For SS19, we were invited to an all-night rave, complete with a sticky club carpet as the catwalk, models snogging and dancing on podiums, and a thumping soundtrack fit for Berghain. By the end of the show, the models, who began with damp slicked-back hair, were soaked, with water – sorry, sweat – dripping down their necks and shoulders, proving that Ashish’s girl has the stamina to reach for the lasers until the very early hours.
Ashish is known for his slogans, and often uses them to make a statement about the current political climate. Past favourites include "Love & Devotion", a positive message in the wake of the Brexit referendum and resulting rise in racially motivated attacks, and "Good Mourning", a decidedly darker note that reflected the worrying landscape we found ourselves in under Trump and the ever-present threat of nuclear war.
This season, he played with love – or rather, lust – in the digital age, with a peach hoodie reading "Send Nudes" in glitter, and a mint green one emblazoned with "S&M: Sex And Magic". While these pieces are surely collector's items – and Instagram catnip – for Ashish’s dedicated following, it was his trademark sparkle that stole the show.
Capturing the essence of the '00s club scene, we were treated to sequin spaghetti-strap camis, lurid-green sparkling bikini tops and low-slung sparkling trousers. The piece that had show-goers most excited was a pistachio ice-cream jumpsuit, which gathered at the wrists and ankles, and had a fluidity reminiscent of bodies on the dance floor.
Ashish’s shows are never without a political undercurrent, so what was the message this season? With exposed bottoms in sequin thongs and mini dresses with deep V necklines sitting alongside his podium couples, kissing and moving their bodies in sync with the music, the whole show felt very sex-positive, joyful and escapist. Perhaps Ashish was showing us club culture as defiance, as hedonistic liberation from the troubles of the outside world. As for us? We’ll meet you on the dance floor.