February 19, 2013 London
The tough-girl look (think Jenny Shimizu on a work site) called for pieces that were deconstructed and slouchy, with techno fabrics used to create paper bagwaist skirts and trousers. Looks had safety belt/reflective tape features printed onto them as well as plastic pockets that could hold nails or screws. Patchwork denim pinafores looked like something a worker would pull on after a long shift. (OK, we cave—we've now seen pinafores so many times that they must be acknowledged as a trend.)
Noteworthy looks included a fringed houndstooth blouse teamed with orange sequined cargo pants with padded knees, and a fringed blanket cover-up. A hologram jumpsuit made its fans whoop and holler with delight (mainly students and Topshop-ettes in the standing-room-only section in the back). The only variation from the working girl theme was a soigné silk trenchcoat that seemed rather grown-up for Ashish's grunge girl, especially with that shocking wind-tunnel hair in acrid yellow and orange.
The designer took the working girl metaphor to another level with his sequined safety vest: "In parts of Spain, it's the law that prostitutes wear safety vests to make themselves visible to passing traffic. I thought, well, if you have to wear it, may as well make it the coolest garment ever," he said. Cool, yes, and with that fluorescent orange, visible from space. This collection will do nothing but delight Ashish's hard-core fans. But if sequins and hard graft aren't your thing, look away now.