I've been packing like a mad woman but the apartment still looks like I haven't made an actual dent into the mounds of stuff I've accumulated over the past five years. In a painful process of discarding things, a folder of Meadham Kirchhoff invitations and press releases have been saved from the fate of the paper bin. Although in reality, it's only been a one or two years since some of their seminal shows such as the pastel froth S/S 12 A Wolf in Sheep's Lamb's Clothing or their witchy A/W 11-2 "I am a lie that tells the truth" but looking back at their A Cosmology of Women series of collections (from A/W 10-A/W12) already feels like "vintage" Meadham Kirchhoff. In a short space of time, Ben Kirchhoff and Ed Meadham have established a lexicography, a language and a devoted fanbase that have come to associate pastel frou for, witchy frocks, Lisa Frank-esque cartoon motifs and above all, don't-give-a-fuck what people think attitude with the duo. Since then they have turned a corner and turned their attention to unadulterated and whimsical craft on their own terms and recent seasons have seen them perhaps shift away from those earlier tropes.
Meadham Kirchhoff's second and latest collaboration with Topshop, which has just gone live today, therefore represents something of a diffused greatest hits collection. Ben and Ed have always said they have no qualms with their younger fans recreating their looks and aesthetic on the cheap because their price points are admittedly out of their reach and so it is that Topshop have enabled them to give their Tumblr-clicking and dip-dyed tressed devotees a chance to buy into all the aesthetic strands of what Meadham Kirchhoff have built up. The premise is that there's this fictional girl band, The Cherrys and that each of the four members represents a particular MK genre. There's Cherry Cherie and her flouncy and dainty printed chiffons and 70s Gunne Sax vibes. There's Cherry Satanika who loves a slick of red leather a show of lace-edged slip. There's Cherry Pika and her fabric mash-ups of granny crochet and and frilled PVC. Then there's Cherry Blossom, possibly Meadham Kircchoff's most widely recognisable visual trope, originating from their S/S 12 collection and has every subsequent designer doing pastels, fondant fancy fabrics and girly girly sugariness being compared to the duo.
When playing around with the samples, it was all too tempting to go for the obvious with the Cherry Blossom looks. My trip to Tokyo yielded a whole bag of pastel coloured wigs, which have been endlessly hilarious to try on. Although Ben and Ed have never purposely referenced Tokyo Harajuku Lolitas, you can't help but make the comparison. And so I present you with my quad tiered iced cake look, complete with powder blue wig, the obligatory peace sign and a mega dose of KAWAII. The other star pieces for me such as the PVC frilly apron dungarees, the pentagram patchwork San Fran leathers and the multi-coloured chubbies are all there to be mixed, matched and mashed up in whatever way you fancy. Hopefully The Cherrys aren't going to be too prescriptive. Judging by the online stock availabilities, a lot of it is selling out fast, and in particular the very excellent, very me-me-me shoes (who is going to rock the green monster shoes with me… say YES PLEASE!) seem to be popular. That said, as with the J.W. Anderson Topshop collabs, quantities have been upped and so hopefully there'll be enough of it to go around the world over. I look forward to seeing this stuff worn with gusto and rabid enthusiasm. Expect rampant use of heart and stars emojis when people wearing the collection starts to filter through on Instagram.
Meadham Kirchhoff x Topshop red PVC apron dungarees worn with Meadham Kirchhoff chifon shirt, vintage patchwork puffer body warmer and Valentino rock stud shoes
Meadham Kirchhoff fo Topshop pentagram leather bomber jacket, leather trousers, monster face jumper worn with Nike liquid gold Air Max 1's
Meadham Kirchhoff x Topshop muli-coloured mongolian stole, star tunic, navy slip skirt worn with Marc Jacobs shoes