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Thoughts on Top Drawer SS17: Was Shakespeare a Trend Forecaster?


Top Drawer has over 700,000 visitors and for the duration of the show it seems as if every one of them is on stage. Attire has been considered, props assembled and lines learned. The lighting is theatrical, the cameras are focused and appraising eyes are cast wide. At Top Drawer the actors and audience are interchangeable. Cut off mid-sentence, the exhibitor is at the mercy of the buyer: one moment a triumphant hero, the next a penny stinker.

In 1600, when Shakespeare was working at The Globe, the population of London was 200,000. Had Shakespeare seen Top Drawer he might have imagined that all the world was on this stage. But if he had been there, which part would he have played?

In his youth he may have made the Spotted section, in his later years, a benevolent sponsor. If I were giving out the parts in this avant-garde scenario in which Top Drawer is the world and Shakespeare is there, I would make Shakespeare Trend Forecaster.

The Trend Forecaster is the largely unacknowledged sage and deity of Top Drawer. Let there be Blues said the trend forecaster  in 2012 and in SS17 it was so. An Echo of Deco? Done.

The sheer artistry of this feat is astonishing. The Trend Forecaster is, of necessity, an artist and designer; (s)he is also a shrewd sociologist and intuitive psychologist, adept at noting the first smatterings of patterns that will resonate with large social groups: something that Shakespeare did rather well.

Design IssuesSarah Conway