LFW: ASHISH S/S 2014

One of the interesting aspects of the fashion world is that no matter what one might send down the runway or how horrible that runway experience may be, someone is going to love the show. After every one of these shows I hear, “Did you see _____? Didn’t they just kill it with that show?” So help me, I think you could cover someone in mud, push them down the runway in a wheel barrow, and half the people watching would manage to find a social metaphor.

Such is my initial reaction to this afternoon’s Ashish spring/summer 2014 collection. From my perspective, this line represents what the apocalypse might look like if someone literally glitter bombed Atlanta. I am trying to temper the severity of my comments because, you know, I’m an old stick in the mud and am not always quick to grasp some of the outer fringes of pop culture. Still, to a very large degree, this show seemed to be one very sparkly parade of whatever the thrift store threw out.

Granted, sparkles and sequins are what we expect from designer Ashish Gupta, and he’s never been terribly subtle nor terribly concerned with convention. His fan base is strong, especially across the middle and far east. They love him in Tokyo.

Does that excuse the display we witnessed this afternoon? Consider the ensemble that was first down the catwalk. A white wife-beater T emblazoned with the Coca-Cola logo, distressed jeans with holes larger than the model’s fist, white crew socks with sandals, a blue and white striped shopping bag (carrying  who knows what), and topping it all off is a head piece that may have been removed from a very elaborate hookah. Now, cover every last inch of it in glitter and sequins and you have Ashish.

Granted, those who like sequins may very well love this collection. In the interest of complete fairness, there are some pieces toward the end of the collection that are genuinely attractive. A striped shift dress with an excessively large brushed metal necklace is surprisingly well done. A gown in silver to gold gradient is definitely wearable. And the homeless bride and groom at the end were at least cute … sort of.

Maybe there is a social statement to be made here. Take each of the pieces separately and it might be fun to add one or two to your wardrobe. But there’s no practicality to a sequined plaid shirt and walking around with huge holes in your pants isn’t any more attractive at a designer price tag than if you’d ripped the daylights from them yourself.

Having fun with fashion is one thing, but this Ashish collection was really nothing more than pushing mud in a wheel barrow.

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