A broken heart, a yellow brick road and front row tears exhorted by a recording of a Belgian girls’ choir doing a rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep”: Ashish Gupta’s AW17 catwalk display—falling on the penultimate day of London Fashion Week, almost a month to the day after the colossal Women’s March on Washington—was the sum of several emotionally charged parts.
Comprised of Gupta’s trademark sequins, nods to the women’s movement shone through in pieces adorned with tributes to Planned Parenthood and the like, while nestled between those more politically charged pieces, a series of universally optimistic statements—“unity in adversity” and “keep the faith”—formed a preview of the designer’s new collaboration with Major League Baseball.
“I was only really aware of baseball as a traditional American sport, something that defines American culture, like Mickey Mouse or Marilyn Monroe,” the Delhi-born, London-based designer explains of his initial understanding of the MLB. “I didn’t know the rich heritage of the game—the teams, the way it brought a range of communities together in its early days. It was a game of the people, of immigrants.”