7 March 2017

Is it time to sack off fashion shows?

Charlotte Simone. 

Clio Peppiatt.

Ashish via Love magazine.

At LFW this season, I wondered how to write a post that'd stand out from all of the rest of the #ootd posts. I thought about what the best content I manage to create during fashion week is. It's certainly not the photographs where I'm straining my neck to see a glimpse of shoe or a blurry phone pic because unless you're on the front row, you've got no chance. 

Presentations during LFW are where I create the best content and for obvious reasons; models tend to stand still and you can capture detail in a way that's almost impossible from the sidelines of a catwalk. They last for a couple of hours and are also usually longer than a 7 minute show so, not only can you take time to parade around and look at the new collection close up but you can slot a presentation into your hectic LFW schedule when it’s convenient for you. 

I thought about it a bit more and ended up wondering why designers bother with shows at all - they cost an insane amount of money for such a short spectacle, plus shows are renowned for inducing stress and half the people are watching it through the latest snapchat filter on their mobile as they 'capture' it. 

Except then I saw Ashish’s show and every thought I'd had previously faded instantly.

Ashish has never shied away from diversity; he's previously showed a collection using solely black models and last season saw the designer tap into his Indian heritage for inspiration. 

This time around, and similarly to each season, we were emerged into Ashish's glittering sphere. For AW17, Ashish added a poignant touch on politics through compelling slogans and an aspirational model line up. 

‘PUSSY GRABS BACK’ and ‘LOVE SEES NO COLOUR’ were an unmistakable two middle fingers up to Trump, Brexit and the current political climate.

The soundtrack was what did it. Reworks of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ added a not-so-subtle melancholy tone to the show; Ashish’s message was seen AND heard, loud and clear. 

The show came to a close and a quick look around the room confirmed that I wasn’t the only one close to tears when the first few notes of Sister’s Sledge’s ’We are Family’ for the final procession.

I was going to argue how presentations give you the opportunity to get close up and personal with collections. I was going to note how Except, those arguments seem even slightly valid after having felt all of the feelings after Ashish. Obviously, not every show evokes such emotion but there’s a lot to be said for the power and magic possible of the fashion show spectacle. 
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