With decades of industry experience, Vivienne Westwood has created an unapologetic design niche, this season breaking away from fall’s inescapable bohemian trend and opting for edgy London flair.Creating a collection for adventurous, intellectual femmes (so basically the Dame herself), the designer delivered an offering of juxtaposing designs wrapped into singular looks. She channeled her quirky spirit into slouchy, wearable power suits, evening dresses over tartan trousers and workwear shirts with covetable blazers that played on proportion and crisp tailoring. Of course, there were staple Westwood pieces like a cardinal red check Prince of Wales coat, floral-lined fedoras, statement prints and haphazardly draped silk dresses that prove to be timeless.
Like all the rest of us, Topshop Unique is right in the middle of the nostalgia for the old days and excitement about the brave new world. The Brit brand teamed up with fashion photography’s most forward-thinking documentarian and producer, Nick Knight, to live stream their fall show—and more. The SHOWStudio founder took over the Topshop Instagram and Periscope for three hours, and proceeded to use a 3D scanner to make sci-fi evidence of Topshop’s retro girls.
We had some time before the show to ask Creative Director Kate Phelan what inspired the season’s statement coats, natty sweaters, and slinky and sheer dresses—and the move to share them all with fans and followers in such a big-bang kinda way.
If a single piece of clothing could signify this moment in time—could represent early 2016 and the current winter-into-spring era—it would be the bomber jacket. It works equally well for men and women, and as a cardigan-like layer or true protection against the elements.
Just about every designer showed some variation of this timeless staple during the last round of Fashion Weeks, so now that all those want-worthy spring styles are showing up in our stores, we’ve only seen the beginning of bombermania.
Starting with the richly ornate and totally cozy olive-green Chloé number above, we selected our top nine iterations of this must-have-right-now topper.
It was Ci Ci in her current “chill mom” incarnation–not gold grill Ciara, not the rowdy “Wake Up, No Make Up” Ciara. Her aura had a certain lightness to it, and Ciara floated through the hourlong public event on brand ambassador duty for Topshop, working a Topshop bodysuit and skirt like it was truly NBD.
She talked with us afterward about music. Specifically: the wisdom of her mentor Missy Elliott; which songs Ciara grew up hearing in the house; and the ongoing musical education of her son, Future.
Check the Q&A and see more images below.
Brit brands across London’s runways are drawing on a range of folklore references to inject their lines with a fresh bohemian feel. Few are succeeding as eye-catchingly as Mary Katrantzou with her inclination for experimental detail. Topshop Unique (an offshoot of Topshop), too, incorporated miniature floral prints and enchanting lace while keeping its sought-after English gent-meets-It-girl aesthetic intact.
Mary Katrantzou’s rise from graduate to global brand took the designer through several stages in decorative dressing—from kick-starting the trompe l’oeil print trend eight years ago to the more recent switch from digital to hand-embellished designs. For spring 2016, all those elements came into play on a smaller, lighter scale—but no less grand. Ribbed sweaters and footless tights glittered beneath short, airy dresses decked in hundreds of tiny beads. Quilted frocks in jewel tones maintained her signature energy thanks to a light-catching shine on some and voluminous ruffles on others.
Shop: current season Mary Katrantzou
The mood backstage at Topshop on Sunday afternoon was on. As I entered through the crew door, models ready in their first looks were dancing and goofing in front of a white backdrop for a lineup of photographers. Girls like Binx, Bella Hadid and Sam Rollinson twirled through the dressers and makeup artists to kiss one another on each cheek and admire their pencil skirts, polka dots, open-weave knits and stripy, furry, bow-detailed heels. It felt like Saturday night.
“British style is eclectic; it’s about personality and being an individual,” Topshop creative director Kate Phelan told me as we watched the girls mug for the cameras.
“When I get inspired by fashion it’s about seeing people wear fashion in their own way.”
And really, what’s more fun than that? Okay—maybe a runway show. Between the front-of-house and the back-of-house, the Topshop Unique presentation was a good old-fashioned good time. Turns out that had something to do with Phelan’s inspiration, too.
We can’t get enough of Crystal Nicodemus’s eye, so we’re bringing her Fashion Week street style to the mix all year long. Get inspired by the industry’s best dressed, and then … make their look your own!
Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:
Keeping up with the Kardashians? Sure, why not. But it might be a bit more on point to say we’re keeping up with the Jenners—especially now that we can share this life-changing nugget: your favorite red-carpet and real-life sisters are now designers. Yep, Kendall and Kylie Jenner created their first ever ready-to-wear collection with their favorite U.K. brand; the brand-new, just-launched KENDALL + KYLIE at Topshop is now live on Nordstrom.com and in selected stores. (Worth noting: it’s only available at Nordstrom and Topshop.)
In true Jenner style, the girls didn’t just design the looks, they modeled them.
Image of Kendall and Kylie courtesy KENDALL + KYLIE at Topshop; all other images property of The Thread
We were on set on the Santa Monica beach at a super-modern home with a pool and immediate oceanfront access with Kendall, Kylie, Topshop and the rest of the crew, and between wardrobe changes and technical tweaks, we talked to the style icons about, well, style icons, inspiration and adding the word designer to their profiles.
Check out our interview and behind-the-scenes pics here.
We can’t get enough of Crystal Nicodemus’s eye, so we’re bringing her Fashion Week street style posts to the mix all year long. Get inspired by the industry’s best dressed, and then…make their look your own!
See: more Street Style from Nordstrom
Get the scoop on this brand-new capsule collection, and find out how to shop the new pieces.