Emma Farrow, Topshop design director.

I met up with Topshop design director Emma Farrow at the Topshop show space at the Tate Modern just as she wrapped up a listen-thru of the music before the Fall 2013 show.
On the starting point for the collection: “We wanted to stick with a British theme, so we were looking at our urban heritage—but not really wanting to do country houses and National Trust.  It’s more about that real British girl, like Justine [Frischmann] from the band Elastica—she’s quite a tough girl but she’s really sexy and feminine. We started with her music, but some of the tracks were quite guitary with riffs, and it just didn’t work in the space.”
On the venue and the music: “This space feels like
Blade Runner, but the industrial feel works really well for me. And the acoustics are so amazing here, but we were quite conscious that it’s a very monastic, impressive space. With the collection, it was very important that the music be uplifting, so we’ve got a very British theme. And the ’90s are still important so we were looking at the Brit Pop era. We’ve normally had all female vocals at our shows, so that was our brief to begin with, to keep it feminine. But actually, we made the change [the day before the show] to have the Smiths in, so we have these charming male vocals included at the end.” (The show also featured tracks from Brit electronia bands Beats International and Saint Etienne—both have female vocals.)

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