London Fashion Week: Topshop Shows a Mature, Chic Collection to an Audience of Millions

17/09/2012 15:50 BST | Updated 16/11/2012 10:12 GMT

Pictured: The Runway Looks at Today's Topshop Show from London Fashion Week (photo: M. Hall)

Topshop Creative Director, Kate Phelan sent a classically chic collection down the runway today at London Fashion Week for the Topshop Uniques Spring/Summer 2013 show.   There  was nothing too trendy or flashy, although there was plenty of shimmer and a few opaque panels offering peekaboo glimpses of skin, everything was very discreet. The color palette was subdued with pale pinks, icy blues, plenty of white, a bit of navy and a few splashes of yellow just to remind us that this was a spring show. Black and white checks were very prominent on several of the dresses as were oversized blue jackets worn over the sleek peekaboo, paneled dresses.

Pictured: Some of my favorite looks from today's show (photo: M.Hall)

Many of the garments looked like they could be worn year round, taking the wear beyond just one fashion season -  a real plus in today's economy. The show opened with model Jourdan Dunn stepping out in a simple white dress, with a few diaphanous panels showing just a bit of  her midriff. The solid white panel on her dress covered her legs to just above the knees. The rest of dress's skirt was trimmed with opaque chiffon. This was the look of simple elegance that set the tone for the entire show. In keeping with that tone, the hair and makeup for the show was very natural, and nothing over the top or melodramatic.

Pictured: Model Jourdan Dunn prepares for the show. (photos courtesy of Topshop)

Just as fascinating as what was happening on the runway was how the show was being received on the Internet via Topshop's new social shopping platform developed with Facebook. Over 2 million viewers watched the show on the livestream, and while watching shared their favorite outfits.

Pictured: Viewer Nicole Bosworth's show  pick from the Topshop live stream.

One of my readers shared her favorite outfit via Twitter (the above pictured blouse and skirt with a sequined panel on the skirt trimmed with delicate chiffon.)

"Loved all the shimmer!' she tweeted." The tuxedo pants and this skirt- must wear!!!"  

Other viewers shared their impressions and posted their pictures to Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

During the middle of the show, Topshop and Uniques had both become trending topics on Twitter. The Topshop website received visits from over 120 countries during the show. I was in London attending the show live, and I could see the show running flawlessly on the livestream, Facebook and Twitter without any interruption in service or disgruntled Tweets from the audience.  According to website tracking tool Topsy, during the show, and for 3 hours after it ended, there were 4,156 tweets about Topshop,  376  photos shared via Instagram or other web picture tools (Twitpic)  21  videos (includes the live stream plus bloggers on YouTube discussing the show), 162  links about the show in articles and press to plus 29 Google+ links. All that data adds up to one simple fact:  a brand that shares with its customers is able to obtain real time customer feedback to help them source their collections and truly, give the people what they want.  Too many designers show fashions on the runway that aren't really what women want to wear, or can afford, then those collections are mass produced and they don't sell. What Topshop has done with this new concept is to get directly in touch with their customers, not the buyer placing the order, but with the end-user who will buy the clothes. Doesn't it make sense to share the collection via social media and the Internet before going into mass-manufacturing? In this economy,  I think yes. Two million livestream viewers seem to be saying that this is the way to shop and do fashion shows in the future.