WORDS Kara Douglas

     “Modern Romantics” the most recent collection from Topman saluted the ostentatious stylings of the 80s club kids and their all-encompassing enthusiasm for everything unique and obscure. The show was set at the end of an industrial labyrinth located on the rooftop of The Truman Brewery, a more intricate show than usual, set up in celebration of London Fashion Week Men’s fifth birthday. The journey was a safari for the senses as you passed through multiple exhibition spaces projecting new-age fashion films alongside art, poetry and music from budding artists such as Nick Offord, The Rhythm Method, Ben Cullen Williams and Campbell Addy, to name a mere few. The end point, a reward of the most highly anticipated variety, a presentation of Topman’s SS18 collection.

     An array or oversized tailoring refreshed our skater-street-style overcrowded palate’s, drawing on late 70’s Bowie as a primary influence, as did all youths of the 80s. Models stood powerful in sharp pinstripes and shoulder pads, the look built upon further when paired with the eccentric harem pants cut from the same patterns. Colour blocking was a potent trait carried throughout the collection as muted greys and navy’s were rejuvenated with flashes of red, in some cases more daring than others, as one model stood head to toe in a flowing black ensemble with his hair a blaze after being slicked back with a fiery metallic red paint.

     Loose sleeves, belted waists and V cuts flirted with the silhouettes of the eighties, combining them with layers of high-neck zipped tops amongst the interweaving of bold patterns, pulling the collection back into the present. Topman toyed with the ideas of British masculinity in a nostalgic bid to explore the power of shapes and in doing so reimagined a new era of menswear.