In spirited mall goth fashion Ashley Williams has returned to London Fashion Week with doe eyed models in sassy lip stains. The innocence and idolatry of youth and references to punk rock on acid are precariously balanced on a knife edge. It's this very shimmer between aesthetics which, for all intents and purposes are polar opposites which constitutes her wonderfully bizarre and yet ultra feminine designs. These designs were topped off with fuzzy raver hats and chic neckerchiefs alike in a culmination of 70s and 90s-style badassery. The neckerchiefs reminded me of Thelma & Louise, which when combined with large hats obscuring the faces of several models created a sense of unease and eerie foreboding. There was more to these characters than a simple first impression. They exist not only win their own world but as the result of mall rats and teenage gangs harassing respectable adults all across the world. So despite those youths ramping up my social anxieties ten fold I guess in a backwards way I want to thank them? Your style is surprisingly cool sometimes, you should work on your manners though.
What I did find a little confusing was the reiteration of last season's colour way in this new Fall 2015 collection. The cheongsam inspired dresses akin to uniforms from an imaginary Chinese takeaway and asymmetries were replaced with killer shoes, cinched waists and fluffy coats to die for. Over the past two seasons stores have been flooded with faux fur coats in every colour imaginable and I couldn't be happier about it. Maybe three or four years ago I was desperate to own a staple faux fur coat but nothing ever eventuated. The market was too limited and alas, I didn't quite have enough saved up to splurge on something as decadent as a winter coat. But now, it seems like I have almost too many brands to choose from! Already I've reported on Coach and Ammerman Schlosberg but there is also Shrimps, Creatures of the Wind and House of Holland which I hope to cover soon not to mention a plethora of incarnations from high street brands such as Asos, Topshop and Zara. I don't believe there is such a thing as having too much amazing faux fur but I can tell you I'm finding it hard to judiciously choose when there are so many heavenly creations out there on the market!
Undoubtedly one of the youngest designers to show at London Fashion Week Ashley Williams is already building an impressive portfolio, catering to the tastes of fashion tribes across the world. What's even more interesting and important is making her brand accessible to buyers through websites such as Browns Fashion, and last season's shoes available now at Schuh. Often designers can be so wrapped up in creating their collections, working on the photo shoot and showrooms for fashion week that they forget to dedicate time towards stocking their online store. There are a couple of emerging brands from the UK that I really admire but since their online stores are virtual dead-ends I quickly lose interest or lose some respect for them. The reality is that fashion is a highly competitive industry and while PR is incredibly important in this day and age but if no one can buy into the brand then there isn't really any point. It's refreshing to see someone so young balance all aspects of building a brand- hopefully we'll see Ashley Williams' colourful designs return to the catwalk next season, only bigger and better!