Absolute joy. That's what Ashish delivers every season, unadulterated, pure joy. Every time, amidst the low mood, political upheaval, the perhaps tired eyes of fashion week goo-ers, Ashish brings joy, love, vivacity.
Before the S/S 19 show had even begun, couples were gyrating and dancing on podiums and the purposefully dodgily carpeted floor. These were the late night club-kids, too in love and in the clouds to realise the lights were up and the crowd was waning. I'm normally adverse to PDA, but I can't deny that the snogging and heavy petting was a brilliantly mood-setting, albeit voyeuristic, experience. Rotating fans of varying sizes were scattered amongst the set too - this was hot, in every sense of the word.
Music began pounding; a usual Ashish soundtrack often features disco or soul, but this was all about the base. Strut, strut, base, base - there was a pulsing rhythm to this show, models walked as if they'd just spotted their ultimate date across the club, heavy sexual tension afoot. The sequins, however, were lighter than ever before. Ashish had been working with a new sequin - ultra lightweight and perfect for dancing, snogging in dark corners and summer nights. Colours were fresh and light too, slinky spaghetti strap and halterneck dresses were in soft peaches, ice greens and caramel beige. Ashish has always been able to make the glamour of sequins feel day-to-day and these drawstring trousers and cropped tops were definitely so. Instantly this collection felt like a hit.
Iridescent shards of sequin danced on mini skirt and dress - perfect for catching a spotlight. As Ashish's sweaty ravers got progressively more oily and sticky, slogan jumpers arrived to reveal the message at play. 'Send Nudes' said one, 'Sex and Magic' said another. Both in a nostalgic glittered font that will, I'm sure, fly off the rails.
As R.E.S.P.E.C.T. played out the finale (I knew there would have to be some soul in there!) Ashish's delicate colourways, heated lovers and party sequins reminded us that often the most powerful way to be strong and seductive is to 'Just love!’