Under The Ivy
For AW17 Ashley Williams swaps Spring Summer’s heart throb inspo (the late River Phoenix) for Kate Bush’s 1985 track “Under The Ivy”, partnering once again with set designer extraordinaire, Tony Hornecker. Beneath a soundtrack of birdsong guests arriving at Friday’s 5 o’clock show were greeted by fantastic mini sets spread out along the catwalk, as epic foliage met canoodling couples, a plastic garden chair provided seating to a young man, suited and booted in full ‘I Love Me’ print, and shopping trolleys housed more plants. ‘Go into the garden, Go under the ivy, Under the leaves, Away from the party’ goes the line, and there literally Williams went, quite brilliantly.
House Codes FTW
It’s an interesting thing when a designer is able to marry the new with the known, but here Ashley Williams claims a massive victory. Tapping new references and exploring a fresh palette – Wonderland very much hearts that pastel yellow that reared its head as a shearling jacket/full look trackie/shirt dress – but this season Williams also reminded us of her fondness for slogan pieces (kudos to the team for putting Glacier Girl in a ‘Save The Planet’ dress), alien sunglasses, and diamante accessories – because what better way to announce the collection’s parallel themes of paradise and paranoia than with hairclips, right? If it ain’t broke, things can only get better.
Hawaiian esc florals and down in the dumps motifs may have claimed some of the collection’s epic moments, but references to the designer’s Texas associations were also on show for all to see: Stetsons, classic denim and most importantly, cow print – tassels too – gave the offering a further point of view and a contrary aesthetic; some pieces, namely the jackets, married the cropped silhouettes of the more London appropriate puffa jackets with this loose Western theme.