The Topshop Unique '90s Rave Scene

Artwork by Anna Jay.
When times are hard, we party hard. Referencing Danny Boyle’s The Beach, Ibiza, the Hacienda and Goa, Topshop Unique presented a digitised rave culture, worn 41 ways. Lily Donaldson opened the show wearing a baggy silk jumper with a wavy “happy weekender” slogan on the front, styled with stripy silk pyjama trousers. The ‘90s rave continued in blue PVC miniskirts, chain zip collars, dresses with cut-outs across the chest, and green [faux] fur-trimmed jackets. Mushrooms, daisies and peace signs were pinned to heavy-duty tie-dye sweatshirts with drawstring hoods and fuzzy metallic stars sprayed onto strapless dresses. The bags were so tiny they appeared zoomed-out, which only added to the trip.
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Photo: Courtesy of Topshop.
Photo: Courtesy of Topshop.
Reminiscent of that scene in The Beach where Leo’s running through the forest on acid, floral skirts clashed with jumpers reading “insomniac” backwards and zoomed-in daisies took over a chunky knit worn by Lily Jean Harvey [below, right], Topshop’s SS17 campaign star currently taking over the flagship Oxford Circus store.
Photo: Courtesy of Topshop.
Photo: Courtesy of Topshop.
The casting really brought this collection to life. From Lily D to Lily Jean, to Adwoa, Lineisy, and the stunning Alanna Arrington, these girls made the whole rave thing believable. Kate Moss’ little sister Lottie Moss – who’s just starred in a Chanel eyewear campaign – joined the party in a jumper that went so far as to say “1996” with her poker-straight, blunt-cut hair bouncing down the catwalk (read how to get the look, created by hair supreme Duffy here).
Though the collection was centred on the rave scene, now long dead in the UK, it was really about the present moment. As a high street superstore whose target market is teenage girls and young women (poster girl Lily Jean Harvey is 17, after all), Topshop Unique has to be about the present moment. With the see-now, buy-now capability – introduced last season where the looks we’d just seen on the catwalk were hanging on rails in a makeshift shop next door to the show space – the clothes didn’t have to say anything about the future because they’re already living in the future, being bought and worn now by the future generation, to future raves. And that’s about the most relevant any brand can hope to get.
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