ashish, dilara findikoglu, shrimps and sophia webster on monday of london fashion week
From fight backs against the realities of Trump's America to explorations of Ice Queen fantasies, here's what we saw on the Monday of autumn/winter 17 shows in London.
If you cut Ashish, he bleeds love and glitter. Spring/summer 16's romantic celebration of diversity and multiculturalism, designed to counter the post-Brexit blues, was followed by an autumn/winter 17 collection addressing the attacks on people's rights in Donald Trump's America. From the Mexican wrestling mask make-up, to a glittering, flame-font 'Nasty woman' vest, Planned Parenthood motocross shorts and 'Pussy grabs back' T-shirt, the message was straightforward and defiant, but there was a lot of symbolism too. Models wearing sequinned versions of American sportswear staples walked through a huge broken heart to get to the runway: the yellow brick road from the Wizard of Oz. "I was reading about how Oz was actually representative of Washington and how the hurricane of Dorothy was the political turmoil that happened at the time," Ashish told i-D backstage. "Every little thing in that movie is symbolic of what is happening now, so I thought it was an appropriate set for what I wanted to say; which is: we need to be united in a message of love and unity and stand up together against all the fucked-up-ness that is going on." Defiant as the collection was, it's wasn't shot-through with anger, but with love. Mantra emblazoned in sequins included 'Keep the faith' and 'Don't give up the daydream', a leather daddy wore a T-shirt that asked 'Why be blue when you can be gay!' and a pink striped tee said simply, 'Fall in love and be more tender'.
Text Charlotte Gush
Goth Goddess Sita Abellan lead a band of Agarthans, Orion Sisters and Manson Brides for this, Dilara Findikoglu's purgatory inspired autumn/winter 17 collection. Dubbed an invitation to "The New World Order", the Turkish designer teamed up with Cyndia Harvey (hair) and Isamaya Ffrench (make-up) to create a shock and awe of look of sumptuous kaftans, Victorian dresses and the kind of monastic imagery that put the evil in Medi-evil (ho ho). It was a success - especially in the sense that her fire scorched earth felt a helluva lot more inviting than the planet today.
Text Matthew Whitehouse
From the tartan wools trenches, skirts and trouser sets, in rich reds and cream whites, to the tongue in cheek Lochness Monster prints and the Mary Queen of Scots style pearls clusters and cuffs, Shrimps' autumn/winter 17 collection was a love letter to Scotland. Elsewhere there were Louise Bourgeois inspired hand drawn nudes printed onto sumptuous nude coloured faux fur coats. Last season's organza tea dresses were reimagined in pale pink, canary yellow, and one strikingly in black PVC, while the signature Shrimps coat was brilliantly reworked in bright yellow leopard print. Best collection to date.
Yaaasss, Ice Queen - she screams for ice screams! Yesterday's Sophia Webster presentation was a snowy escapade in winter wonderland. Webster's Ice Queens were booted in pastel platforms, silver heels with the Webster butterfly trope and thigh-highs. Thigh-highs for queens, sounds quite right. Iridescent, nice but very naughty and fabulous, these black boots were the stand out. Then again, the snow dome in which two models stood was also quite an eye-feast. The whole location was decked out to echo the Harbin Ice Festival in China which is one of Sophia's dream destinations.
As usual, the femininity was in abundance, with fur coats, tulle and chignons galore and crowns. Sophia Webster is a designer that lives and breathes her world and fantasy, watch the shoe queen conquer.
Text Bojana Kozarevic
Photography Mitchell Sams