Monday 17th September

| BY Dino Bonacic

Ashish: Ready-to-wear SS19

A party mood seems to be taking over London Fashion Week. Perhaps all this raving we’re seeing at the shows is a form of rebellion against the alcohol licence restrictions that are essentially killing the London nightlife. If they can’t party in a club, they might as well throw it down on the catwalk. Just look at Ashish. For SS19, the King of Paillettes took us all the way back to the 1990s club kids of the East End. Reminiscent of his student days at Central Saint Martins, Ashish Gupta introduced a layer of the era’s minimalism to his indulgent aesthetic of sparkle. Slinky and with a plunging neckline, featuring a pair of spaghetti-straps and a hem so short it might just be a belt. These barely-there dresses were a fabulous new addition to the party wear dictionary Ashish is so fluent in. The lightness of the frocks also had something to do with the newest technique of sequins the Delhi-born designer started using recently, which allows the fabric to be much thinner and therefore create a lightweight, movement-friendly piece. And you know this girl ain’t wearing a bra and panties. No, no – risqué is her mother tongue.

And the party didn’t just take place on the catwalk. The set surrounding it painted a picture of an underground club, somewhere in E5, with girls, boys and everyone in between dancing on speakers, groping each other to the point of no return. “It was about normalisation of queerness,” the head of the House of Ashish said after the show, referencing the recent news of homosexuality being decriminalised in his home country.

And so he threw a party. The models walked out, clad in sexy sequins, getting sweatier as the show went on. Was it that steamy backstage? Besides the clothes, not really. There was an inflatable kiddie pool there, filled up with water that the team showered the models with, emulating the sweaty hours of dancing. “You can take these clothes into a rave and they will be fine,” he said. Okay, Mr Gupta, we’ll take you up on that. Now we just need to find a rave fabulous enough to whip out some of our new Ashish.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.