“You know, there’s nothing wrong, nothing…nothing is wrong,” said Bree Daniels the call girl in the 1971 psychological thriller Klute. Ashish’s show, set against an audio excerpt of Bree’s careless whispers on the phone, proved to be part seductive and part tragic. Streetwalkers in heavy patchwork furs and thrift store parkas over sequined intimates moved heavily up and down the runway as though with burdened hearts. Her words did not seem to match her actions. “I think the only way that any of us can ever be happy is to let it all hang out…do it all, and f*ck it,” Bree’s sensual voice cracked slightly.
If there were any hidden meaning to be had, Ashish’s show felt like some sort of fashion Rapture, especially on the fifth day of London Fashion Week. All the shows that we’ve seen, the guilt of excess and hunger for the next big thing, have been negated by Ashish’s moral relativity. The typically risqué has been treated with sympathy. Only the bounty of sequins could soothe Bree’s troubled state and fortunately Ashish had plenty to offer. Sepia-toned plaid shirt-dresses, camouflaged outerwear and laced-trimmed pants were all doused with Ashish’s Midas sequin touch.
Tie-dye denim – the designer’s take on the prevailing '70s trend – made a strong feature. Metal hardware embellishments gave the jeans a tougher edge, befitting of the harsh realities of streetwalking. These girls were precisely what they wore: rough around the edges but titillating and fragile on the inside.
Reflecting on the week’s proceedings, Ashish’s show read like an invitation to keep on going. The very realistic black credit card invite (see Instagram) couldn’t have been more unequivocal in saying all there’s left to do is to bite the guilt and enjoy the ride.