Topman Design does Northern Soul at London Collections: Men SS16

Hi before we all start, I would like to first apologise and explain for as to why I haven't been keeping up to date with my blog over the past few weeks. The reason is I have been working on my Final Major Project but other than finishing off my sketchbook, that is now finished and if you're interested I may even write a blog post on my Final Major Project Collection. Anyway, yesterday marked the opening day at London Collection: Men Spring/Summer 2016 and first to show on schedule was none other than Topman Design by Gordon Richardson. Who's collections since becoming Creative Director of the high-street brand in 2000 and it's runway shows since it's launch I think in 2012, I have loved pretty much every season, from the skater boys to hippies to 90's Manchester/Cool Britannia boys. I guess from my own point of view there was some pressure on this collection.

It was late 60's early 70's Northern Soul, patchwork heaven this season at Topman, and like all of the previous seasons I'm sure this one will sell. If you don't already know, Northern Soul was a music and dance movement that emerged independently in Northern England, that was part of the mod scene and consisted mainly of black American soul music. Yesterday Topman caught onto the "NuLad" Generation (Read blog post here) the concept of today's youth obsessing over retro sportswear and by putting there own spin on it, led Gordon and his team at Topman Design to revive some classic staples from the era. Garments like track jackets, roll-necks, denim and leather jackets and huge oversized trousers. All of which I thought were amazing. Although "NuLads" will probably be more interested in those beautiful retro pastel-colored, at times electric-coloured windbreakers. I personally loved the sweatshirts, especially the one that read "Soulnites" I thought that was pretty cool and very bold, the printed tops always look good from Topman, the windbreakers like I just mentioned I need to own one of them and the Wife-beaters that also featured some cool prints and slogans for example "Danz Like You're Northern" and the ones emblazoned with circular patches that read "Junk" and "Rare Soul" the short sleeved shirts are also cool, relaxed alternative to just a regular T-shirt for the warmer months of Summer.

This type of   fashion is often scrutinised for the fact that it's been done over and over by designer after designer. Although what else is there left to be told in a collection? Especially menswear. The business side of fashion is just as crucial today as the creative process is and in order to survive as a brand, you need to design and make clothes with your customer in mind and this essentially is the Topman customer. I don't want to go off track too much so let's end on something more specific to the Topman Design SS16 collection, we already know high-street labels have made their own success by ripping off the designs and trends of high-end designers, so why not bring that to the runway? It's intelligent on behalf of Gordon Richardson in doing so. Maybe the many logos, patches, badges and emblems mean nothing to those who will be purchasing these garments next January when they are  presumably made available, but they are aesthetically pleasing to say the least. I'm not the biggest Northern Soul fan and whether the models sold the clothes in the collection and general looks of lads back then I honestly couldn't tell you, but to end in the wonderful Lou Stoppard's words "They walked the walk even if they couldn't dance the dance". I love that.

Images courtesy of Dazed Digital and

I have decided that because it seems like you guys prefer reading my Menswear post uploads collection by collection, I thought I'd continue to write in this way for a little while just to see how it goes. Later today, maybe tomorrow expect blog posts for Fashion East's MAN Show which celebrates it's 10th Anniversary for Menswear, Liverpool-born Christopher Shannon who's last few seasons have been incredible and the much loved Craig Green, who's truthful, fresh approach to design has brought tears to the eyes of his audience. Craig Green himself is a wonderful spectacle just like his collections. But goodbye for the time being and I'll hopefully see you all later.

The Wolf of High Street