Ashish Gupta’s modus operandi never changes; each season an elongated riff on one or two ideas fused together like a bootleg record. For S/S ’12 those themes were all things floral; pansies, daisies, lilies and sunflowers (and many more) juxtaposed onto harder surfaces, brickwork, a black and white checkerboard and later in the presentation, some animal print blending with the blooms – cheetah and zebra to be precise. His silhouettes always prevent anything from becoming too twee – slouchy trousers, stompy boots and miniskirts and crew neck tops are so down to earth that the idea of florals – girly and sweet in anyone else’s hands still maintained a rebellious feel. Backstage he admitted to us that he doesn’t garden himself, ‘although I’d like to’ and that he’d been influenced by artists like Van Gogh, and wanted to look at flowers through a painter’s eye.
The fact that every garment to leave Ashish’s workshop is completely covered in sequins, from top to hem is what makes them unique to him, although glamorous, they are too tomboyish to ever be clichéd. Our favourite looks from this show were the brilliant cheetah and flower print baggy trousers, a cut-off sleeved floral biker jacket – in sequins, naturellement, all of the the little culottes shorts, and the final couple of looks – a blazer, vest and shorts each in a clashing floral pattern and the cheeky split to-the-gusset full-length evening gown. This last piece would make a brilliant wardrobe update for Liz Hurley, although in reality, it’s much more likely to end up on Paloma Faith, the extrovert singer who always sits front row at Ashish’s shows, wears full looks of his round town, and always champions everything he does.
- Naomi Attwood