EXCLUSIVE: Topman Design Menswear S/S13

Gary Armstrong, assistant to show stylist Bryan McMahon, talks east and west coasts...

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The mood of the collection is based on teenage rebellion in America, referencing 80s NY downtown street style as documented by Amy Arbus, and the art world's biggest rebel at that time, Jean-Michel Basquiat; street smart looks juxtaposed with the surf and skate cultural explosion that was happening at the same time on the west coast in California. The prints that the Topman designers came up with were playful and combined with suiting. Overall it was really important to ensure that the mood of the collection was upbeat, boyish and coolly considered.

The soundtrack was made by Ben Esser and again was based on this east coast meets west coast feeling, mixing guitar sounds from bands like Here We Go Magic, and artists such as Andrew Weatherall to bring in 80s Danceteria references.

We arrived at the show space at 9am, following an all nighter at Topman HQ and immediately started fitting the final boys – due to Paris casting week the boys didn’t arrive into London until late Thursday, so backstage was quite hectic! By the time we did the rehearsal, all boys were fit and we were ready to go.

I think that the collection was summed up by look 3, worn by Ton, as it brought together the two coasts references and Ton was the ideal boy to give the mood of the collection.

Text Gary Armstrong 

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