Topman revives a subculture you’ve never heard of
“Danz like you’re Northern”
Over the last few seasons, a club culture revival has been simmering in the zeitgeist. We've seen Jeremy Scott dive into a candy rave collab with Miley Cyrus; Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley send too-cool club kids down the runway for Marc by Marc Jacobs; Junya Watanabe channel underground icon Leigh Bowery for S/S '15; and the V&A dedicate a gallery to the London party scene in the exhibition Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s. And then there's musicians like FKA twigs, Dev Hynes, Rihanna, Leif and Shamir who are helping to bring Vogue-ing back into the mainstream.
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With all the above being so very 2014, could Topman be onto the next big thing? Introducing Northern Soul, a post-mod, pre-disco movement that emerged out of Northern England in the late '60s and continued through to the mid '70s. Associated with fast-paced, underground rhythm ‘n' soul tunes, not to mention being a precursor to disco and breakdancing, the tribe's uniform was more about functionality, or rather, dance-ability. Think: wide-legged flares, tanks, sneakers and sporty pieces that you could sweat in, all of which we saw hit the catwalk at the Topman S/S '16 show over the weekend.
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Wanting more of a nod and less of a copy/paste revival, Gordon Richardson, design director at Topman adopted many of the era's traits. Leather jackets with rocker patches, vests and T-shirts that read "Disco Sucks", "Let's Riot" and "Danz Like You're Northern", '80s-esque parachute trackwear (including tiny running shorts), punkish padlock jewellery and tracksuits aplenty. While not everyone is going to adopt the total look, if there's anything to take away from the trend, it's that, this summer, the dancefloor continues to be hottest place to hang.
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