Ashish’s show always makes me smile. It’s a feel good factor of a maelstrom of sequins and culture clashes and is always a must-see for this alone. There’s something deeply unpretentious, quirky and very, very East London about it down to it’s audience of cool street-style yoot’ made up of more stylists than the East End’s Olympic Stadium could hold.
From the first outfit, we knew that Ashish had nailed it. This was morning-after-the-night-before dressing. Hauling on track pants or tops with seen-better-days jeans, odd socks, slippers and then sloping back home, clutching the local grocer’s plastic bags with your haul of carbonated Coke and crisps. This had humour in heaps. And was clever enough, broken down to basics and re-styled to be Big Girls’ Dress Up. If Ashish Gubta worked from a Paris atelier, he’d have British editors showering him with unbounded praise. Instead, he’s one of the UK’s unsung heroes who can capture the Capital street style shot through with multi-culturalism.
This show celebrated quick trips to ‘the corner shop’. Vital to the nation’s well-being & survival and even central to storylines in ‘Corrie’ (Alahans) and Eastenders (The Minute Mart). Often run by Pakistanis, Arabs or Indians, the British corner shop is a national institution. A melting-point. Where nationalities collide over baked beans, crisps, Chinese noodles and cans of Coke – a logo emblazoned over sweatshirts, vests and track pants as well as on the side of sequin bags. Oh, the bags! Ashish surely has created the season’s IT bag with his sequin renditions of the cheap blue or pink/white striped plastic, so hated by those hell-bent on ridding the world of the plastic bag. Logos also appeared as S&M, Disco and Tesco. They were all there.
Distressed, ripped denim hewed sequins, djellabahs with ‘Joy’ or ‘Thanks for Coming’, Arabic lettering and Rastafarian stripes, leopard print and chunky African and Indian jewellery – Ashish knows how to pile it on but it never looks too, too much.
If Ashish Gubta could only venture out of his comfort zone a little bit further with non-sequin silks and prints, we’d see a collection worthy of International acclaim. Like the Coca Cola logo he so loves, Ashish, he’s the real thing.
Catwalk images kindly supplied by www.style.com