ASHISH @ BFC Showspace
With a bang of sequins, the Ashish catwalk begins. So packed was the BFC showspace, it soon became obvious that Ashish was the show everyone had been waiting for.
Models adorned with candy floss-coloured Afros dominated the runway, looking sleek and sassy. Sticking to his signature style, Ashish delivered a beautiful evening collection that featured some of the most intricate detailing I have seen this season. Stand out pieces include a beige trench coat, and trouser and jacket twin sets, all sequinned of course.Initially inspired by a box of crayons, Ashish thought “it would be lovely to have each girl in one colour. And then I was looking at 80s luxury couture—a little bit mumsy but made hyper-textural. There’s like 50 different types of fringe in the collection—crystals, beads, sequins, the works.”
The choice of hairstyle and avid diversity in Ashish’s catwalk is always a breath of fresh air at LFW. The catwalk itself was fun and playful, as models danced whilst strutting towards the cameras. When it came to his appearance at the finale, the standing ovation he received was well deserved.
Individually, these pieces will sure to be coveted next season. Sign me up for pre-orders now.
Words by Dinah Shaw
Fashion DNA – Pakistan @ Freemasons’ Hall
Fashion DNA is a programme run by the British Council mentoring up-and-coming Pakistani designers like Zaheer Abbas, who showed his most recent work at the AW16 Fashion Scout Show. The collection is entitled Rapere which is the Latin word for ‘raptors’, i.e. birds of prey. Rounded pakol caps (Afghan hats) in olive greens and browns perched on the heads of the models dressed in pieces vibrantly showing off ecosystems of birds and trees.Also showing was Wardha Saleem, whose prints mixed plump roses with circular patterns reminiscent of optical illusions and Rorschach-like ink splatters. Lazer-cut dresses made an appearance on the runway alongside quilted floral coats and exquisitely hand-painted bags featuring yet more birds.
Finally, House of Kamiar Rokni showed off their gorgeous collection of gold jacquard two-pieces and Akif Mahmood stayed true to his ethos of infusing his Pakistani roots into his designs.
Tata Naka @ The Institute of Contemporary Arts
Tata Naka, the label run by identical twins Tamara and Natasha Surguladze, looked to the end of the disco era as their inspiration for their latest collection. Models towered over us at the presentation; clad in candy stripes, power suits adorned with pastel space ships, and ruffled dresses patch-worked with flowers, pages of the Wall Street journal, and the faces of disco royalty Donna Summer, Diana Ross and Grace Jones. What’s not to love!
Set to the soundtrack of the greatest 70s hits compiled by Doug Haywood (a mix CD of which I have gladly taken home), this presentation boasted by far the most racially diverse line-up of models that we’ve seen this season and this only makes us love Tata Naka even more!
VIN + OMI @ Regent’s Park Rooms
With burly men and waifish women in dyed wigs, suits that looks like an acupuncture treatment, and a LOT of faux fur, VIN + OMI put a real-life rainbow on the catwalk that would do Lady Gaga proud!
There were audible gasps from the crowd when each look debuted on the runway, and applause when a particular model continually fell down and got back up straight away in true pop star fashion. And who is to appear on the catwalk at the end but Ab Fab’s Bubble (Jane Horrocks)…such fun sweetie, darling!
Lantern Sense @ Freemasons’ Hall
Hong Kong design duo Lantern Sense referenced abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko in their latest collection, which was also inspired by the mainstream grunge scene of the 1990s.The collection explores human emotion, the same way painters do, through the use of colour; the sensible blacks, greys, browns and beiges contrasting with bright, angry reds. The energy of the hues was brought out by The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ blasting through the catwalk speakers, drowning out the enthusiastic applause from the captivated audience.
Rejina Pyo @ Conde Nast College
Tailored pieces with bold silhouettes were what we were given at Rejina Pyo’s presentation. The collection was inspired by the collective perennial interests and strength of women through the ages, but recognises the individuality of the Rejina Pyo woman. Certain pieces featured removable panels, making the wearer more involved with the shape of the garment.
Red, electric blue and silver break up the pure sophistication of the otherwise monochrome collection, making Rejina Pyo AW16 perfect for the working woman who wants to keep a balance between chic and playful.
Words and photography by Hannah Gooding