LFW Day#1: ASHLEY ISHAM
WHERE: On/Off @ Mercer Street Studios
FRONT ROW: Paloma Faith in cream silk slacks and Girl Aloud Kimberley Walsh.
WHAT: There was an honest-to-goodness glamour at the Ashley Isham show which Piers Atkinson’s chopstick, tulle and tassel headpieces only served to exaggerate. In the midst of On/Off’s typically high-concept, defiantly avant-garde schedule, Isham provided a sequinned sugar rush which, in the context, was more disconcerting than any amount of androgyny, nudity or violence. Taking inspiration from the Raffles Hotel circa 1930, colourways were luscious and jewel bright – jade green, heliotrope, lapis lazuli, while bias cuts and clever draping gently enhanced the models’ curves. It’s no wonder that Isham is a declared admirer of Galliano – there’s a shared sense of drama and a firm belief that more is more. Not that the collection was vulgar, mind, just that Isham is in love with a heady kind of decadence. The sequin-encrusted show closer was positively regal. Isham has found a niche in producing megawatt gowns for edgy young things tired of eveningwear clichés – expect to see some of these looks on red carpets in the very near future.
HIGHLIGHT: Atkinson’s flower crowns. Swathing the head in clouds of net and garlands of oriental flowers, the Marchesa Casati would have loved them. Paloma looked on longingly.
Words: Alexa Hall
Photography: Funke Olaleye