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Biba Founder Barbara Hulanicki Returns to Fashion with Topshop

Renata Espinosa
April 23rd, 2009 @ 12:30 AM - New York

British retailer Topshop, who opened their first U.S. store in New York on April 2, struck gold with their collaboration with supermodel Kate Moss, whose collections have flown out of their stores.

Now, another British icon’s designs will hit Topshop stores and on their Web site starting April 28. Barbara Hulanicki, who founded Biba in the 1964 and most recently has worked as a furniture and interior designer for the past 15 years, returns with an updated take on youth fashion.

"There is very little difference today as opposed to the ‘70s,” said Hulanicki on designing for today’s market. “Although, there is much more choice now. Both periods share the same enthusiasm if you press the right buttons."

In the ‘60s and ‘70s, Biba was known for incorporating Hulanicki’s art nouveau-style prints and drawings into fabrics. Once again, Hulanicki used fashion illustration as her starting point for this collaboration.

The spring/summer Barbara Hulanicki for Topshop collection consists of a good girl-bad girl dichotomy of printed chiffon dresses, a skintight off-the-shoulder jersey knit mini-dress, retro-style bikinis, peasant tops, high-waisted full skirts and hotpants in shades of lilac, coral and teal. Slinky t-shirts and tanks feature prints of Hulancki’s signature illustrations, like a bohemian “headscarf girl.”

Hulanicki was first approached by Topshop to design a collection following an exhibit of her illustration work at a London gallery last year.

“It is an honor to be working with one of my own personal fashion heroes,” said Mary Homer, managing director of Topshop, in a statement. “Barbara’s approach to fashion is as bold and inspirational now as it was in the ‘70s.”

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