Topshop Unique has spent several years proving it really does deserve a place on the designer runway schedule and its AW16 show at London Fashion Week this afternoon added some weight to that.
The high street retail brand gave us a selection of the key trends that are driving the runways, and also that are key to sales in high street stores too.
So to start with we got athleisure influences via sports leggings that then blended into the key outerwear trend for the season – think oversized shearling trimmed casual coats, shearling-lined leather biker jackets and fur collar military-influenced oversized coats and .
In fact military influences and colour (ie khaki) were a big feature with mannish army trousers, felted aviator jackets and jumpsuits (albeit the army connection kept subtle by the use of silky, fluid materials).
We also got a slouchy sweater that was almost (but not quite) a dress in a camo-meets-animal pattern, plenty of sheers and lace (particularly striking in power pink with what Topshop called a “perversely prim collar”), landscape prints and shimmering sequins.
It felt more genuinely runway than high street but there was plenty to choose from come the autumn for those of us who wear our clothes in the real world.
But of course, this isn’t high street as most of us know it. Topshop is a brand with serious fashion clout, as the A-list front row made up of fashion queen Anna Wintour plus Karlie Kloss and Jourdan Dunn, Daisy Lowe, Lottie Moss, the Waterhouse sisters, Lara Stone and Erin O’Connor made very clear.
The model line-up on the runway was also high grade with models-of-the-moment like Lineisy Montero and Sam Rollinson striding down the runway.
While LFW can sometimes seem like the poor relation of Big Four fashion weeks, it seems it’s not only the Burberrys of this world that give it extra weight – our high street favourites are flying the flag in style too.