explore 10 years of ashish's glimmering glamor
The sultan of sequins opens his archive to the public with a V&A show in London.
A trademark is everything as a designer, and for more than 10 years, Ashish has made bling the in-thing. His tongue-in-cheek designs -- always adorned with sequins -- have made him a staple of London Fashion Week. So much so that the Victoria and Albert Museum made him the subject of the next Fashion in Motion, following designers Grace Wales Bonner, Gareth Pugh and Yohji Yamamoto. His always irreverent fashion shows will be brought to life for the public in four separate exhibitions throughout the day and Browns will host a pop-up shop in the museum for visitors looking to take home some of the magic. We caught up with the designer about borrowing archive pieces from Taylor Swift and how he continues to make his label sparkle...
Has the V&A been a source of inspiration to you in your years designing?
To be honest - I don't visit as much as I should, as I think it's very beautiful. I think I might start spending more time there -- perhaps fall/winter 16 will be V&A inspired.
Do you have any insight of what to expect from your upcoming Fashion in Motion presentation?
I've pulled out all my favorite looks from the last 20 catwalk shows. It's been a major task in manpower alone! I didn't realize how big the archive had become. There were a few things that were lost or damaged, so I've had to get copies made or track down duplicates that I knew were in existence. I've asked to borrow an outfit from Taylor Swift and ransacked my house for missing looks!
Your shows always have a sense of whimsy and fun...
It's not always intentional, I guess it's how people choose to see it. I let the collection take its course and then Anna [Trevelyan] comes and works her magic. Sometimes it's fun and quirky and sometimes it's more serious. It just depends on my mood that season, I guess.
What have the main obstacles you have faced having your own business over the last 10 years showing at LFA?
All the usual problems: having to organize production, finding stockists, finding money to do the shows, finding assistants. But I've been very lucky in lots of ways: being picked up by Browns Focus my first season, having my mom help me sort out production, getting NewGen sponsorship three seasons in a row. I've had my ups and downs.
What's the biggest change you'd like to see happen in the industry?
More diversity in fashion.
Where do you want to be in the next ten years?
I hope I'm still designing and still enjoying it. I hope I'll still be doing sequins.
Ashish Fashion in Motion takes place on Friday, October 23 2015 at the V&A
Text Lynette Nylander