Even though she took her time getting around to it —getting there only minutes before it officially became old news— Cintra Wilson's review of Topshop is worth waiting for, though we dearly hope it is the last one we will see. In tomorrow's Thursday Styles, the Critical Shopper du jour has not come to any wildly unexpected conclusions about the British wonder-import, but her own special way of expressing them is, as usual, enormously entertaining.
Wisely, she manages to use her clout as a New York Times writer to cut the ridiculous fake line that apparently persists at the store's entrance. Readers may remember that The Shophound endured the indignity of the line on opening day, but, in our defense, we were being plied with sugary snacks and practically showered with gift cards and tote bags. It was totally worth it at the time, but presumably those perks are long gone. Once inside, La Cintra is a font of observation, most notably that she has discovered the epicenter of the '80s revival.
So true. After all, it didn't last all that long the first time around. We can't help agreeing with her that the style revivalists in charge of such things don't always use the best judgment.
And there's a trenchant point. A decade's style seems to be best remembered by its lowest common visual denominators. While there are certainly many who fondly remember the '80s as the elegant and innovative heyday of Geoffrey Beene, Perry Ellis, and Comme des Garçons, to most people it's all Dynasty, Debbie Gibson and Donna Mills' rainbow eyeshadow and poufed hair. It just depends on whether your reference point was, say, Charivari or Contempo Casuals.
As for Topshop, you'll have to read on for yourselves to find out if La Cintra discovered any little treasures for herself, though if you have come to know her as we have, it's not much of a guess.
Critical Shopper | Topshop Past the Bouncers: What a Feeling by Cintra Wilson (NYTimes)
TOPSHOP 478 Broadway between Broome & Grand Streets, SoHo