It’s quite refreshing to see a designer reference their age and peers in their collections, and that’s exactly what Ashley Williams does. Having graduated in 2012 and showing her first collection at London Fashion Week as part of Fashion East in 2013, Williams is still very much a newbie in the industry.
The Ashley Williams AW17 show was the kind of thing you’d imagine if you went to a house party in Peckham, surrounded by 20-something artists honing their craft. The space was bedecked in tall, over growing plants, computer chairs complete with picked apart foam, traffic cones, and models sitting ever so nonchalantly on old armchairs and swing sets.
As for the collection, Williams describes it as ‘the clothes to sneak out of parties in’. It’s for when you’re bored or antisocial (or both) and don’t want to be caught on the street in a mini dress – but you’ll still fit in when you’re standing next to the punch bowl. It was a mixture of streetwear and party wear, in other words, with a bit of western/Americana thrown in for good measure.
The show opened with a long pink checked pleated skirt, ‘Misery’ hoody and cowboy hat ensemble, setting the tone for the rest of the looks. That check (in different colour ways) stayed throughout, used in mini skirts and tailored trousers and paired with cropped puffer and varsity jackets.
There were voluminous sleeved shirts worn with high waisted, straight legged jeans and printed trousers, yellow jersey track suits worn with black stilettos, and cow print fringed suede jackets paired with grey jeans and loafers (and a cowboy hat, of course).
Words and images by Angharad Jones