from the designers to the stylists and pattern cutters, we meet the creative minds behind ashish

It takes a lot of love, graft and teamwork to put a fashion show together -- here's how Ashish do it.

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Sep 17 2018, 3:35pm

Photography Lucie Rox

Fresh from their showing their spring/summer 19 collection at London Fashion Week, we introduce the team behind the dream at Ashish.

Ashish, fashion designer and business owner

Ashish

Describe your role: Boss man. I design the clothes but also end up doing a bit of pretty much everything else.
What are your studio rules? Try to enjoy the process and don't be boring.
Tell us the truth about fashion week. The shows must go on.
Is backstage really where the magic happens? I think the magic is the ten minute illusion you create on the runway.
What’s the secret to a fruitful backstage environment? Good prep and people who can think on their feet.
What advice do you have for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps? Everything is possible.
What do you want people to take away from the show? A little magic, hopefully a little happiness.

Tony Hornecker, 45, set designer

Tony and Esme

Describe your role: Dream stuff up and make it appear!
What are your studio rules? Keep it happy. Never work past 9pm. Never throw anything anyway — even dust can be pretty in the right light!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever witnessed at fashion week? Myself and team arriving to do an Ashley Williams set with a Luton van of rubbish collected from the streets of dear Hackney, passing by all the fabulous people awaiting the shows, up to our eyes in trash.
Is backstage really where the magic happens? No! Magic is everywhere!
What’s the secret to a fruitful backstage environment? The £3 Tesco meal deal, and lots of them.
What advice do you have for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps? Go everywhere and meet as many people as you can. Great professional relationships can be forged anywhere with pints! I met just about everyone I’ve ever worked with at the George and Dragon back in the day.
What do you want people to take away from the show? A sequin and a piece of chewing gum attached to one’s shoe.

Esme Young, pattern cutter

Describe your role: Ashish compiles research and we talk through what he likes. I work from that research and blocks from past collections to create new patterns. I make toiles and we fit them on the body, then they get sent off to India to be made.
What are your studio rules? No faffing. No stupid questions. Don’t run out of elderflower cordial.
Tell us the truth about fashion week. There’s never enough free booze!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen at fashion week?
A buffet of assorted eggs from birds of the world.
What’s the secret to a fruitful backstage environment? No idiots.
What advice do you have for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps? Learn a lot and make friends.
What do you want people to take away from the show? Ashish always has a strong message, so I hope people respond to that.

Amy Stephenson, 31, assistant designer

Amy

Describe your role: Lots of research, fabric and embroidery development, print design, sourcing, mocking up ideas and dealing with enquiries. My fave thing is getting to travel with Ashish to his factory in India every season where we spend six weeks working on the new collection.
What are your studio rules? Don’t be boring. Play good music. Never say that something can’t be done.
Tell us the truth about fashion week. There are so many people involved behind the scenes.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen at fashion week? Someone falling through the ceiling of the backstage area during the SS15 show. He was fine!
Is backstage really where the magic happens? For me, India is where the real magic happens; seeing ideas being translated into fully hand-embroidered pieces from start to finish is so incredible! The possibilities really are endless.
What’s the secret to a fruitful backstage environment? Organization.
What advice do you have for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps? Be obsessed with things. Trust your first instinct. Have an opinion.

Andy Butcher and Nicky Gard, around 40, Village PR

Andy and Nicky

Describe your role: We promote some of the coolest brands, including Ashish. What we do depends on the individual show: seating, organizing interviews, co-producing, sponsorship and therapy (where needed).
Tell us the truth about fashion week. Do you really want us to?
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen at fashion week? Losing an elderly snake charmer two mins before starting the show, having to give evidence to the police after a full on punch up in the audience, and M.I.A going MIA backstage.
Is backstage really where the magic happens? It’s definitely on the catwalk — we see senior editors in tears, which is quite a feat when they’ve already seen 200 shows prior to Ashish.
What’s the secret to a fruitful backstage environment? Work as a team, have a laugh and make sure your walkie talkies work.
What advice do you have for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps? Work hard, be reliable, do your research and smile.

Anna Trevelyan, 33, stylist

Anna

Describe your role: I work with Ashish to curate a character for the season. To figure out the narrative, consult on the collection direction, work together on casting, hair, makeup, music and the whole experience. I'm also a counsellor and masseur to Ashish with pre-show nerves every season.
Tell us the truth about fashion week. It’s whatever you want it to be! It can be your biggest inspiration or your worst nightmare or both.
What’s the secret to a fruitful backstage environment? Not arguing with me.
What advice do you have for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps? Work hard, be nice and don’t forget how lucky you are to be surrounded by beauty. Don’t let fashion get to you!
What do you want people to take away from the show? We really want people to feel energized, included, inspired and joyful.

Ancuta Sarca, 26, design assistant

Describe your role: When starting a new collection I spend a few weeks in the library researching concepts and designs. After we decide on a direction, I start designing and developing the shapes and ideas. I also help run castings and fittings as we often develop the designs after seeing the clothes on a model.
What are your studio rules? Always have a good disco playlist.
Tell us the truth about fashion week. It’s six months of hard work in a ten minute show.
Is backstage really where the magic happens? For me, the real magic happens at the factory in India. After we complete the designs and patterns for the collection in the studio, Ashish takes them to the factory and it’s truly amazing when he returns with all the beautiful handmade pieces.
What’s the secret to a fruitful backstage environment? Drink enough water!
What advice do you have for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps? Go at your own pace, work with what you’ve got and prevail at what you are good at.


Photography Lucie Rox.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.