A long, long time ago…

1970s, celia birtwell, Illustrations, Ms Peelpants' rants, ossie clark, peter robinson, topshop, Vogue

…Topshop didn’t exist. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. It sprang from the loins of the Peter Robinson department store, which was originally located near the present Oxford Circus flagship site. Like a greedy devil child, it surpassed and devoured its progenitor.

This rant is brought to you by this gorgeous illustration from Vogue, April 1970. If only I could saunter up to Oxford Circus, enter an old-fashioned department store and buy myself such a delicious Ossie Clark dress today, I’d be a happy lady.

9 thoughts on “A long, long time ago…

  1. Oo-er I'm old enough to remember PR very well. It was located on the corner of Oxford Street at Oxford Circus. And the original TopShop was opened in the basement – geddit? In fact it was just a section of the otherwise quite staid floor. Music was supplied by a jukebox. Whenever we put on The Monkees or some latest song from the 'hit parade' (Lol)and not necessarily buy anything, the sour faced middle-aged assistants would try to shoo us away.PR were trying to compete with the young and trendy independent fashion boutiques that were taking over nearby Carnaby Street. Ossie Clark might seem cheap at £11.19.6 ( just under £12) but that was much more than a week's wages for many young girls. Impossible if you were a student. C&A had dresses for 69/11 (just under £4) and I think Biba was £2.19.6 (under £3).

  2. I can't remember anything I bought at topshop, though I'm sure i must have (say up to 1987) but remember lots from chelsea girl, Miss selfridge and even Etam.

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