Inspired by Egypt, the collection featured hieroglyphic prints on streetwear pieces influenced by the 90s
It was a cool mix of streetwear and Egyptian motifs that were seen in TopShop's forward thinking line, Unique's offering for Spring Summer 2012. Coiled cobras, suns and stars, the Eye of Horus and a hieroglyphic based text all made a recurrent appearance across the collection which featured oversized hooded tops and dresses in a rough textured cotton featuring gold and black contrasting prints, swimwear, trench coats, black leather jackets and panel dresses.
While mainly in bold blacks and whites, occasional dashes of colour appeared through a bright turquoise column dress, a chunky wool cream sweatshirt and plenty of gold sheer. Bringing through that updated streetwear feel were hooded tops in big sizes, jersey tube dresses, crop tops and an oversized sheer layered parka. Baseball caps and visors also firmly cemented the Unique collection's nod towards the 90s hip-hop scene.
Dazed Digital: How did you get to the combination of streetwear and Egyptian influences?
TopShop Unique Design Team: We were looking at ancient Egypt and the film Cleopatra and Elizabeth Taylor's way of playing her in that role. I was really into the opulence that you can see there, that real feeling of extremes. That became the gold and bold print elements and we really wanted to update that so it was very now. We just felt that kind of urban vibe was something that really summed up the moment.
DD: There seemed like there was a real 90s feeling in there as well.
TopShop Unique Design Team: Yeah that definitely came through in the hair and the make up and was something that we wanted to pick up on in the designs and then translate into the way we styled up the models. It had those references but we had styled it so to us it felt really of the moment at the same time. That's where the big jewels came from actually.
DD: And how about the Keith Harring style hieroglyphics?
TopShop Unique Design Team: Well he was such an important artist around that time and quite childlike style of graffiti is really something that sums up that era, so that felt like a good thing to combine with the classic Egyptian text. We were looking at the hieroglyphic symbols and that real black and white elment from Harring.
DD: What sort of girl are you designing for this season?
TopShop Unique Design Team: Someone who really knows how to and enjoys mixing it up with what she is wearing. She's wearing gold jewellery and then something really casual and then at night she's back in something super dressy, but still with a streetwear edge.