Sunday, December 18, 2005


I saw this Peter Jensen for Topshop dress at Topshop boutique yesterday

Today, Topshop has cornered the market where harnessing new talent is concerned.
Often the names have barely left fashion college, and Topshop's support can mean the difference between having a business or not.

Topshop is now responsible for sponsoring upwards of 25 of London's young designers and to varying degrees. These range from the more established " Sophia Kokosalaki, responsible for dressing the opening and closing ceremonies of last summer's Athens Olympics " to up and coming names including Jonathan Saunders, Peter Jensen and Emma Cook. In return, they design a small collection for Topshop, sold exclusively in its Oxford Circus store (not true, they sell some at Singapore's Wisma Atria's Topshop Boutique section. HAH!) , and are paid, according to perceived status.

Kokosalaki, in particular, who has now outgrown London and shows her main line in Paris, is one of the store's most long-standing beneficiaries. 'They are great people,' she says. 'And I'm not just saying it because they sponsor me.' To Topshop's detractors " and there are plenty who believe the store bleeds design talent for too little reward " Kokosalaki has this to say: 'It's not exploitation. I've felt very grateful to them more times than one. I mean, thank God this system exists in Britain. Okay you do a small line in return but it doesn't affect your main collection. You do it as a gesture really because I don't believe that the sales of that line make up for the sponsorship. Okay they do use your name but that's fair enough, that's how it works.'


The Peter Jensen dress that I saw was a little too OTT. However, he did have other items using the same paper-cutout motif, one of which was a cute cardigan that caught my attention in the first place.

What I'm really trying to say with this article is that if you want to get a slice of Britain's most promising fashion stars, without having to shell out the huge moolah once they hit high-end, then buy Topshop Boutique. Chances are, that Peter Jensen dress today is going to be worth much much more in the next few years. (look at Sophia Kokosalaki!) So I'll be keeping my eyes peeled at the Topshop Boutique section. Singaporeans, be grateful. We're one of the few countries that actually carry Topshop outside of the UK.