Words by Nahuel Contreras
Following a SS17 celebration of the prominence of Indian culture in British society during the wake of Brexit, Ashish has sustained its presence within the London Fashion Week formula as a politically charged show. Its AW17 show declared the message of resistance and solidarity with the USA, daring to tread the glittery path by speaking out against Donald Trump. To a chilling rendition of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow', Ashish sent out a diverse casting along a sparkled yellow brick road, entering through a broken heart- symbolic of widespread sadness and indicative of what would become one of most political shows of the season. Leading a social revolution on the catwalk, Mexican wresting masks were painted on models' faces in solidarity with Mexico. Rainbow opening looks in the designer's signature sequined fabric, followed by resistant driven motifs not so subtly aimed at Trump's policies, such as a checked short suit, adorned with 'Planned Parenthood', the name of the organisation Trump signed legislation to defund because it performs abortions.
In collaboration with Major League Baseball, Ashish paid homage to American sportswear, and the classic silhouettes of a baseball top and jacket were no exception to the glittered consistency, emblazoned with directed slogans; 'More Glitter Less Twitter', 'Love Sees No Colour', 'Unfinished business' and 'Unity in Adversity'. “I love baseball, as an inspiration for equality and unity, the fact that it was the first sport to allow a person of colour to play professionally is incredible” Ashish Gupta stated.
Ashish continued to reference America's political situation with a mint green top declaring 'Pussy Grabs Back', a 'Nasty Woman' sweater vest and a street casted model costumed as a leather daddy, who caused a wave of applause when walking the gold runway in a 'Why be blue when you can BE GAY' t-shirt. Amongst the significance, Ashish injected humor through cute animal motifs such as kittens and ducks. Despite the rebellious message and heart broken set, the show evoked a sense of love and unity at a time when there is an evident lacking. The end of his SS17 show in September saw Ashish Gupta donning a white T-shirt with the word 'immigrant' adorned, finalising a show which was referencing a recent time when a rise in antiimmigrant and racist events occurred in the U.K. This season was a passionate voice of hope and solidarity, cemented by the finale, as Ashish's army of models danced to Sister Sledge's 'We Are Family'.