Friday, 15 August 2008

It'll never be over for me

I worry a good deal about one particularly sad day that draws ever nearer. And that is the day when I am T.O.F.T. – Too Old For Topshop. I am thinking about trying to sell that acronym to the marketing monkeys who valiantly work to create these demographic short-cuts, yet who are constantly undermined by the time it takes to explain what they mean.

Sometimes, as I am tutting over whatever ludicrous music is playing on the giant video screens (I mourn the demise of Radio Topshop – what are you meant to do if you lose your companions in the phone-signal-proof basement, or you're on a shop-date and want to request Careless Whisper?) or standing in front of a mirror in the middle of the shop squeezing a dress on over my own slightly mumsy jeans because I can't be bothered to queue for the changing rooms, I catch a long-limbed teen in shorts looking me up and down with barely contained derision.

I am going to work on writing shorter sentences. That was ludicrous.  

Anyway, at these times I wonder exactly when a dour security guard will sidle over, whisper in my ear, then lead me discreetly but firmly by the elbow to an unmarked door. On the other side, I'll be shoved down a size-14-and-over shaped rubbish chute, and I'll be falling, falling, until I tumble, dusty and disoriented, through an exposed-brick faux-fireplace into a branch of Jigsaw. So far, I've always left the way I walked in, albeit a mysterious three hours later after falling victim to the Topshop Time-Lapse Continuum. But still – tick tock, Miss Jones.

One of the signs that The Time Is Coming is the fact that I am ever-more baffled by some of Topshop's merchandise – and never more so than when I saw these just the other day:


They are bowler hats in glorious 80s tones of Lady Diana royal blue and what I can only call 'hot' pink. They may turn out to be the autumn/winter headgear of choice for Peaches Geldof, but they just made me think of Torvill and Dean doing Barnum – or was it Mack And Mabel? And if you can remember either of these, you may just have ticked one of the boxes on the women's magazine survey entitled 'Are you T.O.F.T.?' 

(When I got home, I did some research on both those Torvill and Dean routines, and discovered that no bowler hats were featured in either. This is another Bad Sign for my future in Topshop – I am hallucinating about ice dancers and bowler hats through sheer mental decline, rather than an indulge in any modish young people's  recreational drugs.)

In short, I'm just not feeling the neon-bright bowler. It smacks of the circus – and while burlesque may have been assimilated by fashionistas the world over, I'm not expecting to see Anna Wintour on a unicycle any time soon, or Zac Posen sending models down the catwalk in cardboard clown cars, throwing buckets of glitter over the front row. So is it time for me to bid so long, farewell to To'Sho'?

Wait a minute. There is one tiny thing in my favour, and I plan to cling to it, like a spaniel clings to a tennis ball. I am exactly the same age, to the very day, as the empress of Topshop, Katherine Anne Moss. When it's over for her, it's over for me. The day Moss turns her back on TS and steps out in a Debenhams twinset is the day I ride down that magical Oxford Circus escalator for the last time. Which makes me quietly confident that, as Timi Yuro once said, it'll never be over for me. 

1 comment:

Miss W said...

My mum, Mrs W, still shops in Topshop and she's 60.