Cruella De Vil a Unique inspiration

Just three days into London fashion week and, to the globetrotting fashion set, New York already seems a distant dream. At least, it did until Topshop Unique hit the runway with a feast of 1930s big city Americana. If Cruella De Vil seems an unlikely style icon, consider the inspirations of the autumn 2011 collection and you’ll be forced to reconsider: it’s all about the culture of luxury and status in the industrial age of America, the show’s notes tell us, and Cruella is the collection’s poster girl.

It’s unsurprising then that the show opened with a Dalmatian print coat, followed by a slew of models, puppy-nosed and with poodle-esque double topknots. Unique don’t hold back on the opulence with feathers, furs, luxe velvets and rich prints – and yet for all its Cruella-like excess it’s still got the young, fresh feel you’d expect. The (somewhat cliche, but effective none the less) Deco motifs of whippets, luxury cars, and 30s architecture carry through on a variety of garments. But while some of the more casual daywear pieces are a little to the cutesy side, its the evening wear – a patchwork of old world glamour meets modern cool – that will likely be the biggest hit with the Topshop girl.

The full gallery of runway photos from Topshop Unique‘s autumn (fall) / winter 2011 collection are now online. You can see them all by clicking on the thumbnails below and browsing through the gallery.