Topshop Unique Fall 2011 Review

Topshop Unique Fall 2011 RTW

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Topshop Unique Fall 2011 collection

SHOW: Topshop Unique

THEME: Puppy love meets early 1930s America

HAIR: Paul Hanlon

NAILS: Sophy Robson

STYLIST: Katie Grand

ACCESSORIES: Dotty dalmatian-print mary janes, ankle boots, and T-bar peep toes; giant faux fox-fur stoles; faux tortoiseshell jewelry 

FRONT ROW:  Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof, Sir Philip Green, Suzy Menkes, Harley Viera-Newton, Anna Wintour

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Covetable art deco chic mixed with flashy Cruella de Vil fake furs

Anna Wintour's front-row perch next to Topshop boss Sir Philip Green gave the high street retailer a major high fashion stamp of approval, but we couldn't help but wonder what the fur-loving, frequent PETA target was thinking when the show opened to the familiar strains of "Cruella de Vil."

In a collection few cat lovers could enjoy, man's best friend was represented with enough dalmatian dots, doggy prints (from sweaters to handbags to belt clasps to the metal plates on the bottom of tap shoes), and straight-from-the-groomer poodle-style faux-fur trimming to rival the Westminster Dog Show.

Cruella, too, got a few shout-outs via over-the-top, oversize faux fur collars, capes, hems and stoles, including one comically bearing a replica fox head. (Between this and Mulberry's fox motif, this LFW season is definitely going down in the books as "The Fox and the Hound.")

And while we fully expect to see the trendsetting retailer's shoppers pounding the pavement in the dalmatian-inspired, black-and-white polka-dot mary janes (which are now at the top of our shopping list), fashion hasn't gone entirely to the dogs: Worn by models with their hair in girlish double buns tied with ribbon, the 1930s-inspired dresses that dominated the second half of the show left the kitsch factor in the dust.

Peter Pan collars, willowy silhouettes, and sailor-style details gave the midi-length dresses a whiff of Boardwalk Empire chic. Pinstripe suits failed to excite, but a slinky eggplant jumpsuit and a yellow number with a diamond-shaped cutout midriff certainly had our tails wagging.

The automobile—which came to rise in the '30s—also got its due, with car prints appearing on satin shoes and luggage bags.

And no, surprisingly, there are no dogs chasing them.

Not everyone will sit up and beg for the cartoonish extravagance of the faux furs or the quirky dog motif, but the slinky Old Hollywood dresses should find a big audience. The show may have ended with Elvis singing "You Ain't Nothin' but a Hound Dog," but we beg to differ.