Nordstrom and Topshop Resurrect '90s Punk

It’s the era of the high/low collaboration in fashion (Neiman Marcus and Target’s upcoming Holiday collection being the ultimate in incongruity) and Nordstrom has entered the fray this week as Topshop, one of Britain’s most beloved trendy high street retailers, set up shop in 14 of their stores throughout the country and online. Seattleites can shop both Topshop and men’s spin-off Topman, at Nordstom in Southcenter Mall, but not at the Downtown or Bellevue Square stores, which are perhaps the more expected locations to install this young, urban, hipster store-within-a-store.

Topshop has been selling on-trend “fast fashion” to Europeans for almost 50 years and their cache among the style-set is legendary. Shoppers, bloggers and other media freak out over their capsule collections by big name fashion elite, including Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen and Mary Katrantzou. Think H&M, only more expensive. And I mean, a lot more expensive – most prices hover close to $70, topping out at $400 for a fabulously sequined ‘80’s bodycon dress (shown below). Bob Mackie revisited.

Topshop most definitely skews young. If I were 25 I’d be both psyched and bummed by its arrival. I’d want to wear everything, but wouldn’t be able to afford any of it.

Fall is all about studs, from studded denim hot shorts ($70) to a peace sign-studded leather jacket ($360). Many, many pieces are bedazzled with some sort of embellishment, some to better effect than others. Punk is prominent, something the Brit’s do well, and is a hot look right now – even the venerable Met Gala has announced a punk theme for next year’s event. New inventory is expected to hit the stores weekly, though, so it’s going to be hard to keep up.

Other nods to fashion nostalgia include a floral shirtdress ($92) that look like something Bridget Fonda wore in Singles. In fact, the '90s rear up here and there with a camo jacket or two, patent leather high top Doc look-alikes (another punk icon) and slouchy oversized sweaters. Historic British style is represented with some very chic coats in wool, houndstooth, tweed and boucle, and there are enough prim Peter Pan collars to make British "it" girl Alexa Chung jump for joy.

Men’s is a mash up of casual wear – novelty pattern tops, hoodies, a denim vest (!), posh Fair Isle shawl collar sweaters – and suits with a very skinny silhouette. It’s a look that any well-heeled Capitol Hill hipster boy would look smashing in. The 150 bus goes to Southcenter – take it.

Topshop is just as hyper-trendy as what you’d find at H&M or Forever 21, better designed and definitely made with higher quality fabrics. What you don’t get at Topshop at Nordstorm, which is awesome, is the crazy-making loud, throbbing music pumped through H&M and its ilk. As always, Nordstrom is keeping it classy.

If you’re over 35, Topshop from top to bottom is not your look.  But a hot, trendy item here or there never hurt a wardrobe – just choose wisely.

Curiosity piqued? There’s a big all-day Fashion and Style event this Saturday, September 15 at the Southcenter Nordstrom to celebrate the launch – stylists, a sneak peek at their soon-to-launch makeup line, a gift with purchase, a huge contest and more.

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