Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
On clue with a soundtrack care of DJ Haai and kicking off with The Orb's Little Fluffy Clouds, a beam of girls in powder puff wigs lit up the Brewer Street Car Park last night, each swishing a tonal total look glazed all-over with sequins. It's a pretty straightforward idea, inadvertently moving as Ashish's often are, when the kaleidoscope of his beadwork outdoes itself season after season but the brand holds on dear to the lowbrow crowd-pleaser of the sparkle as its signature value. This time, it almost looked as if the designer had set himself the challenge to fix as much of it on cloth as humanly possible – as if he had purchased one set of glitter shakers like those you can find at Ryman for £2.49, and seeped his garments into them, thread by thread. The retail price is bound to be steep though, and rightfully so, if the hand-embroidered invites on 100% silk georgette that came in the mail were anything to go by: tone on tone swatches of fabric in shades like “pink elephant”' or “sunny disposition”. But the universal playfulness of an affordable party essential was there too, and got to set the tone of the show. Ashish’s muse seemed a little older this season, more cabaret singer than club kid, and positively 80s in her scintillating eveningwear, always at least a little bit lewd. There were uncombed hairy furs and stoles sparkled with sequined lashes, a twinkly trench worn obviously on its own, bodycon dresses with cowl necks or just the one sleeve, fastened on the other side with bows, and tiny slip things that still found the space for hip-high slits. Elsewhere, loose pyjama-like combos will fly off the shelves into the tracksuits collections of Ashish’s many street-wise fans, as will racy slogans like GOLD DIGGER and yes, GOLDEN SHOWER, stitched in long beads over a base of sequins. For sure, if this collection was Ashish’s way to address potential customers outside his usual crowd, while keeping true to those as well, it made for a very persuasive proposition.