Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars” a single multipurpose Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote was all of Ashish’s show notes last night. Not much else needed saying: not when huge disco balls’ halves were stuck to the runway’s floor and rotating slowly, like celestial objects in their solid orbits paved with black Perspex. As we took our seats in the dark, the “no strings attached, no strings attached, we’re still connected, we’re still connected” refrain of WiFi by DRAM feat. Erykah Badu put to music a feeling of weightlessness. And when the spotlights lit up, countless dots of light dappled at once the walls, ceiling and guests – it was more magical than it now reads. Next, witches with pivoting planetaria tangled in their curls were walking in barefoot, one time holding hands, tiny silver planets dangling from their fingers and toes in strings of pearls. A few wore Beetlejuice striped socks, and lightheartedly macabre slogans such as ‘a heart is a heavy burden’ or ‘good mourning’ glittered throughout the show on tees and hoodies. Ashish Gupta let go of the colourful offerings of seasons past in favour of a spring collection in classy shades of black and silver, but kept true to his trademark sparkle, further intensified when it came to comet-like outfits embroidered in gold. It looked the way we imagine a wild Hollywood funeral to look, held at midnight on a waning moon. There were witchy floor-trailing sleeves and capes, generous draping and high slits. The strongest looks were semi-sheer full gowns, nightgowns and minidresses in a lace fabric shaped with crescent moons and stars, think Maxine Sanders for the latter, those times when she was wearing clothes. But there is, indeed, more than one way to interpret the collection’s title-quote. We live in darker times now than we had hoped to, only a handful of seasons ago, the seasons with colours. But we all know that it’s in times such as these that brilliance shines brighter – and that spells are casts, from the front rows of the women’s marches, for the sake of all springs to come.