With the political world currently swilling a right-leaning tonic, voting for Brexit and electing Donald Trump, many predicted London Fashion Week to reflect this. However, by and large this hasn’t been the case. There’s been the odd ‘woke’ slogan, such as Ashley Williams’ ‘Save The Planet’ dress. And, pertinent song choice – looking at you, Fashion East with your Green Day playlist. That was, until Monday night when Ashish Gupta presented an enlightened autumn/winter 17 collection.
Last season, Ashish found himself marred by controversy for dressing his white models in Afro wigs. Six months later, it seems he’s newly engaged and is using his platform to make a point. His message was loudly and clearly that love trumps all. The first clue came in the form of the invite, which was an iridescent pack of stickers pricked with hearts. Then came the mantras. On his signature sequin base, he refused to mince his words, spelling out ‘More Glitter Less Twitter’ on a black top worn over a checkerboard shirt. Atop a rainbow striped tee was stamped: ‘Love Sees No Colour’. A mini dress patterned with a fox caught in the headlights read, ‘Stay Woke’. Loud applause erupted when one corpulent leather daddy in a biker hat and mini sequin shorts walked out wearing a pale blue t-shirt with the words, ‘Why Be Blue When You Can Be Gay!’ written large across the front.
When the collection wasn’t engaging with 140 characters of controversy, it was an elegy to stripes. The clothes oscillated between with deck-chair, Rugby, Breton and chevron bands in rainbow colours. It is also touched upon alpine notes, tracksuit silhouettes and American sports.
The above pieces were part of the Ashish Gupta x Major League Baseball exclusive collection. Bomber jackets and shorts were scribed with the famous logos of the Dodgers and The Chicago Cubs. They made a subtle but effective point that sports fans stick together, regardless of race or nationality, through thick and thin. They never give up, they keep the faith, and they unite in adversity, which are all important lessons and qualities to aim towards in both sports and politics.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.