If you’ve wandered up to Oxford Circus over the past three days, you could have been forgiven for thinking Kate Moss was in the window of Topshop given how many people were crowded around peering in.

If you’ve wandered up to Oxford Circus over the past three days, you could have been forgiven for thinking Kate Moss was in the window of Topshop given how many people were crowded around peering in.

But this wasn’t a supermodel pulling in the crowds, it is Topshop’s virtual reality front row experience. From the outside you can see four people with oversized headsets on looking at screens. And when I visited at midday today the crowd outside were trying to work out what was going on. Those inside were queuing to try out the experience.

Not knowing quite what to expect, I felt a little odd at the thought of sitting in Topshop’s window with hoards of people peering in at me. I felt even more uneasy when the girl on the door asked me if I had a bird phobia on my way in.

Luckily I don’t have a bird phobia and once you have the headset and headphones on, you really don’t even think about the fact you’re in a shop window.

The experience – which uses footage from the Topshop Unique Show at London Fashion Week – really does give you the feeling you’re sitting on the front row. The models are strutting in front of you and the spectators opposite look like they’re looking right at you.

The quality of the images was more grainy than I expected and I couldn’t quite make out which celebrities were on the front row with me but the technology is only in its infancy and no doubt the quality will improve over time.

This didn’t seem to matter though. The experience is incredibly realistic. Looking to my left I could see the people next to me taking photos of the show and texting on their phones, and if I turned all the way around – facing the crowds on the street in the process – then I could see backstage where the make-up artists were hard at work.

When I looked up, I was taken to the set up at the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern where the show was staged. You could see all the set designers hard at work building the show.

A nice touch when sitting on the front row came when leaves started falling down. Some of them came to a halt in front of my eyes and each of them carried a different tweet from Topshop fans.

The ‘bird phobia’ moment came at the end of the show after everyone had gotten up to walk out. Suddenly a group of crows came flying over, like something from The Birds. But rather than being scary, this gave a dramatic end to a fascinating twenty minutes.

I must admit I didn’t really get to see too much of the actual fashion at the show, I was too busy looking around, squinting to see the people opposite and nosing back stage. But that didn’t really matter – what the experience gives you is a taste of the front row – something most of its shoppers won’t otherwise get to experience – and as a branding exercise, that is priceless.