Sunday, March 29, 2009

Topshop in NY

Topshop is opening it's first US store on April 2nd, and the women of New York are collectively losing their shit in anticipation. I'm no different; there's a Topshop van driving around downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, giving away free tote bags, some of which have gift cards, and I've made it my mission to find the van. Last night, I was at dinner when I saw, through the window, the Topshop van drive by. I literally left the table to run outside and chase the fan all the way around the block-- but I didn't catch it. There's a GPS tracker online, but it isn't be updated very often, and I know that I'm only going to stumble upon it when I stop looking for it.

Anyway, I'm not sure if all this hype over Topshop will be worth it. While it's a big deal in the UK for its trendy clothes at low prices, the exchange rate doesn't make it a bargain for us Americans. While I've never seen the clothing in person and am not an expert, I have a feeling the clothes will be the same level of quality and style as H&M, but at a higher price point.

For example, this Print Empire Frill Dress is 100% cotton, machine washable, cute but not groundbreaking-- it would be under $20 at Forever 21. At Topshop, it's $70 and I doubt it's worth it.

But that doesn't mean I won't be coverting all their adorable sundresses, like this Broderie Tie Dress, $80 (for $80 bucks, this better not be sheer). The flirty eyelet fabric and thin waist tie equal a perfect white summer dress. Add a pair of stand-out wedges in a bright hue like green or blue, and enjoy the sun.

This Pleat Tie Waist Dress, $110 (yeah, right), is a great choice for a day-into-night look. The demure pleated top works for a casual office, and the sophisticated color and short length makes it hot enough for a night out. Sidenote: I also really like how on the Topshop website, they divide their dresses into three categories: Sundresses, Day Dresses, and Going Out Dresses. What other kinds of dresses do you need, right?

I'd be willing to pay a bit more for coats, although this Puff Sleeve Coat is too impractical for $110. And yet, it's undeniably charming, with a light mint color (so fresh for spring!) and dress-like coat. I wonder why a 100% cotton dress needs to be dry-cleaned, though.

I got a pair of gold sandals from Target last summer, and they are close to falling completely apart. These HARRY Plaited Two Part Sandals, $32, might be the perfect replacement. I don't know why these are so reasonably priced, since they're 100% leather and have a quality cushioned footbed and low heel, but I'm not complaining about it. No question, these are the sort of shoes you reach for day after day once the weather hits 75 degrees. And also, I like how they're not super-trendy or overly-gladiator; they won't look dated by 2010 but they're also not boring. Well done, Topshop.

Earlier today, my friend Madelyn and I were talking about how it's always awkward to take a purse to concerts, because it falls off your shoulder and hits the person next to you and makes dancing awkward, and the solution is a hip, small-ish cross-body bag. This Leather Stud Detail Bag, $55, has a nice long strap and a perfectly sized body, with some badass studs and a subtle brown leather color. Exactly what I need.

I love the idea of getting luggage from Topshop, and I can't quite explain why. Part of it is that buying British luggage is as chic as it gets, and part of it is that no one would expect you to buy luggage from Topshop. Another part is that this SILVER SNAKESKIN AND ARGYLE!! The Snake Patchwork Trolley, $145, is the fiercest thing I've ever seen-- it's so awesome that I would get excited to go to the baggage claim and get my hot luggage.

Growing up in Arizona, I became a bit anti-turquoise because there were about fifty shops in Old Town Scottsdale that sold ugly turquoise jewelry to tourists. But now I appreciate how bright and whimsical turquoise jewelry can be. Case in point: this Facet Stone Flower Ring, $25. This would go fabulously with the white dress from the beginning of the post, and the brown leather cross-body bag.

I own a few nightgowns, but I tend to sleep in pajama shorts from Old Navy (circa 2001) and giant t-shirts from sleepaway camp. However, I love the idea of being a classy lady and sleeping in a whole pajama set, like this Pintuck French Knicker, $20 (knickers, you guys! So much more fun than boxers!), camisole, $36, and bed jacket, $44. Ok, the bed jacket might be a little too precious for me, but the whole set--in light peach with adorable little bows throughout-- is what I imagine Marie Antoinette would wear if she were transplanted into the 21st century.

If I were the sort of person who could spend $145 on a swimsuit top, this is the one I'd get: the Fleur T Dotty Frill Balconette is hot as hell but not a smidge trashy. Boobs of all shapes and sizes look good in this style bikini top (probably because it's basically a fancy bra that you can get wet), but the polka dot print with gingham trim is totally Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island-- so wholesome that you don't realize how badly Gilligan wants to get in your swimsuit bottoms.

From the sale section: Bright red Tartan Tights, $10? Paging Blair Waldorf! I don't imagine that the NY store will have a sale section for at least a few months, which is too bad-- there's some major price slashing going on at the website, and I approve.

But let's be honest: Topshop fever wouldn't be half as strong without the Kate Moss Factor. Sometimes she looks like a hot mess, and who knows how much designing she actually does, but we all want a piece of her effortless and original, always imitated never duplicated, style. Her spring/summer line won't be out until April 2nd, but they have a little preview on the website with these pieces.
The black dress on the far left is 80's but not kitschy-- perfect for the Downtown It Girl. The gold dress next to it is my favorite, and I covet it beyond words. I'm also loving the blue w/ red flowers camisole on the right. Kate Moss worked with Liberty Art Fabrics, which is famous for its iconic prints, which tend to be whimsical yet distinctly British. Can't wait to brave the crowds of aggressively stylish New York women to get a look at these pieces in person on April 2nd!

Oh yeah, and they give a 10% discount to students, so don't forget to bring your college ID! And if you're not in New York, the website has a flat shipping rate of $15-- pretty reasonable.

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