first look: topshop unique

every breath you take, ever step you make, we’ll be wearing you.

by nylon

Here's the thing with the military trend: It's played out. It's also an easy day-to-night fix, it always looks sharp, it makes it okay to play with a red lip or a glitter eye (or even both) without looking like a Real Housewife, and it works with every body type.

All of those things are important to Topshop, since millions of girls worldwide wear their clothing. But having spot-on style is just as important to the British originator of fast fashion, so the clever designers at Arcadia House came up with something cool: They based their line on '60s and '70s British police uniforms, letting them keep the belted waists and angled shoulders that everyone loves, but also allowing them to experiment with color and texture.

An orange safety vest became a pebbled vinyl bag (like if Hermes was concealing a deadly weapon). A pair of cop boots became industrial stilettos, and a traffic whistle gained a silver chain for a new kind of rave staple. The ambulance red cross became a knit sweater motif, and the slouchy grey blazers worn by defense attorneys (at least on TV) paired up nicely with sheer cotton tees and orange hot pants made from seatbelt vinyl. In my notebook, I scrawled "Awe and Order" as my name for this collection. But then the runway speakers started blaring M.I.A. and I couldn't stop staring at Azealea Banks and her perfect purple hair in the front row, and I was like, forget it, I just wanna know when I can order the shoes.

See all the Fall 2012 photos from backstage and on the catwalk at Topshop Unique!