Ashish Gupta takes the cake at London Fashion Week, and he is having it by the pound. His Spring/Summer 15 collection literally dazzled upon an otherwise rather safe season for London. Ashish practically out-glittered himself, sending urban streetwear decked in either sequins or Swarovski crystals in all shades and sizes. The scene resembled a modern day Harlem Renaissance, witnessing Ashish bravely opting for an all-black cast, inadvertently touching on the prevalent issue of the under representation of models of color. And he went further by extending the discourse on diversity beyond race or nationality. Ashish also included a model with vitiligo, Chantelle Brown-Young, who commanded the runway with unrivalled presence. The show could not have been more feel good, not even with Ella Fitzgerald's remix of "Summer Time" ushering in the first look.
The show opened with a bare bodied male model clad in sequinned rainbow track pants and a heavy costume jewellery necklace, one of the many that were featured on the runway. Models had dip-dye glitter hair and full-on bejewelled eye shadow. Wrists were stacked with bling and sneakers too weren't safe from Ashish's inevitable iridescent touch. Urban classics like the thrift store denim jacket, tracksuit co-eds, and classic sweatshirt with boyfriend jeans were all rendered in sequins, subverting classic notions of streetwear. The humour was keenly felt when you realised even the spaghetti straps of the camisoles were heavily encrusted with Swarovski. Ashish also played with snakeskin motifs and graphic messages embedded in the shimmer. One sweatshirt that read "Rush" and another one which resembled a vague portrait of Kim and Kanye, have all the chops to be street style favourites next season.
There were so many sweet spots in the collection. Many pieces bore pure ingenuity and would be worth investing in, even just for keepsake. The collection pushed boundaries, had a sense of humour and was deeply endearing -- exactly the icing needed on the final day of London Fashion Week.