Amidst the hustle and bustle of London Fashion Week, we got the chance to go backstage and see esteemed London designer Ashley Williams showcase her latest collection. We caught up with her after the chaos to talk nostalgia, grunge, and Jurassic Park...
First up, thanks for the invite to the show, it was great. How do you feel the show went?
I was happy with it :) so good.
How have you found Fashion Week this year? What’ve been your highlights?
I had a lot of fun as my friends worked on the show with me and all the models were really nice who came for fittings. So my highlight was the atmosphere.
You have a re-occurring nostalgic feel throughout all your collections. Is this important to you?
It's not that it holds great importance so I make sure it happens, it's just what comes naturally. Everything comes together quite instinctively.
What have you based this collection on? There’s a lot of reference to the ‘90s, and a lot of acid colours, along with a dark, grungy edge...
It's not so much that I based the collection on any one thing, it's more like an accumulation of what I've been around and what memories that brings up.
There’s a lot of ‘band tee’ prints within the collection. We noticed the SEX Women’s long sleeve – that was the same T-Shirt that was on the cover of Hormonally Yours by ‘90s girl rock band Shakespears Sister, that featured Siobhan Fahey from Bananarama, and was once described as "de-glammed and gothy" with a "vociferous demeanour". What’s the story behind that?
It's just a really good top! Doesn't need any more explanation than that. I wanted one, so I made one :) .
We saw a couple of references to your previous collections – in particular, the Paranoiasorus long sleeve tee, with ‘paranoia’ being the recurring idea/print. Why paranoia? What other ideas have you referenced again, and why?
When I finish one collection, I try not to cut it all off and move on to the next, it's more of a journey and some ideas are still relevant to you months or years later.
Your music choice at the show was pretty interesting. What were the reasons behind Jurassic Park & Les Miserables?
I've always had the Jurassic Park theme as my entrance music for the shows. They're both iconic and timeless, and hold a lot of presence for me. A lot of people think of Susan Boyle with 'I dreamed a dream'. It was not the Susan Boyle version haha…
There’s also a couple of more feminine, or less grungy, pieces in the collection, such as the Jo shirt. How have you tried to balance these styles?
I think you can be grungy and girly at the same time...
Finally, what are you looking forward to going into AW18?
Looking forward to travelling and finding new ideas, and thinking more about how I can continue with ideas from last season and bring them along.
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