Monday, June 22, 2015

Ashish Spring 2015

In what can only be described as a teenage fangirls fantasy dream come true Ashish Gupta delivered the jewel in the crown of London Fashion Week. Models walked the runway well endowed in sparkly highlights, equally impressive eyeshadow, cocktail jewellery and stunning designs showcasing sequins pop culture references. It's for this very reason that fashion, even the unattainable collections costing hundreds of dollars are so important. Put simply they record our history, reflect of the values our society upholds and more recently are a kind of portal into the online world. While I enjoy watching online medium such as blogs and websites create physical content, namely books I am more interested in capturing a snapshot of popular culture. Tumblr and Instagram are good examples, however there's something strangely satisfying about being able to wear it. Something primitive, as if to pledge allegiance to a tribe. Of course I'm terribly biased since I am someone who obsesses over what they wear and clothing as wearable art. 

What was most heart-warming about this collection, aside from Harry Style's face on a pair of jeans was the casting. Women and men of colour proudly strut down the runway and brought out the best in the clothes. The hair extensions, sequins and colours were made all the more richer and the marabou platform sandals were fit for a queen. What's more, Winnie Harlow closed the show in a gorgeous black cocktail dress and equally impressive jewellery. It truly marks a change in the fashion industry, driven by a designer no less to see greater diversity within the fashion world. Were it not for Ashish Gupta's exceptional and exemplary vision I don't think the collection would have had nearly the same impact. There's no doubt in my mind that this is not a world first, but it is significant as it marks a first for London Fashion Week. The event receives unprecedented levels of coverage and permeates all levels of society. Young girls would see themselves represented here and feel beautiful and it is for this reason that representation is important. 

My favourite piece from the collection is definitely this sequined shirt, Hi Hater on the front and Bye Hater on the back. I specifically had this piece in mind as I wrote the introduction and discussed Internet culture. It does, however, elude to the slightly darker aspects of online culture but disregards them in a very fun, positive way. In a sign from the universe it's even on sale now at Browns but heaven knows I can't afford something so luxurious. I'm also super broke after spending a week interstate to complete some coursework for my degree which is driving me to sell some pieces that just don't get enough love. I've been slowly trying to reduce the amount of clutter both in my wardrobe and the objects around my room but I've barely made a dent. Within a few months I seem to have collected what I had tried to hard to get rid of. When I look around at all that I have and I ask the question, "Does this add value to my life?" in many instances the answer is a resounding NO. It's definitely forced me to reevaluate my consumerist behavior and yet, inevitably, I will always want more.

Although Kimye were no where to be seen at fashion week last season, they did however make a sparkly debut on the runway in the form of a cute pullover sweater. Many would say it's not the same but as someone who has managed to happily avoid the Kardashian's (as much as the next person) this is quite enough. Pop icons such as Miley Cyrus and One Direction (prior to Zayne's departure from the boy band) were also in the mix. While Miley is still rocking the same haircut and bright red lipstick within the space of a few months the dynamic of 1D has changed. There are many who remain unaffected by the fixture change but for diehard fans the news was devastating. Again, this solidifies and adds weight to my argument that clothing, when combined with popular culture can act as a time capsule. Trawling through fashion archives reflects the changes in society, morality, or even the discovery of new techniques. Clothing is so much more than providing us with the basin need and necessity to keep warm. 

Photos taken by Alessandro Garofalo /