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London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Ashley Isham

Ashley Isham gives the crowd a taste of Bollywood glamour in the form of his stunning new collection

Written by Rachael Oku

A designer renowned for his signature floaty and ethereal dresses – Ashley Isham – didn’t disappoint with his offering for AW10. With several celebrities in agreement (actress; Camilla Rutherford, socialite and occasional model; Sophie Anderson and the queen of the beehive; Jodie Harsh) this five minute show was well worth the 45 minute wait.

4371538954_b82837afd6Images throughout courtesy of Fabrocks

Opening to Queen’s hilarious Flash Gordon theme tune, the catwalk was awash with stunning dresses fit for the A-list elite, reflecting the lesser-known fact that Isham was the official designer of the 2004 BAFTAs, don’t you know – where he will probably be dressing many more for tomorrow night’s ceremony. Back to the show… AW10 channelled what I can only describe as the ‘Bollywood effect’, which saw several nods to the beautiful and highly unique style of Indian dress. With a plethora of rich fabrics cascading down the runway , we were treated to an inspired colour palette of burnt oranges, vibrant reds, ocean blues and hot pinks, which made me long for summer days and garden parties – even though I’m sure the invitation said AW10.


Mixing in on-trend metallics through both appliqué and embroidery, the majority of garments were awash with gold sequins, jewel encrusting and beads – galore. Daring to go almost overboard with the metallic accents (which incidentally drew the collection together), Ashley boldly sent a model down the catwalk in a beautifully draped Grecian style asymmetric dress in a gold/ bronze colour, which unfortunately – in the bright lights of the On|Off venue – would have looked more at home wrapped around the Christmas turkey.


Ashley’s beautiful Indian inspired pieces were popular with the crowd, eliciting a a low murmur of hushed whispers and collective ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. A self-confessed master of drapery, this stunning collection didn’t disappoint, with the whole collection looking almost too good to be true. To compliment the dresses, models wore short cropped jackets, sharply tailored and darted, with the emphasis on their rigid, boxy shoulders – evolving the statement shoulder look that we currently can’t quite get enough of. With only 17 looks on offer this was definitely a short show, but proving the old adage – quality definitely trumps over quantity.


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