Friday, 5 November 2010

TOPSHOP presents Pop-Up Magazine

At Topshop Victoria Centre, the magazine format was brought to life for the 'Pop-up magazine' event on the 3rd of November. We found it was the perfect way to pick up the new Season's must-haves in a far more luxurious way than we're all used to, with pink bubbly being served throughout the evening, make-up artists on hand, and expert style advice. The public were kept busy from 5-8pm, as Topshop provided them with the ultimate shopping experience.


Rosa-Safiah Connell, the fashion assistant to the Editor-in-chief of Elle Magazine, came to introduce her pick of autumn/winter 2010's best trends, and how to create the looks favoured by the team back at Elle. She explained inspirational outfits, carefully constructed with the most fashion-forward pieces, whilst eager listeners (including ourselves) swooned over her tales of attending every show at London Fashion Week. From the struggle to find the perfect shirt to the new influence of the 70's, Rosa-Safia left Nottingham's stylistas as experts in how to rework the trends into their own look using the best of Topshop.

The first look was Topshop's take on the minimalism trend mixed with The Snow Queen style which encapture a mixture of textures by wearing this seasons must have leather underneath a woven fur gilet. The look focused on layering luxurious staples. Rosa-Safia's favourite items were a clean cut blazer with a longer line and Elle's obsession, 'the perfect shirt', all of course in feminine neutrals.

The second trend was The Outsiders, as Topshop's answer to classic english heritage adding extra warmth to the season ahead with thigh high socks and grandad cardigans worn by celebrities such as Alexa Chung. The advice was to invest in quality fabrics including tweeds, cableknits and wool. Rosa-Safia emphasised on the key cover up for this Autumn/Winter '10, the cape, telling us "I love the silhouette it creates when you walk".

The final trend requires Topshop customers to be a little more daring as the 70's makes a comeback, not only in A/W '10 but a style to watch as the look "takes you through into the next season". New shapes are appearing on the highstreet, such as the wide leg trousers in floral prints and burnt orange A-line corduroy skirts. However if you're feeling a little less brave, Rosa-Safia advises to opt for sheer chiffon maxi skirts and peter pan collar dresses which Rosa explains "we love that at Elle" as for the October issue Alexa Chung was captured in a similar style.

Fashionstrand got an insight to what it's like to be the fashion assistant at such a world renowned magazine.
Rosa-Safia started her fashion career studying illustration at London College of Fashion, but left her degree in the 2nd year to pursue her dreams, when she become an intern at i-D. Whilst there, she worked hard through the initial running errands from simply making tea to packaging clothes, we're sure Rosa-Safia didn't know that one day she'd be seeing every single catwalk show at London Fashion Weekend. 

Richard Nicoll Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear
Richard Nicoll S/S '11 RTW show, image courtesy of
For London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011, she loved Richard Nicoll's show, where black bras were seen through voluminous maxi chiffons, translating Nicoll's fascination with "minimal glamour". Also Rosa admired Topshop's 70's vibe, with disco lights and huge bright afros as she found the whole catwalk was incredibly "fun". For the full S/S '11 report visit Topshop's Blog.

Celine Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear
Celine Fall RTW 2010, image courtesy of

Rosa-Safia would mainly describe her look as minimal, as her favourite designers are Balenciaga,  Phoebe Philo and Isabel Marant. Her style explores modern silhouettes as opposed to a retro edge. She admits even though she works at Ell,e the magazine don't concentrate on celebrity looks as such, but she loves Chloë Sevigny's choice of classic clean lines.

Actress Chloë Sevigny on the front row, image courtesy of

The key item in Rosa-Safia's wardrobe is an Azzedine Alaia dress which she describes as "extravagant yet timeless". She loves the fact that the Fashion House don't always exhibit a collection at London Fashion Week, which makes the designs more interesting when she's lucky enough to see them. Rosa-Safia advised us to check out Yoox, to find luxury treasures like the Alaia, as it's apparently the best online designer outlet.

 Rosa-Safia told us that the best thing about being a fashion assistant is the amount of like-minded people she meets on a day-to-day basis, and the actually reality of being around clothes 24/7. She admires the fact that in her job she doesn't just see the aesthetic but has the opportunity to appreciate the fabrics and the cut of a garment. A specific memory is when Christopher Kane first appeared on the fashion scene and i-D was collaborating with the designer on a photo shoot. Rosa-Safia valued the experience of being able to touch and look the samples of a designer who's career was about to sky-rocket.

Rosa-Safia revealed that work experience within the fashion industry is just as important, if not more, than having a degree in Fashion. She points out that Lorraine Candy, the longest serving Elle Editor, directed herself to gain writing experience rather than studying. The reality is that her job is extremely competitive to get an opportunity in, however with the right experience at magazines, it's bound to push your knowledge above any degree course.

Whilst make-up tutorials played in the background at the beauty desk, many awaited to get free makeovers inspired by the catwalk and realised with Topshop make-up. The styles that emerged ranged from smouldering eyes using the Heavy Duty Collection, to the natural look with coloured pops from the Core Collection.

Harriet, who has been desperately trying to find the perfect purple lipstick for some time, enjoyed a dramatic transformation with Ruthless, the black/purple colour and a coating of Gloom, a laquered gloss to take the look from goth to glam.
We spoke to a freelance makeup artist, Sophie McMullan, who had brought her skills straight from the Topshop A/W catwalk, as she gave Evie advice on her makeup and used a natural yet flirty look on with a Lip Glaze and the sensual Dirty Martini eyeshadow. We asked Sophie about her experiences, and she told us how she didn't realise that makeup was a career option, she first got involved in the art by theatre arts makeup at GCSE. However she luckily realised that makeup was her passion, and has gone on to work on make-up for television, catwalks and many celebrities.
With everything from Topshop's range costing less than £10, we're glad we won't have to wait for pay day for a little bit of luxury.

Topshop staff were photographing stylish attendees for a chance to win a massive £250 to spend in store. Amongst the store's readjustments for the event, a style wall of fame took to the floor, where the lucky participants' photos were pinned to it for the judging. Evie got snapped twice, once for the competition and another by students for their project on rural style. Everyone was resorting back to the wall now and again to check out the stylish competition! Unfortunately the winner wasn't announced by the night, but the lucky winner will find out soon, we vote for Evie!

With every purchase made over £40, this event rewarded customers at Topshop with a limited edition festive headpiece. With brand new trend Abigail's Party, Topshop have created the perfect look for the festive season ahead.

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