London Collections: Men | Topman F/W 2013

So apparently, the oh-so high street Topman is in the big leagues now…

At least, that’s the impression they’ve been sending in the past few years – debuting their seasonal collections on London Collections: Men. Topman’s stores in Singapore might be the purveyors of British punk, and rock n’ roll; their fitting tees and hugging jeans beloved by newly drafted conscripts eager to impress with their newly toned body, but on the runways, their looks are predictably trendy, as every label is and must be.

The British label reinvents the year-end season with much theatricality, portraying the role of a boundless traveler – of hippies, tanned, freckled faced Caucasian travelers who pass through Southeast Asia braiding their hair and stocking up on fisherman pants, and getting downright dirty thinking it makes them blend in, the silent striders and lone rangers – the modern pirate if you will. As a result, the silhouette is multi-layered and proportions are mismatched. Color is a driving feature – strong and bold, because after all, when you think of a transcendental traveler, you think of exoticism… the powdery color dyes of Rajasthan, the mystical Tibetan monks, the spiritual enrichment of Bali’s Hindu temples, and the perpetual joy of school children.

Uncharacteristic of these foreign lands however, are the knits, which are inaccurate, but through its flexibility offers a balance of form and function. Outerwear, such as oversized parkas which was a common theme last year, upon cropped blousons, short pea jackets – all featured this summer – are seen layered over tunic knits and shawl collared cardigans. There’s also the all white get-up, which appears to be more of a fail-safe measure than part of the theme of the lone ranger. After all, this all white look has been hyped up – forecasted to continue for quite a while. One supposes it’s the natural state of evolution, considering that grey was beaten to death last year, and black… is universal and everywhere, so the only available option is white.

You only look transcendental if there’s a certain rugged and rawness to your accessories/ must-haves – they need to look like they’ve been beaten down by life. As any hippie traveler needs, an oversized rucksack complete with functional leather trims as flask and compass holders – your look isn’t complete if your Lonely Planet guide isn’t in your hand, along with a crushed fold-out free city map that you nicked from the airport.

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