While much has been made of the digital revolution brewing around Topshop’s autumn/winter 2013 Unique show, this afternoon, in the decidedly non-Internet-friendly bowe...

While much has been made of the digital revolution brewing around Topshop’s autumn/winter 2013 Unique show, this afternoon, in the decidedly non-Internet-friendly bowels of the Tate Modern, it all came back to why we’re really interested: clothes that’ll be setting the high street agenda for the next six months. 

It’s all about opposites attracting for the Unique girl, as personified by Cara Delevingne’s opening look: a cropped mohair jumper paired with a stiff, flared PVC skirt and an oversized indigo fun-fur coat. This, we’re told, is a ‘90s Brit pop silhouette’ – not that you’d need to be told if you lived through it the first time around. Hot on CD’s heels and fired up to underline the message was model BFF Jourdan Dunn, who wore a similarly-shaped black wool skirt with PVC inserts and a black jumper embellished with squares of shiny plastic. 

These are clothes you want to touch – although that may be a bit weird in the case of a pair of great workwear-perfect trousers made out of fawn-coloured fuzzy felt – and accessories, too, vis a vis a lush red clutch made from long-haired red faux fur. 

Coats are oversized, arching from the shoulders and falling to below the knee. The palette is, for the most part, soft, with the baby blues and pinks interspersed with occasional punches of red and orange. Shimmering pink skirts come with slouchy, teddy-bear knits piled on top. A paisley-type print applied to silky blouses and broken down into intarsia knits felt strangely familiar; the show notes confirmed that it was based on ‘traditional British carpets and Victorian pub wallpapers’. 

As Topshop’s international expansion continues apace – last week, it launched in LA – it’s reassuring to see that it’s the British girl on the street, and all the references that mean something to her, who remains at the heart of the Topshop operation. And these things translate: Kate Bosworth, sitting radiantly in the front row in a simple grey knit, is so going to wear the spaghetti-strapped, backless sequin jumpsuit that closed the show to a Stateside party one day soon, mark our words. 

 
 
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