Although Ashish has plenty of design trademarks – the slouchy cut, the fully sequinned pieces and his sports de luxe, each season his muse seems to come from a radically different locale. Last season’s picture postcards from Florida have been replaced for AW by a robust, mannish vision of life in Ashishistan – yep, you read that right.
‘Kilim prints – you know kilim, like the rugs, a little gyspy girl who wears boys and girls clothes at once – mixing right and wrong’ Ashish told us straight after the show. It’s that Central Asian, East European sensibility, a man’s overcoat and brogues with a printed dress in felt-tip brights, a woolly hat and fingerless gloves with a striped t shirt or even pyjama top and bottoms. He even confessed that he’d been listening to ‘Afghanistan folk music’ while creating the collection.
Except of course – they aren’t printed skirts or dresses; they are covered entirely in meticulously hand applied sequins. This season he’s even managed to produce a glistening sequinned mini dress in the shape of a cricket jumper, complete with trompe l’oeil cables which, although styled here with dour grey wide-legged pants, will no doubt be on the back of one of his devoted left-of-centre popstars (Paloma Faith or VV Brown) teamed with sexy stockings, high heels and lipstick in a few months time.
Even if some present were disappointed with the comparative lack of razzle dazzle next to previous seasons, Ashish was bang on trend with the following features-
- Flat shoes; models at various shows from Marc Jacobs in New York to Jaeger here have been giving thanks to designers for letting them off with a flat sole this AW.
- Longer length – both his tweedy skirts hoiked high and belted at the waist AND his spaghetti-strapped full-length sequinned slip dresses hung L.O.W. Antonio Berardi and Meadham Kirchoff were just two of the other designers to let down their hems this season.
- Tweed. Usually spottable somewhere for AW, the tweeds of the moment are being used in a clean, modern way rather than a retro, ‘Horse & Hound’ way. Good show, Ashish!
WATCH! Grazia backstage at Ashish!