Ashish Wants You To Fight For Your Right To Love: One Of The Bravest Shows Of Fashion Week So Far

Fashion house Ashish has been tackling the hyper-male world of American Baseball and Mexican fighting with glitter and rainbows

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George Michael famously said of being Gay and in the public eye:

'Gay people in the media are doing what makes straight people comfortable, and automatically my response to that is to say I'm a dirty filthy f***er and if you can't deal with it, you can't deal with it.'

ASHISH AW17
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His untimely death last year saw him celebrated as a gay icon of the most gloriously unfiltered kind, but also a secret philanthropist, as well as musical legend.

Fashion brand Ashish has displayed echoes of Michael's brave and brash sexuality already, pre-AW17, last year releasing a set of NSFW join the dots t-shirts named Taint by Ashish.

🍌🍌🍌 #taintbyashish @jordandeanholland 😘

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These were followed by the political logo tees, which said it all.

COMING SOON ❤️🌹new #taintbyashish

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And the diffusion line continued to provoke and play, release by release.

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Coming soon to @kuznetskymost20 🌒 #currentaffairs #darktimes #taintbyashish

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In a way that is so reminiscent of the late, great George.

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So, it comes as no surprise that the AW17 show at London Fashion Week began with the opening chords of George Michael's anthemic tune 'Faith'.

This tribute set the tone of faith and hope which were boldly thematic of the coming show.

As that music faded out, as if to pronounce the show itself as almost 'too gay to function', 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' came on.

Damien Mean Girls
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The set itself was created by Thomas Petherick and was a glittery-take on the Yellow Brick Road that Dorothy (the girl who, by way of natural disaster, finds herself in a new land) and her unlikely friends skip down on the way to self-discovery (and a man masquerading as an all-powerful wizard).

Isamaya Ffrench, the make-up artist who created Ashish's Hindu-themed looks last season, as well as a host of other shows, reimagined the diverse host of models as Mexican Lucha Libre fighters.

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Wrestling, which usually conjures thoughts of male aggression and intimacy, hyper-mascualinty, which verges on homoeroticism, was a brilliant trope for the show - the mask-themed make-up was a call to arms for us to fight for our rights to love.

Likewise, the Baseball-influenced clothing tackled this idea of male space, though it also was one of unity.

Ashish worked with the LA Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs.

Ashish said this of his collaboration, 'I think it is a wonderful opportunity because I love baseball as an inspiration for equality and unity – the fact that it was the first sport to allow a person of colour to play professionally is incredible.'.

And if the rainbows, the gold sparkly road, the masks, the music and the models weren't enough, Ashish extended his t-shirt slogans to the catwalk.

'This collection brings together the male aesthetic translated in the most feminine way. I think I see it this season as more like the pieces being a labour of love, with really positive messaging,' Ashish said.

Telling us, 'You are much lovelier than you think', 'Fall in love and be more tender', as well as emblazoning the reclaimed insult of 'Nasty Woman'.

Ashish, as has been mentioned, has been explicitly sequining his opinion on his clothing for a while now, though other brands have recently cottoned on.

Dior, Prabal Gurung and others have walked slogan tees defiantly down the catwalk.

Arguably none of the other houses, though, have executed such an all-encompassing message, in as dazzling, nay blinding a way, with each aspect of his show fully embodying his message of confrontational love.

The models danced down the catwalk to the closing song, 'We Are Family', showing that a rally cry of unity and love is the ultimate eff you to the powers that be.

@ashish_uk 4ever + EVERRR 🌈

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