Ashish's Political Utopia


A designer that isn't afraid to incorporate politics and worldly issues (coupled with more glitter and sparkles than you could possibly imagine) into his collections, Ashish provided yet another thought-provoking and beautiful collection that left me with goosebumps and wide eyes. His previous collection was an emotive and colourful exploration of his Dehli heritage, featuring stunning embellished sari's, anklets and traditional Indian silhouettes. In response to the goings-on of the world, he donned a slogan t-shirt that had 'IMMIGRANT' printed on it when coming out at the end of the show- a t-shirt that many guests sitting front row were wearing this season. 

The catwalk floor space was taken over by a winding yellow brick road, immersed in a layer of glitter and lined with a cluster of sequins. The collection was announced with a choir version of The Wizard of Oz's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", perfectly coinciding with the first influx of garments which were intense glitter rainbows in every different variety of stripe. Other songs such as John Lennons 'Imagine' and Radioheads 'Creep' played, all in an eerily moving chior version. The music complimented the collection flawlessly, evoking emotion throughout the short time I was sat on the bench. If Ashish's intentions were to get you to feel something - he succeeded.

This season, Ashish was set to make a serious political statement. Sequined slogan t-shirts featured the likes of 'Love see's no colour' and 'Don't give up the daydream' made an appearance, along with 'Stronger Together' and 'Fall in love and be more Tender'. A checkerboard jacket with 'Planned Parenthood' added to the back was worn by a male model, whilst a t-shirt with an image of a kitten accompanied by 'Pussy Grabs Back' was featured -- quite possibly a not-so-sly dig towards current president Donald Trump's widely discussed pussy grabbing fiasco, and the recent global gag law's put in place just days after Obama left the Whitehouse. Other designers such as Dior have also incorporated politics into their garments this year, with their feminist t-shirts being widely worn by celebrities and publicised ingeniously.

Since the unfortunate series of events - Donald, im looking at you - which has left millions outraged and forced to protest, its nice to see designers using their platforms to address current issues. If anyone was going to do it, I could have bet money on Ashish. Gaining credentials for always casting a multitude of different coloured models for his shows, Ashish was always likely to come out on top of the game and creatively (and gracefully) protest against the wrongdoings of the moment. One model in this seasons show stepped out to applause as the street cast, bearded male sporting leather gloves came dressed in a blue sequin top with 'Why be blue when you can be gay' proudly stitched onto it.

Ashish provided a bold and colourful mixture of well conducted music, a beautifully designed set, and a politically charged collection, which managed to provoke tears from the spectators and allow the audience to connect with the garments in a way that was peaceful but still extremely powerful. And it was just what this season needed.

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