NO SHOW: As the minutes ticked past the scheduled starting time for the Topshop Unique show, the front row started whispering about which megawatt model might be holding things up by a late arrival. Would it be Kate, Gigi or Cara arriving with Topshop boss Sir Philip Green?
It was none of the above, as it turned out. But no Sir Philip either. In the wake of the BHS scandal, his absence turned out to be the most noticeable absence of all.
Green could not be reached for comment but a Topshop spokesperson said, “We are launching an exciting new runway-to-retail concept and Sir Philip very much wanted the focus to be on this.”
As reported, the retailer offered consumers the opportunity to purchase select pieces from the women’s spring 2017 collection immediately after today’s runway show.
In advance of the show, there had been some speculation as to who would be seated next to the retail mogul on the traditionally starry front row.
Green sold retailer BHS for 1 pound, about $1.30 at current exchange, to the formerly bankrupt Dominic Chappell and it fell into administration 13 months later, with thousands of jobs lost. Green is now in the process of sorting out the failed store’s pension deficit, which swelled under his ownership. The BHS affair was the subject of a parliamentary inquiry over the summer, with Green and Chappell both giving testimony.
Previous guests to join Green at the Topshop Unique show have included Lara Stone, Arizona Muse, Kendall Jenner, Alexa Chung, Poppy Delevingne, Cressida Bonas, Hailee Steinfeld and Lucky Blue Smith.
Those who were present on the front row on Sunday included Amber Le Bon, Clara Paget, Erin O’Connor, Ellie Goulding, Ella Eyre, Jourdan Dunn and Lottie Moss.
Paget, who plays Anne Bonny, a gutsy 17th Century pirate, in “Blake Sails,” said she was looking forward to the next ComicCon event in New York.
“They had [a ComicCon convention] in the Middle East and all these women could wear my costume because it has a hat and is quite baggy. Quite a few people have been messaging me saying, ‘This is so liberating,'” she said. The fourth season of the show airs in January.
Across the runway from Paget was up-and-coming British singer/songwriter Louisa Johnson, who’s been working on her debut album, which is set to launch next year. “It’s kind of like a diary,” she said, adding that she takes inspiration from her day-to-day life for her lyrics.
Also in the VIP mix was a pink-haired Le Bon, artist Phoebe Collings James, who said she is working on the original score-cum-soundscape for an upcoming dance performance in London, “Empire” star Serayah, Anais Gallagher and Jessica Hart.