Ashish FW18
The Ashish fall/winter 2018 finale. Photo: Trishna Goklani

Rejina Pyo

Early morning shows are always a buzzkill, especially after a long day of bouncing in and out of shows but this morning, the entire length of Burlington Arcade was transformed and filled with showgoers, bright eyed and bushy tailed (except me, of course). The Korean-born, London-based designer is no stranger to the fashion circles, much less Instagram style stars and street style vultures, and has become a household name with sculptural pieces that still ooze the perfect amount of soft femininity. Her fall/winter 2018 collection marks a sort of coming of age that is reminiscent of moving away from home and it proved to be an all-rounded presentation of nostalgic vintage pieces updated with modern details, with sepia toned invitations and a 199-year old setting to match. The palette resembled old photographs and pre-loved pieces you’d probably pick up while thrifting but it still held a refined sense of modernity through her signature drapey silhouettes. Oversized sleeves dominated silk blouses and structured shirts while subtle details like voluminous bow tie collars and visible stitching reinforced Pyo’s careful eye to detail. Not forgetting the accessories that came along for the ride, custom designed hair clips by ceramic artist Naomi Bikis and covetable bags varying from tiny bucket bags to oversized envelope totes in every dreamy colourway possible. There was a message of confidence that came with the collection, ‘a sense of hope, dreams and potential’—very befitting choice of words for a label that only made its catwalk debut last season, but has already shown so much promise for the future.

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Palmer Harding

If the tomboy aesthetic of slouchy white shirts trousers are a part of your wardrobe essentials, then Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding are THE people to hold close by. They are, after all, dubbed ‘the shirt boys’, envisioning shirts In all forms, shapes and sizes, painted in crisp whites or periwinkle blues, or as seen during today’s show: scrunched up with cascading handkerchief hems. That was the essence of Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding’s fall/winter 2018 collection, exploring the constant and the in-between, the duo redefined their signature asymmetry and volume with great precision through liquid copper satin dresses, skirts and trousers, not forgetting the structural draping evident in shirts and trench coats. Textured stripes were cut and draped effortlessly, emphasising movement in every direction. All this varied with different shades of terracotta, periwinkle, yellow and deep purple as inspired by Hofesh Shechter’s striking lighting during his latest show, Grand Finale.

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The Ashish show is one that lives up to every expectation, from stellar soundtracks to kooky sets, the Delhi-born, London-bred designer did it again tonight with a fall/winter collection revolving around a midnight clothing bazaar that celebrates and amplifies “immigrant culture”. His work speaks for itself thanks to his one-of-a-kind aesthetic and penchant for tongue-in-cheek slogans and glitter rainbow motifs. The Swinging Sixties came out in full force with a Bollywood twist, reinforced with stellar set design by Tony Hornecker and classic hits from Cher and even a super catchy rendition of ABBA’s Super Trouper in Hindi (listen to it here!). Tinsel covered almost everything in sight, including but not limited to jumpsuits, trousers and even came in a rainbow. Beaded floral crochet squares, the kinds you’d find in your gran’s knitting pile, made up jumpsuits, bomber jackets and shorts. Anchoring the entire collection was not only his ultra appropriate choice of hair and makeup—google Bollywood beehive—but the quirky graphic slogans and graphics that are essentially the DNA of every collection. Trust Ashish Gupta to deliver, every. single. time.

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