ASHLEY WILLIAMS AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR LONDON
So if J.W. Anderson has supplanted the ’70s security of those who like their consensus decade-based (by taking us into the trashily glam ’80s), where does that put Ashley Williams? In this collection, the frighteningly young designer (cue intimations of mortality) seemed to view the beginnings of grunge, the late ’80s and the early ’90s, as a historical era worth reviving. That gurning-guy graphic that recurred throughout was specially commissioned, based on the skate stickers old-timers used to whack on our decks—hers were just a little reminiscent of the Santa Cruz skateboard company’s snarling face. L7’s “Pretend We’re Dead” and The Primitives’ “Crash” were the soundtrack. There was a sample of the trailer of Star Trek IV, too. Wow, that was a really awful movie.
Underneath this nichely evocative seasoning, Williams’ prime mandate was indie-touched party gear: a black, strapless, zipped tube dress came patterned with her patches and a deep-neckline PVC dress was infantilized by the yellow-haired grinning loon on the swollen-armed printed shirt beneath it. Williams sometimes mined a fruitful friction between prim silhouette and shouty delivery—pink shearlings, that PVC insinuation, the odd crystalline flash on a dress. There were flashes on hoodies, too, but quietly, above leggings with circular cutouts at the knee. This focused collection did its own thing, well.