Indian born designer Ashish Gupta is both a Mens and Womenswear designer, once purely recognised as ‘oh, the guy with glitter and sequins,’ but now better known for encapsulating the current spirit of London fashion: youth, energy, femininity and freedom. Oh, and of course still using a shit load of glitter. Writers Daniella Bingham and Lynton Williams attended his recent show to see the game-changer in action.
Ashish’s 10th anniversary retrospective show was a delightful portrayal of how the Ashish collections have evolved over the years. His fans have always been his true ambassadors, this was clear from the moment we entered the V&A and were immediately drawn to a pair of Ashish inspired custom glittery pyjama trousers, worn by a member of the audience. The moving thing about this is that his fans are reliving the reality of where the designer first began, making custom clothing for his friends.
Ashish’s fundamental aim has always been to fuse sportswear, high-octane glamour and still maintain the ‘this can’t be mass manufactured and you can’t make thousands of this outfit ’aesthetic. As a child, the designer cites his obsession with Hollywood glamour as inspired by what he saw on MTV. These influences would later inspire his collections, simulating the captivating world of the silver screen.
“Why try and impose order when disorder looks so great?”
In retrospect, it isn’t too difficult to understand the messages conveyed by Ashish throughout his past collections. The designer narrates the fascination that 21st century society has with the entertainment industry, and shows how accessible these looks are becoming outside of catwalks. Like Raf Simons and J.W Anderson, Ashish is creating looks which can be integrated into trends, seen through the successes of his capsule “Ashish for Topshop” ranges.
One of the collections that has been stand out for the two of us is Ashish’s S/S16, showcased at London Fashion Week. As always the show was fun, unique and generally screamed youth. The models dressed in sequin drenched chiffon dresses and torn bleached denim outfits took to skateboards down the runway. Whilst the shows Ashish puts on are an explosion of glitter, politics still plays an important role in the way he designs. Throughout this show, the issue of gender and sexuality, ever prevalent in todays society was expressed and celebrated, and made for a show full of both meaning and sparkle.
As the show drew to a close, we were treated to a preview of the garments from his forthcoming S/S16 collection. It was fitting for such a forward thinking designer to top off a collection of his past work with a glimpse of the future, and it looks like it won’t disappoint.
Daniella Bingham and Lynton Williams