Ashish is my Main Man.
Sequins, keyboard tuxedos and The Statue of Liberty.... in a world where designers take themselves far too seriously to the extent their exquisite designs lurch on the bore factor (Stella McCartney; Carrot.Up.Bum: Remove) we have Ashish. The brilliant mastermind who believes neon leopard print, Red Indian headdresses and bedazzling sunflowers will someday, rule the world.
His woman makes an entrance. She steps into the room and has arrived; perhaps not in couture style, but in a tongue-in-cheek, expressive nod that puts two fingers up to the rigid formats of today. Here is a designer, who after graduating from Central Saint Martins, has marched his fierce looking, brothel creeper stomping models, down the catwalk in sparkling giraffe print harems, stars ‘n’ stripes and green lipstick one season; pure nineties London grunge the next, in spider web tights and knitted punk Union Jack cricket jumpers; to heavy metal flame luxe sportswear, sequined Nike shift dresses, McDonalds emblazed cowboy boots and floral thigh splitting maxis. Seeing his S/S 2012 collection this season at LFW was a definite highlight for me; to the extent I had to physically stop myself from running onto the catwalk, snatch a daisy out of the stomping work boots they were stuffed into and launch myself onto the lap of Paloma Faith.
A fixed favourite of mine though is still his A/W 2009 collection. My god, take a look if you are not familiar with the dazzling sight of clashing multicoloured pom pom suits and ski hats, miniature leopard print bowlers, a tiger mounting stone wash denim with wild exuberance, circus striped pants flamed with zebra sequins and a shimmering chainmail onesie with only eyeholes visible. A complete flower pouncing, jaw dropping, label savvy, mad hatter experience that illustrates British eccentricity at its finest. (After finding the amazing gold wedges that were used in the show, thrown into the sale bin at Topshop for £30... there was no going back for me, or the dimwit who put them there in the first place.)
Ashish is all about the joy of fashion; contradicting colour, religion, brands and having a “Whatever” attitude to style. Finally, it is about being proud to be who you are. Amen Gupta!