Many accuse designer diffusions for high street stores as watered down versions of their mainline collection which from the point of view of the designer would seem justified given the price difference.  However, from the perspective of a greedy shopper who tries to bag one too many bargains, she wants a little more.  I realise that you can’t expect too much in terms of quality given the cost restrictions and choices of materials but I do feel if a designer is going to embark onto that path, half hearted, shoddy designs just don’t cut it.  Giles for New Look’s latest collection is something that has really baffled me.  I wasn’t thinking his AW07-8 collection would pop up on the cheap for New Look but lurid floral prints and tacky diagonal stripes?  Not for me thanks.

So then comes the dilemma.  Arcadia Avoidance?  Not even a month has passed and I’m feeling myself waver.  The conclusion of that post seems to be and I have concluded for myself is that it is a wider problem that cannot be pinpointed at Topshop alone.  Very well then…because when you hit me with Preen’s new collection for Topshop that will be in stores from the 10th September, the mind does become very weak indeed.  The infusions from their mainline collection is at the optimum level of ‘Ah, this is REALLY designed by Preen’ whilst balancing with the fact that it is still Topshop.  The patent accents.  The volume created at the hips.  The heavy fabric.  With the focus being on outerwear and heavy dresses and in a limited palette, there does seem to be a certain amount of design ‘weight’ in the collection that you would feel proud to buy on the basis of its design rather than for the sake of it being Preen.

The show was full of vividly coloured cocoons.  Even the dresses looked like they want to protect you from something.  I think that ‘protective’ quality has been toned down a bit for this Topshop collection but something about it all still makes you want to be encased in it.  The one bit of colour they have injected into the aubergine dress happens to be my favourite piece as it has a funnel neck that can be worn as a cocoon hood.  Having just procured a pair of ankle boots in that exact shade of aubergine/deep plum, there is nothing to it but stalk into Topshop on the 10th, nab that dress and get some 80 deniers from Tabio in the same shade and walk out in this block of aubergine.  I failed miserably but a good designer diffusion collection is hard to come by and too hard to pass up. 

Whilst I’m there, Ann Sofie Back‘s line of jersey t-shirts with in-built busts and belts, similar to the t-shirt oddities that Ann Sofie Back has produced in the past will also be hitting Topshop.  Is this the equivalent of harping on about quitting smoking, making a loud noise about quitting, but then nipping outside for a quite ciggie?  Oh dear…

Comments (11)

  1. meg says:

    I was just in new look yesterday. and I picked up a giles black studded clutch which i loved. no idea if it’s the old or new collection though….

  2. Cold turkey! Just stop reading Topshop-related things!

  3. Fenke says:

    I really like the black dress/big shirt with the low-cut back.
    I also like our blog btw – hav a nice day!

  4. If I had easy access I’d have a tough time resisting too.

  5. Shopaholic D says:

    the aubergine dress is beautiful! you’re so lucky you live near a topshop!
    i really like the black belted dress (2nd row down, 2nd column over), too.
    🙂 D

  6. madame o says:

    OMG! Love the Preen! Love ASB! I don’t know all about the Top Shop labor (labour)issues but in many third world countries, the locals can be among the lucky ones to have a job. I’m not saying that the working conditions are humane or right based on what we know. But, there is an arguement that some who work in some factories (though, I’m sure not all) are amoung the fortunate who have an opportunity to earn a bit of money whereas others of their country mates may have no money what so ever and have to dig in garbage, or depend on hand outs and so forth. This is not to say that appalling working conditions are acceptable…..or that we should not question who makes the clothes we buy and under what circumstances….And the overall price on Mother Earth for constantly making new clothes and new stuff (especially, cheap things made of cheap fabrications with essentally built in early disposability).
    Anyway, I’m tempted to paypal you some $ for some TS Preen goods. It can be a struggle to be a conscientious consumer and a bona fide clothes collecting freak simultaneously (like moi). Peace.

  7. The Preen stuff looks interesting. I like the shiny elements here. It reminds me of space age tv show uniforms.
    And the jersey tees look cozy
    -h

  8. meemalee says:

    Re the Giles for New Look Gold collection – admittedly, the floral tops are horrid, but the rest of his collection is really nice (yes, even those diagonal stripes) in an op-art, monochrome way.
    Have a look at the rest of the collection here http://www.stylefinder.com/items/default.aspx?id=73276 and maybe you’ll change your mind
    I thought it was nicer than his first New Look collection …

  9. The Preen coat in the top right-hand corner is fabulous. I’m not much of a black person though, so I think I would like it even more in a green or blue. Or even that lovely aubergine colour!

  10. Audrey says:

    Where can I get that coat in the first picture? The shape is gorgeous! Is it from the Preen or Preen for Topshop line? I’d consider taking the Eurostar to London for it.

  11. Audrey says:

    Ah; just stalked the Topshop site and answered my own question. I’d be too late for delivery to US and there is no mention of delivery to Europe, where I’d be by 10 September. Boo! 🙁

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