London Fashion Week: Ashley Isham

Last night I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Ashley Isham Spring/Summer 2012 show at London Fashion Week. Faye, who blogs at All These Pretty Things, was inundated with invitations to shows (she seriously had a wad of invites!) and couldn’t make some of them so was asking people to go on her behalf and write a guest post on her blog. I was over the moon when Faye gave me her Ashley Isham ticket; when I went to London Fashion Weekend last September (check it out here) some of Isham’s Autumn/Winter 2010 collection was modelled and I loved it then. I was really excited to see what he had in store for his Spring/Summer line and eagerly joined the back of the queue forming outside Il Bottaccio before the show.

I have to admit, part of the reason why I enjoyed the show so much was the people-watching. I felt like I’d landed in some sort of bizarre theatre performance where I was a mere prop and the outlandish, colourful characters around me all played their parts with panache. There was a man with a floor-length, fur-collared cape, which he dramatically swirled as he entered the room, much like Zorro; another gentleman with a clutch bag and immaculately wind-swept hair. I just sat amidst the air-kissing and scurrying of PR staff and loved every second of the drama. Although the show began almost half an hour late I barely noticed as I was so absorbed with my surroundings. At last the house lights were dimmed, the spotlights blazed warm light across the catwalk and the models began their stride to the sound of a Baroque-inspired song.

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

At first I couldn’t take my eyes off the fabulous and ornate headpieces and intricate forehead art; they looked both tribal and bridal, and added mystique and opulence to the show. Once I managed to tear my eyes away from the crowns, I noticed the fabulous dresses that were floating towards me on the runway. In true Ashley Isham style, his creations were form-fitting yet flowing, simple but carefully constructed, and oozing femininity, and the colours were a visual feast: monotone dresses in gold, sapphire, amethyst and pink tourmaline shimmered past me like jewels in a row.

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

The hair was also spectacular; braided into neat corn-rows at the front and then wild and mane-like at the back, it echoed the style of the models in Oscar de la Renta’s recent New York Fashion Week presentation. I think untamed, frizzy hair is a style I can get behind, and I’m sure a lot of other women will agree!

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

The music suddenly switched into a modern beat, and so too the style of the pieces changed; patterns appeared, the silhouette of the dresses relaxed, laser-cut leather was featured and huge, Baroque-inspired embellishments clung to waistlines and décolletages.

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

This dress was my favourite of the collection; I love the summery feel of the paisley pattern on magenta, the flowing skirt and the huge gilded halterneck:

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

As gold glitter rained down on the final models’ walk to display a small range of bridal-like, colourfully beaded mini-dresses, thus ended my very first Fashion Week experience. I hope it’s the first of many!

Ashley Isham S/S 2012

I’ll be adding some more pictures to the [a bird in the hand] Facebook page shortly, so head over there if you’d like to see even more of the stunning Ashley Isham Spring/Summer 2012 collection. And check out my guest post at All These Pretty Things for even more photos and some more details of the show!

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1 Comment

  • KateLainey says:

    Wow! I’ve never been to a legit fashion show. That had to been an amazing experience. I agree, people watching is so fun! These outfits and the makeup on the models rocks!

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