There was a primal urge coursing through the Topshop Unique show which began at the head where animal masks/hats (think Animals of Farthing Wood) courtesy of Emma Cook were perched and ended at the feet where ankle clogs and boots were decked out in feathers, sheepskin and satisfyingly chunky wooden heels. Everything in between all came rushing out crunching the autumnal leaves on the catwalk with a force that made everyone feel that Topshop Unique has once again pushed it one step further. Of course, Katie Grand's styling contributed to the audience being quite literally transported into the woods where memories of scouts, girl guides, naff school camping trips as well as dreamlike elements of the outdoors and contemporary references to the wild (Where the Wild Things Are and Fantastic Mr Fox came to mind) came flooding in. At the same time, when dissected these were pieces that can stand well on their own as individual components of a rather whimsical take on the outdoors theme that has also been present at other shows. In particular, shearling duffle coats, faux fur jacket and matching skirt, khaki country riding jackets and jodhpur sets and shaggy knitted capes that were dripping with chunky shredded yarns resembling little mice (not as creepy as that might sound) were the highlights of the collection. A prettier turn into toadstool printed matching crop top and shorts and chiffon nymph-like dresses as well as cute embroidered name pyjamas fit for outside wear made an appeal to Topshop's girlier customer. We just hope that the bulk of the collection filters down in its original form down to the stores so that we might all unleash our inner woodland creature.
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