Reflect begrudgingly on 2020, and what have we got?
⭐️ A tumultuous tyranny of toddler like politicians both in the UK
⭐️ US presidents both past and present to be more like a tapeworms circulating The Big Apple
⭐️ A blazen and brazen spotlight on the discriminatory and brutal acts untowards the BIPOC community
⭐️ A virus that has halted mankind as we know it
⭐️ And we may as well include the rise and shine of Amazon, Netflix, Zoom and Deliveroo.
You lucky bastards.
But something I feel a lot of us fail to recognise as a might feat of 2020 is our individual growth, subconscious acceptance of the self and others, and focusing more energy on just not giving a f⭐️ck. And in a good way.
COVID ripped us of a lot of life's simple pleasures.
Pounds have been gained by some.
And others lost.
Slouchy has become the new suave and chic, with loungewear and mismatched garments being a perfectly acceptable thing. Though, if you are one of those people who shuffle down to the supermarket in your slippers... that IS where I draw the line.
I like the shift in fashion culture due to COVID. We are more daring, we're wilder, and far more kooky. Which is what Ashley William's Spring 2021 collection perfectly exudes from every ruffle, button and seam.
Because of COVID, Ashley's typical method of preliminary research (the visual and wordy part that comes before actually putting needle to thread) was rudely interrupted.
"I couldn’t do any formal research for this collection; my formal research would be like picking up bits and bobs as I go and collecting things. So I kind of did a bit of internet research, but it was just like an accumulation of small ideas that all came together.”
And so a rummage of old stashes of doodads and whimsical wonders replaced her usual approach. Like a truffle pig, Ashley sifted through her hoards of collectible treasures that Ariel would be very jealous of indeed.
Vintage 1980s troves of tattoo convention magazines, whose inked models were reprinted onto some of the pieces, or pictures of her dogs given fresh walkies boldly printed onto the more sporty-spice items.
There was even a fluffily innocent petite kitten on the groin of a miniskirt, a crystal cobweb, paw-printed boob dresses, and pentagram bra-tops in mohair. Oh and lest not forget the au so faux cutesy ironic bow story running throughout the collection, giving as a bit of a narrative: the hot hoarder, perhaps? Deapite the whackiness of the collection, a lot of time, energy and skill has certainly been infused throughout each of her works, from the tip of the head as hairpieces or integrated over some excellently silhouetted punk-meets-prom dresses.
The collection is, in a way, a walkin' talkin' scrapbook.
Williams threw caution to the wind by creating these garments, because being honest, the very alien nature of them is more than likely to receive hefty criticism.
“Sometimes when I have been making things in the past there has been that thought process of: ‘Ahh, I can’t do that because, you know, it’s not gonna sell. No one’s gonna want that’. And I just kind of have to rein myself in a little bit. But I felt like this time, I was like: ‘Ohh, if I want to do a drawing of like, a man puking my name and a dog, like, pooing it out—then I’ll just do it.’ ”
As you do, Ashley. As you do.
Williams makes a poignant point here, for all of us to take home (whether you like the clothes or not). And that is:
If not now, then when?
It's with her flotsam-and-jetsam approach to working that multiple treasures have been yielded, and if you’re not interested in picking it up, then just keep walking.
Now, as a boujie on a budget bucci girl, I know that the price tag of Ashley can be um... a force to be reckoned with for some, if not most?
Which is precisely why I have create this fashion lookbook below for you to get your crazy on, without going batsh⭐️t crazy in the bank.
Click on whatever takes your fancy from my Top Twenty to create your own Wonderland wardrobe - and remember: give no mind to da haterz.
barbed wire sheer dress
three tier cake dress
patchwork pussy bow shirt dress
stardust ruffle top
zebra print trousers
angel bucket hat
holographic sequin cape
holo diamante cross body pouch bag
platform ribbed baby blue shoes
rainbow diamante heels
neon pink hot platforms
fuck it hoop earrings
multi coloured stone chunky chain
clear acetate soft rounded sunnies
elongated red bag
mixed blue and pink metallic bag
baby blue padded duo bag