Shopping with experts: Barbara Hulanicki for Topshop


Do you remember we told you that Topshop was doing a small range of designs by ex Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki? And how excited we were about the possibility of Biba styles being given a new lease of life by the pairing? Well it launched recently, we went to see it in store and it’s pants.

Rubbish fabrication, wishy washy pastel colours and designs that only work if you are under 25. Ok, we know Topshop is actually aiming at the under 25s and how can we complain about that? But we’re still mad.

The Celia Birtwell range that came out in 2007 was made in much nicer fabrics and her designs were carefully chosen to appeal to original (older) Birtwell lovers as well as a new bunch of younger fans (Celia designed prints and clothes with her then husband Ossie Clark back in the 60s). The range sold out almost immeditately and got terrific press coverage and second orders were placed to exploit the success.

Not so Biba, which was still hanging limply on the rails when we visited five days after launch. Clearly Sir Phillip Green is NOT interested in keeping the attention of us older broads (many of whom are original Biba lovers and are surely equally as disappointed as us that Barbara wasn’t another Celia?)

The Women’s Room think Topshop made a mistake in not thinking about us and we know that there is money to be made for Ms Hulanicki in doing a proper Biba revival range aimed at us. Get on with it guys!

Barbara Hulanicki for Topshop

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