Topman Design Menswear A/W12

Inspiration for the dark and moody wardrobe came from Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe

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The Topman Design team are more than aware of what it takes to produce forward thinking highstreet menswear and have been at the forefront of design led, considered but affordable pieces for a number of seasons now. Taking inspiration from the more inventive cutting edge trends that they see occurring on the streets of London and other metropolitan centres, they have a knack for filtering and refining, creating collections that season after season are on point.

Inspiration was taken from the cultural figures of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe who dominated the arts and music scene back in the 1980s

Showing at the Royal Opera House for Autumn Winter 12, a grande and open spacious room with a studio like quality, befitting of their creative approach, their offering for the Topman Design audience was a dark and moody affair, in keeping with a number of presentations seen recently both here in London and New York. Inspiration was taken from the cultural figures of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe who dominated the arts and music scene back in the 1980s. But it is 2012, and while their references might have been based two decades ago, they have been updated and brought in with contemporary relevance. Rather than the Chelsea Hotel in New York, Smith and Mapplethorpe's favourite haunt, the Topman Design boy hangs out in Berlin, partying in Kreusberg until the early hours.

But it is 2012, and while their references might have been based two decades ago, they have been updated and brought in with contemporary relevance. Rather than the Chelsea Hotel in New York, Smith and Mapplethorpe's favourite haunt, the Topman Design boy hangs out in Berlin, partying in Kreusberg until the early hours

The team's ideas translated through into overcoats, topcoats and parka shapes, all made up in luxury fabrics, mohair, felted wool and cashmere and done in darker colours, various shades of black and grey. Contrasting the softness of the fabrics, panels of high gloss PVC were inserted to add a sense of glamour. Belts studded with resplendent silver hardware accentuated the fitted nature of the coats and were worn over the top, pulling in the waist and adding a tough, almost fetishistic feel. Leather rousers cemented this mood even more, slim fitting and tapered in the leg. Woollen sweaters, done in brighter, more palatable colours shone out from underneath the darker outerwear, and were complemented by silk shirts printed with Robert Mapplethorpes famous lily imagery.

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