Our verdict: Both the show and the collection seemed like a celebration for Ashish, who this season marks ten years of showing at LFW. It’s a celebration that he truly deserves.
From the minute “Joe Le Taxi” kicked in and models walked out onto the runway with skateboards in sparkly sequin dresses, we knew we were about to witness something special. After the skateboarding models zoomed up and down a couple of times next up were DJ Larry B and rapper Jay Boogie who sashayed fiercely down the runway, bringing with them the other point of this collection: celebration of everyone. It was a diverse casting with pieces being worn by either gender throughout, an element that has been a feature of Ashish’s collection since SS14. You can’t get much less subtle about gender fluidity than a man wearing a dress with a naked woman’s body on it, but at the same time the overriding impact was a feeling not a message. Joy, love, acceptance – this rainbow-hued collection conveyed it all.
Being the perfectionist that he is Ashish was never going to present a merely visceral collection – his technical, couture-like skill is the other (not so) secret facet of his success. SS19 had the brand DNA, with tutu skirts and dresses reminiscent of AW14, a rainbow colour scheme harking back to SS15 and sparkle, sparkle, sparkle. The king of sequins had truly raided the dressing up box, with every shape, size and colour of sequin donning a canvas of mostly sheer, white pieces throughout. Silhouettes were both sporty and feminine, perfect for his imaginary skater muses. It certainly captured that teenage feel, of being pretty and tough at the same time, sticking sequins to your face and scribbling all over your clothes. At the end the designer, known for sometimes being a tad shy, lingered far longer on the catwalk for the finale – a measure of what we hope is him feeling deservedly happy. Congratulations Ashish!
Who walked: A wide range of models in a refreshingly representative show which included Ashish fave Chloe Norgard alongside some newer faces. The girls skateboarded while the guys sashayed.
Who was there: MIA and M.O. sat front row.
The highlight? The whole thing. Oh, and the sequins thongs.
Read an extract from our interview with Ashish from Issue 9 here.