London Fashion Week kicked off with a day reserved for the younger designers: the emerging, the outsiders, the cool kids. Think Matty Bovan, ASAI and Ashley Williams. The latter is always a joy, but what makes a Williams show so much fun?
Yes, her flock of models is always more interesting than most (including visual artist Claire Barrow and Pretty Sick’s Sabrina Fuentes), the beauty looks encapsulate London rebellion (see new faces with razor-cut mullets and black-rimmed eyes), and her best friends are guaranteed to be cheering her on from the front row (Pixie Geldof, Alexa Chung, Nick Grimshaw), but it’s the designer’s ability to be witty and conjure instant demand that sets her apart.
In the past we’ve had her 'Anxiety', 'Heaven' and 'Bored' crystal hair slides, and her 'Retired and Loving It' slogan tees (girl’s got a knack for coining a catchy phrase). This season’s instant hit? A sperm-covered fleece. Yep, you read that right. Think spunk-emblazoned silk skirts and fuzzy sports headbands with graphic penises – a tongue-in-cheek homage to the male appendage.
The show, named 'Power Nap', offered us her AW19 girl, who has been living her best life in the monolithic countryside. "She dined at King Arthur's round table, paid pilgrimage to the summer solstice, marvelled at Mercury in retrograde and spotted the Loch Ness Monster whilst skinny dipping" so the show notes go – and now, she needs to sleep off all the excitement. Hunkering down in cosy pieces like mohair cardigans, relaxed tracksuits reading 'Whoops!' and fleeced smiley face jackets, the collection was a mishmash of cosy winter-appropriate pieces and Williams’ signature aesthetics.
Trademark tiger print, tie-dye and electric hues all featured, as did power blazers, tracksuits and puffed-sleeve dresses. The other pieces worth mention? The pink and black knitted cat twin-set, Kermit-green fluffy shoes and bags, and boob tube (hello, '00s) reading 'Don’t Know, Don’t Care'. Like the cult pieces she’s created before, expect to see Williams’ irreverent collection on the fashion set's Insta soon.