring 2014 collection his ability to Show that Youth, Vitality and Esprit tempered with the Wise, Mature Sense of a man who has been at the epicenter of all that is London Fashion since the Heyday of the Fab Four and Mary Quant.
This gives Smith the flexibility to shift in many directions all at once and still keep the big picture in focus. If there was anything to be taken away as the Definitive Statement of the collection it was that in the House that Smith built, Loose, Louche Pants were the Catch of the Day! There may have been some Loud voices speaking up for all the Mannish blazers but the pants were the items that reaped the richest rewards, most often when NOT paired with a Blazer.
Count the Best Exit of the Show... The White Masterpiece at Exit No. 6 that had a Relaxed YSL Sensuality to it with a more Urban than Urbane Patina. It was Sexy in a Pantheress Way, Swaggering But still Graceful! Exit No. 18 was toeing that same line but with a little more Country frilliness to give it less attitude and more girlish aplomb but still Dead Sexy even though the pants were cut in a Patchwork of Fluid Denim.
Exit No.27 also showed the wonderful way Smith had with pants this time the vibe was more Miami Nice than Slithering and Sexy in the Sunniest Yellow trousers one could imagine with the giant sized floral print that cropped up late in the show cut into a mannish Shirt. And... at Exit No. 28 the T-shirt dress reared it's familiar head again cut out of that same Gorgeous Print!
The Message may have been muddied a little lack of focus but the basic principal... Sunny Colour, Sexy Pants, Masculine/Feminine Dichotomy and a couple other ideas thrown in the mix for good measure, kept the Vital Heartbeat of the collection pumping. And again, Many of the New guard would have crumbled trying to fit so many ideas into one collection and not make it look like a disastrous Mess... Sir Paul Handled it like the Pro he is!