Going to a Topshop Unique show is like attending some fabulous tented party. Not only are all the cool kids there — Elle Fanning, Poppy Delevingne, Leigh Lezark, Derek Blasberg, Harley Viera-Newton, Pixie Geldof — but there are also glasses of champagne and mini strawberry tartlets being served to you as you come in.
Not that Topshop needs gimmicks in order to woo anyone. The brand has already built a solid reputation in the UK and abroad — and not just because of its snappy stores and chic ready to wear line. The brand has been incremental in the rise of London's up-and-coming designers via its sponsorship program NewGen, and one needs look no further than Erdem, Christopher Kane, and Mary Katrantzou — all former recipients — to see what a little help from Topshop can do. Judging by that, it seems this season's batch of NewGen designers Michael van deer Ham, JW Anderson, and Simone Rocha are off to a pretty good start.
And so, it shouldn't be surprising that Topshop Unique's collection is right on point for Spring 2013. Picking up where Fall 2012 's military-utility themes left off, creative director Kate Phelan and team created pieces that felt modern and minimal, with just the right amount of sophisticated slouch. Sheer fabrics such as organza, devouré, and printed georgette offered revealing hints of skin on loosely tailored silhouettes and boxy pieces, while a color palette of cream, rosé, black, white, and pale canary yellow kept everything feeling clean and crisp. "Cool, easy, relaxed," Phelan explained to us backstage after the show. "The whole idea was to just not let the collection get too hard or stiff, but to keep it soft, to keep it easy, to keep it very slouchy and very real."