Ashley Williams has a real knack for tapping into youth culture. Her teenage fantasy and bad mood references are personal and relatable to her demographic. Even her invites - always a snappy slogan poster - are a great take-away from the shows for the young fashion pack. This season, emblazoned in pink neon font, the poster read 'Genuine Misery'.
For A/W 17, Williams was looking to a specific moment in party culture for inspiration. The sun’s up, it’s 05:00 and the anti-social partygoers are anxiously avoiding small talk. This collection was Williams’ reference to the 'misery' that comes with sneaking out of a party.
As guests arrived, light birdsong played overhead - dawn had broken at the BFC Show Space. In sporadic spots along the runway sat clusters of street debris - traffic cones, foliage, a shopping trolley, a Fisher Price car and a mattress - with characters who have no doubt gotten a little wayward on their way home nestled amongst them. Two of which were so settled on their old mattress, they kissed and embraced throughout the show.
For the eager escapist, Williams offered full tracksuits and hoodies in a brownish grey, white, black or yellow complete with 'Misery' slogan - the perfect accompaniment for an Uber home. Likewise, 'Save The Planet' slogan sleeveless polo necks and dresses, bomber jackets and a chunky cable knit sweater are ideal streetwear for the night tube taker. Williams’ now ubiquitous diamanté accessories returned, this time saying the phrases 'Paranoid' and 'Paradise'.
For those that love to party, Williams provided oversized cowboy hats, beaded detailing, western fringing and leg of mutton sleeved shirts in a black and white Bauhinia pattern. The bright yellow Scottish tartan trouser and A-line skirts are a young extrovert's dream. An approachable buy for most shoppers, both the grey and blue slim fit and front pleated wide leg jeans would suit any party goer. The ultra cropped black puffa jackets too will no doubt be a hit.
Despite having a heady blend of Western, Americana and Paninaro Milan references, this collection still felt pithy and wearable. An impressive wardrobe for an Irish exit.