The Rolling Stones’ late sixties exile to the south of France was the starting point for Topman’s SS12 collection, head designer Gordon Richardson told Planet Notion. Opening with a selection of ultra snappy double breasted suits, the ankle-grazing trousers of which betrayed the merest hint of a flare, it soon segued into an array of paisley pieces. The resurrection of this heritage print, which began in JW Anderson’s highly-lauded AW11 collections, is well and truly complete if this collection is anything to go by – it appeared on everything, from long sleeved t-shirts, to shorts and shirts. Mindless retro-ism was averted, however, by the subtle amplification of the contigent colours and the enlarging of individual motifs ramped up for full psychedelic effect. Piped, pyjama style embellishments lend a decadent, Noel Coward feel, which was also present in a sweeping patterned trenchcoat, generally agreed to be one of the standout pieces. The base shades of navy and maroon reappeared in the gawkily short shorts that accompanied these pieces. Skinny knit, long-line Missoni-esque cardigans and neon pink and olive green striped pullovers completed the look and added a slightly ravey, early nineties backpacker feeling to the whole.
Gordon himself, who is seriously cool in that grey-haired, Bill Nighy kind of way, was on his way a GQ dinner via the shows of James Long and Oliver Spencer (“he’s a friend and I love his casting as they put real guys out there”). He told us about the enduring appeal of paisley:
“I think, in an elementary kind of way, they are incredibly beautiful, so you almost can’t fail to make a paisley look good. I think what we had to do was change it a little bit, put the stripes through it, intensify the colour, to make it work. It looks exotic. It’s like looking at a bird, like looking at a peacock.”
-Photgrapher: James Hawley