That atmosphere at Ashley Williams' Tuesday afternoon show during London Fashion Week was electric. So were the clothes, in fact. She collaborated with London-based artist Fergus Purcell who designed a taser-print for 80s-inspired trouser suits, and feminine workwear staples. The whole collection was an ode to rebellious 80s workwear told through Ashley’s quintessentially British eye, which encompasses brazenness, humour and stilted views of glamour.
The progression from Ashley’s Fashion East collection, five season ago, is phenomenal. Her development as a designer has been documented on the BFC Show Space runway in both Somerset House and Brewer Street Car Park. (The Soho setting is probably more suited to her work). As Ashley matures, so does her muse. The Ashley Williams girl is probably similar in age to the designer, and she grows up at the same pace as her, which is a strangely beautiful process to watch unfold at each fashion week.
For fall, her taking on eighties power dressing contained humour, and was to be taken with a grain of salt. There was the electrifying taser prints, but also subverted prim ruffle shirts paired with dungaree skirts. A tuxedo turned jumpsuit was accessorised with ostentatious, mismatched earrings and an assortment of pins. Underneath pinstripe suits, models wore printed tees that red “pierced ear” or “Extra Terrestrial”. Two looks in particular stood out for their radiant use of colour. There was a chartreuse shift dress, and one that came in hot pink. Irresistibly funky, styled with chokers or mismatched earrings—they were the kind of looks that the outrageous secretary would wear to work for a casual Friday, and it was brilliant!
Enlisting friends Adwoa Aboah, Georgia May Jagger, and designer Claire Barrow, Ashley Williams’ unique girl gang is an undoubted force to be reckoned with. They possess 80s bad girl sensibilities and a bold sense of humour, and it’s the reason why Ashley continues to prosper on the London schedule.
Photo Credit: the upcoming.co.uk