Fashion: There's always room at the top

So, you think you're too old, too rich and too stylish to be seen in Top Shop on a Saturday afternoon? Think again, sister. Because that's where you'll find some of Britain's best designer labels this season.

Hussein Chalayan's clothes are expensive. His new range for TSE New York is bloody expensive. In fact, even his sample sales are pushing the boat out. That's probably why there are a lot of smiley faces in fashionable circles at present, for the 28-year-old designer has agreed to turn his busy hand to designing a range for the high street. Top Shop's TS Design range, to be precise.

It is not only Chalayan who has been invited to "guest-design" a collection. Sherald Lamden of Seraph and the newcomer Tracey Boyd have also jumped on board the good ship Top Shop, and next month their clothes will begin to appear at the new, all-singing-all-catwalking Oxford Street flagship store.

Designers on the high street are nothing new; Debenhams have been doing it successfully for a couple of years. What is different is who the clothes are for, and their price.

Top Shop, as we all know, is the Mecca for teenage girls (and canny shoppers with an eye for a looky-likey fashionable finds) everywhere. Shopping at London's Oxford Circus branch in particular is a day out in itself, and when the refurbished store opens at the end of September, it will be even better. There will be six catwalk presentations a week, hair salons, fake tattoo parlours, and enough affordable clothes to kit out a small town. What is even more mind-boggling is the size. The changing-rooms alone will accommodate 2,000 people.

The TS Design range was introduced last year for women with a bit more money to spend on fashion than their (perhaps) younger counterparts, and frankly it looked a bit out of place among the colourful clobber. Now, however, with designer names to support it, the range will prove absolutely irresistible to regular customers and fashion luvvies alike. Each one is carefully targeted at a different type. Chalayan, who says, "I did it because it's so different from what I usually do", has come up with three colours - red, black and sky blue - and one fabric - jersey - which he has turned into simple separates for the girl who likes to look chic with minimal fuss. Slash-neck tops with bracelet-length or no sleeves, vests, slim to-the-knee skirts, and a vest dress are imbued with Chalayan's spare, linear handwriting. Some bear a latex circle graphic, but the overall message is simplicity with a dash of restrictive modernity. Of all the pieces, the black top with slash-neck and bracelet-length sleeves, at pounds 50, is most certain to be a sell-out.

The masterminds of this project are John Hoerner, chief executive of Arcadia (the group that owns Top Shop) and chairman of the British Fashion Council, and Sarah Mower, fashion features editor of Harper's Bazaar, whom Hoerner has employed as his fashion director. The two of them approached Chalayan and Sherald Lamden and, in return for their work, Top Shop are sponsoring their forthcoming catwalk shows for London Fashion Week - something Lamden is ecstatic about. "We've only been independent for a year, so this is a great help," she says.

Her collection for the store has an upbeat, clubby feel. "Top Shop is for good-time girls. I hung out there before I decided what to do because I wasn't given a brief as such; they just asked me to provide the Seraph look." Seraph is also for good-time urban girls. It's funky, eclectic, and buzzing with tiny but all-important details such as twinkling sequins, drawstrings and prints. For Top Shop Lamden gave it a "spin", as she puts it. "I even wanted to call it `Spin-Off'." She didn't, in the end, but instead put a spin graphic on to the T-shirts and denim jackets, and gave everything a slightly nautical imprint with a sailor-collared jacket and classic sailor pants, both also made from hard-wearing denim.

Thirtysomething Lamden asserts that she would wear all the clothes herself, "particularly the wide-leg, low-slung jeans [pounds 60] which are the same cut as the ones from Seraph, only with less detail".

Now that "contemporary girl" and "good-time urban-girl" have been kitted out at Top Shop there is one space left to fill, which is for "pretty party girl", and this is where Tracey Boyd comes in. Her range will be available at the end of October, and is timed for the party season.

Boyd, 37, started her fashion career as in-house designer for the London boutique Tokio. Two years on, she has her own label. The clothes, which she describes as "strong feminine", are not the least bit wispy or floaty. "I like my clothes to offer support," she says, "and I think about underwear choices." A self-confessed Top Shopaholic, Boyd can't wait to see her new range hanging on the rails. "When I first saw the finished samples I was like Ohmygod!", she says. "They are such good quality, which is surprising for the high street."

Expect party dresses in gorgeous colours such as dusty violet, soft lilac, and what Boyd describes as "dirty celadon", a kind of greenish-grey. As a final flourish, Boyd has designed the perfect party-entrance coat, with a fake fur collar to match the decadent mood of the dresses.

Now that Top Shop really is for Everywoman, and not just Everygirl, who can resist? I certainly can't. See you in the queue.

Top left, sky-blue jersey knee-length shift with circle graphic, pounds 65.

Top right, sleeveless spin print T-shirt (just seen), pounds 35, and denim hip-seam pedal pushers, pounds 45, both by Seraph for TS Design. Jack Purcell leather plimsolls pounds 39.99, available from good sports stores nationwide.

Bottom left, slash-neck spin print T-shirt, pounds 40, by Seraph for TS Design.

Bottom right, slash-neck pimento jersey T-shirt with pink circle graphic, pounds 45. Knee-length jersey skirt, pounds 45. Both by Hussein Chalayan for TS Design. Also available in black and sky-blue.

All clothes will be available from Top Shop, Oxford Circus, London W1 from the end of September with the label TS Design (each designer's work will be clearly indicated in the store. The refurbished Top Shop opens on 3 October. As an added incentive, NUS cardholders receive 10 per cent off at Top Shop

Photographs: Mauricio Guillen

Stylist:

Tamara Cincik

Hair:

Jimo Salako

Make-up: Charlotte Tilbury

Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?