I haven't ranted about something as singularly as I have about Biba's relaunch (do a quickie search at the right)… probably because at the time when I was just starting up my blog, it was one of the 'big' London fashion stories.  I also had a bit more rage back then.  Now I'm slowly mellowing into a position where I can sit on a porch with some iced tea and just enthuse over stuff.  Or maybe there's more to be enthusiastic about.  Such as Barbara Hulanicki's new collection for Topshop which launches in-store and online next Tuesday (ALL stores get a drop I hear including the crazy queues New York branch…).  The fact that the woman has openly voiced opinions similar to my initial rant about Biba's return already made me beam.  So today when I got the chance to meet her in the flesh at the Barbara Hulanicki for Topshop preview I was even more chuffed.  Especially when upon speaking to her, I found a woman who is on the ball more than ever.  Biba back in the day was mass-production at its most desirable and she likens Topshop to doing the same thing today.  I think I might have grinned a little when she commented on my colour combination of my teal Rodier blazer, my Fortuny-esque pleated fuschia dress and my Viv Westwood for Melissa flats (still in flats I'm afraid for all-purpose walking…)… and as she was studying my outfit, it felt like she was taking in mental notes, niggling at a possibility of future collections after this initial drop…
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The initial sketches above were developed into the prints for the chiffon and silk pieces for the collection, which Hulanicki insisted was supposed to be far away from what Biba was.  Instead, it contains a slight hint of Biba's era (the loose and flirty shapes…) mixed with Hulanicki's own whimsical touches.

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In that Grazia-esque way, I predict the pieces that will go first will be this grey suede jacket (the most expensive at ¬£125) and matching shorts, the minidress printed with something that is a cross between leopard print and blotches.  I rather like the idea of mixing the print in different colours together.




Comments (39)

  1. Diana says:

    the shoes are fantastic, and the dresses are beautiful too.

  2. cassiopeia says:

    Woo! That big shouldered red blotchy dress is SO BEAUTIFUL! not sure I’m confident ordering something so architectural online tho… Might have to go home especially, post-diss hand-in! Altho if it’s going to be in every store… Hmmmmmmm… *Planning* ;-D looks great. we have some orig biba posters in the loft (I have a very kwl mother) and they are just so very very very beautiful – Looking forward to seeing this collection in the flesh. Def looks the right side of quirky for me! ;-D

  3. Phuongalong says:

    that grey and that orange…and the combination suede all have me smiling =)

  4. I want that mini orange dress so badly, I would wear despite the fact I have orange hair. I love the shape and the print, well the whole thing really. x

  5. Shay says:

    those sketches are lovely, they are quite true to vintage Biba fashion illustration sketches with their little doe-eyed hippie girls in floppy hats…

  6. violetville says:

    oooh, i want the shorts!
    the red splotchy dress is gorgeous, but from the pic it looks exactly like about a dozen vintage 30’s-40’s playsuits and dresses currently in my closet.
    i love the deco-faced-butterfly and stars print too! very cute!

  7. Brigadeiro says:

    LOVE the sketches, and that suede jacket looks gorge!!!

  8. selina says:

    i love the shoulders and skirt of the orange dress

  9. SOS! says:

    this is great news…and the fabrics looks amazing. The orange dress with massive shoulder pads will hopefully be in my wardrobe.
    xx-LJ from SOS!

  10. jess says:

    The sketches are so pretty.I’m in love with the faces fabric. I can’t wait to see what it looks like on a dress.

  11. I have mixed feelings about the Biba revival myself, but love everything about the original Biba. I have high hopes for this collaboration and think it might evoke more of her original heyday. Hey, I’m a vintage dealer, I’m biased!

  12. Kat George says:

    SUSIE! Why do you do this to me? Can you please tell the Topshop powers that be to make this stuff available online for me? Cheers!

  13. iru says:

    wow… that second dress is out of control

  14. calamityjem says:

    I really like the prints…lovely!

  15. I was so ecstatic when Topshop first opened, but now I realize that they just might bankrupt me. These prints are too cute, I love the face with the butterfly wings!

  16. Sister Wolf says:

    She is an effing genius. I remember the suede things at the original Biba: dusty rose, pale tangerine, a beautiful gray-brown, etc. God bless her!

  17. The spotty print is so great, in both colors–I love it

  18. nini says:

    those shoes look very similar to the 3.1 phillip lim shoes

  19. Louise says:

    Wow, i’m totally in love with that red dress, it’s gorgeous! I’m just worried that I won’t be able to afford any of it.
    And what an honour for Barbara to comment on your outfit, that must have made your month!

  20. susie_bubble says:

    Shoe note…. the shoes used in the lookbook shots aren’t part of Barbara’s collection…. they’re Topshop’s own erm…inspired shoes…
    Kat: It’s all going online…Barbara insisted on her stuff being made available to everyone as opposed to keeping it limited to the London store (which so often happens…)

  21. Caroline says:

    Gonna be very interesting when the collection launches. I hope I will get myself some beautiful piece.

  22. lornarubia says:

    Does anyone know how much the red dress will be?

  23. lornarubia says:

    Huzzah! that was my target price.

  24. Natasha says:

    Those sketches are gorgeous and that red dress is stunning, actually so is the blue one … I want the lot!

  25. jessica says:

    carline Рthe red dress is £55 x

  26. janavi says:

    Her auto bio- “A to Biba” is a really fascinating look at that era! Glad to here she still has “it”.

  27. shoptoomuch says:

    Already counting down to the online launch. I so NEED that red dress!!

  28. Sarah says:

    Love the orange mini dress, I can’t wait to see what the other pieces look like as those prints look great.

  29. elisabeth says:

    found the line numbers for her collection in an email to our store and by doing a warehouse search i have hopefully reserved the coral shoulder dress to try on before the collection launches. so so excited!

  30. amanda says:

    i have yet to go to the new topshop in ny..don’t know what i’m waiting for but maybe tuesday is a good time to go cause i really want that last dress! (and it won’t break the bank)

  31. i am SO HAPPY this is happening! knowing the Biba story and how she lost her brand was horrible. this is great. i hope it goes really well. i love the 2nd dress.


  33. Hamsterchump says:

    I love that orange dress! Looks sooooo short though, as I’m long in the body it might not actually cover my bum so will prob be a tryer-onner. Does anybody know how much the blue dress will be? Also its not pictured here but there’s an off the shoulder lilac dress (with hand covering boobs print) that I’m coveting!
    p.s. If anyone’s short of cash, Matalan have shoes identical to those in store now for around ¬£15! xx

  34. lornarubia says:


  35. Jane says:

    Can anyone let me know where I can get the red shoes please?

  36. Rob Campbell says:

    My friend Brian loves Barbara’s wallpaper. he wrote about her art on his blog, Stirling Home Studio Blog about Barbara Hulanicki

  37. Thanks for the information! the red splotchy dress is gorgeous, but from the pic it looks exactly like about a dozen vintage 30’s-40’s playsuits and dresses currently in my closet.

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