"Girls who are boys who like boys to be girls..." you know that, right? Blur, Parklife, the Nineties, the good old days...well, not really. For a start, this one is sang breathily by a girl and this being a Unique show under the creative direction of Kate Phelan you'd be silly to expect things to be so obvious. A Nineties throwback this was not. Instead Phelan's team put forward their suggestion for what a girl, and woman, could wear come next autumn. She'd be warm, that's for sure.
You could sum it all up as this: a fuzzy knit over a patent leather skater skirt and a big furry coat to keep the British cold out. Those knits came cropped, at times shimmery or with a floral pattern "based on traditional British carpets and Victorian pub wallpapers", according to the show notes although you ought to lower your expectations on the stuffy-meter. The skirts sat high on the waist and those coats...well, if we've come to learn one thing about Phelan's Topshop is that it gives good coats. Fluffy, shaved fur and wool or glossy and sleek they were great in bright red, Wedgewood blue and powdery candy floss pink. A girl in a pale blue cropped sweater over high-waisted wide trousers with a silk scarf tied on her neck oozed elegance as did another in a shag-pile white jumper and toffee mohair trousers.
When Morrissey's This Charming Man kicked in the mood turned to evening and out came long dresses that the better known faces in the front row could easily slip into for the opening of something, one in silk satin with an open back and a fur stole, another dipped in black sequins. In the end, it was all about Cara and Jourdan showing them how it's done, closing the show in scarlet sequinned dresses, disappearing from view as their images were projected onto the Tate Modern walls.