Ashish at its heart is fun – of course – but every collection brings with it some form of politics.
Heaven is indeed a half-pipe
All that glitters was totally gold for Ashish this SS16. Opening the show were a gaggle of rad teen skater girls who sped about the runway, throwing sequins at the usually stoney faced frow. In frilled flesh-tone chiffon dresses or torn bleached out denim, embellished with a million and one different sparkles, these girls were the Tony Hawk characters of your dreams. At their disappearance, the absolutely stunning Larry B and Jay Boogie (both incredible musicians) skulked out of the back holding hands – drawing screams of support from the now super excited crowd. In their rainbow sequined short shorts, or torn jeans, the two were such immense joy-bringers during a rainy Tuesday afternoon, at the back end of LFW.
The subtle sequin
The designer – who has been building his insanely glittery label for ten years now – is unquestionably influenced by those unmistakeable late nineties/early naughties feels. Usually his pieces take imagery directly from the pop culture of the now: the sequin faces of one Direction plastered all over a bleached out mom jean are a particular past favourite. This season, however, felt a little more subtle. Yes everything was totally rammed with sequins – but this time upon beautifully cut Western jackets and jeans; jersey tracksuits were dotted with silver sequins, and finished with New Romantic style floaty cuffs and collars; sheer chiffon shirts, a floor length cape, shorts, trousers and baby-doll dresses all flowed ethereally, whether mid-skate or not.
But there’s something for everyone with Ashish. Mixing his wonderful hi-shine, with super cool oversized denim trousers in pink or deep indigo – you don’t have to go sequin to succeed here. The brand’s design diversity is shown through an ability to construct statement pieces – such as the pink tie denim shirt, or the high waisted über flares – without having to scream about it. That said, the entire sequined diagram of a labelled digestive tract is an absolute must buy, as well as the pink slip worn by Larry B – depicting a hand drawn pair of breasts and a vagina mapped onto the male body. Ashish at its heart is fun – of course – but every collection brings with it some form of politics. Be it with regards to the state of Pop Culture today, or the matter of gender and sexuality equality. It’s such a pleasure to see a talented designer using their platform for both celebration and conversation. Bravo.
Words: Tom Rasmussen