Front-row eyes for a high-street bargain

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Topshop and Whistles show London Fashion Week reaching out to bigger audiences

Forget hefty price tags and designer clobber – the High Street took over London Fashion Week today, with Topshop’s Unique show and Whistles staging its first salon presentation.

Partnering this season with Google and YouTube to livestream the show to ever greater audiences, Topshop’s Unique line is not just about clothes but also about reach.

There was a youthful but chic feel in mid-length PVC circle skirts in bright hues of tomato and tan, as well fuzzy cropped jumpers – even a digital chintz on skirts and knits that was inspired by a pub carpet. Riffing on a current 90s nostalgia, donkey jackets and fun fur, candyfloss colours and maribou, recalled the sass of the Brit Pop era, a time Topshop’s many clamouring fans may not remember but will all want to emulate.

Whistles meanwhile took a quieter approach, less conservative than the blouse from the brand made famous by the Duchess of Cambridge and more fashionably purist.

“It seems to me that LFW should be able to combine both the newest and most innovative designers, as well as some of Britain’s great contemporary fashion brands, and thus celebrate all that is successful about British fashion,” said Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson – also the guru that made Topshop the commercial giant it is today.

Since she took her current job in 2008, the brand’s profits have soared – more than 20 per cent in the past year. “When we started, the contemporary middle market was in a fledgling state, now it is arguably the fastest growing sector in fashion, so it is really important for us to stay relevant and innovative,” she added.

Ahead of her show, Dame Vivienne Westwood had some advice for the Duchess of Cambridge: stop buying so many different outfits and make more of an effort to be green. “I don’t have any advice for her, except I think it would be great if she wore the same clothes over and again, because that’s very good for the environment and it would send out a very nice message,” she said.

The Whistles show, which compromised wearable and on-trend leather separates, camouflage jacquard pieces and a geometric marble print in emerald green (one of the emerging shades of the autumn season), was also part of an international push for the brand. Already stocked in the French department store Printemps, it will also move into Russia and Germany this year, and the US and China in the near future.

Couple that with a recently opened flagship store in Mayfair and a new multi-lingual website and you have a brand that appears to have defied the economic doom and gloom.

At the upper end of the market, Mulberry is yet another British label doing well. Its front row revealed why: singer Lana del Rey and “It girl” Alexa Chung, both of whom have had best-selling styles by the brand named after them, were joined by Bafta’s rising star winner Juno Temple.

The shows continue tomorrow with two of the capital’s biggest names, megabrand Burberry and wunderkind Christopher Kane, fresh from the announcement that luxury goods conglomerate PPR has taken a 51 per cent stake in his acclaimed label.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Project Coordinator

    Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

    Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

    £350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

    Embedded Linux Engineer

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

    Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

    £50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz