London designer Ashish, master of sequins and capturing a joyful mood, has turned it decidedly down. For Spring 2018, he showed goth frocks and witch gowns with bare feet that made the vibe even more somber, as though the models were memorializing the catwalk.
To Vogue, Ashish described the show thusly: “In my head, it’s just this mood I’ve been in for the last couple of months, a dark place. And I don’t want to fight it and do something that I’m not feeling—I might as well just use it and treat it as a catharsis.”
And so even his “Witch” top, spelled out, took on a different meaning from the trendy conjurers of Bushwick and the like; in political context, it was more like recognizing what it is to be branded a pariah. Levity came in the form of two sequin dresses with a ruffle cascading across their fronts, in sparkly silver and red. It is a collection full of emotion, as beautiful as it was sorrowful. In the show notes, Vogue wrote, Ashish provided a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” Indeed.