Snake Valley, Swedish Summer, New Age Constellation and Graduation – Topshop’s new collections inspire Izzy’s menopause musings
You know, I don’t think I ‘get’ fashion. The sad fact came home to me this week when I read about Topshop’s new looks for Spring / Summer 2011. I won’t take too much of your time detailing their new Snake Valley collection since women of a certain age are probably not going to be rushing out any time soon for a high-waist skinny leather trouser or hotpant. If you were there for hotpants first time round, you’re probably safer to avoid the revival. Blanket ponchos, tie-dyes, feathers, fringing are just some of the other elements that make up the Snake Valley look which “is inspired by the 70s Gypsy Rocker character embodied by Jimi Hendrix and Lenny Kravitz”.
But, lest you despair, there are some less intimidating alternatives. Swedish Summer, for example, inspired by 1970s glamour combines vintage pieces with a dramatic, sweeping silhouette. That’s good. After all, we probably have the vintage pieces even if we don’t have the dramatic sweeping silhouette. I confess I don’t remember too much in the way of ‘glamour’ from the 70s. Glamour to me, at least, is more a sixties look personified by those fabulous darlings like Zza Zza Gabor and Elizabeth Taylor. Still, Topshop’s Swedish Summer range which “sees soft Art Nouveau and William Morris floral prints mixed with glitter, foil and crafty fabrics like patchwork” does conjure a certain nostalgia and I wouldn’t rule out a look at tunic dresses, palazzo trousers, mid-calf skirts and a macrame bag and floppy hat as accessories – these sound a lot more manageable than the skinny leathers – although, if you are brave enough, there is a rather nice little skinny leather pencil skirt on www.topshop.com at the time of writing.
I am holding out more hope for the New Age Constellation collection although I am somewhat concerned that urban sportswear inspired by “pared-down look of the mid 90s” might not be practical around the office. I’m all for jackets and vests – heck, vests are a critical component of the menopause layering wardrobe – but boy-cut trousers and high-tech nylon parkas are perhaps not the ideal elements to team them with if you’re over 50.
So, I’m plumping for the Graduation collection of mix and match separates in “conversational prints and stripes, like something from the pages of a Jackie annual”. Its ages since I’ve seen a Jackie Annual – I wonder if you can get them in the iBooks store or for the Kindle? But I digress. Admittedly, I haven’t seen The Graduation Collection but I like the sound of crisp, clean shapes even if I’m somewhat less keen on denim culottes and chambray playsuits. “The overall vibe of the trend is young, irreverent, quirky and at times geeky, whilst 70s colours are mixed with timeless classics”.
Being something of a timeless classic myself, bring it on, I say. Bring it on.