With ‘take back control of our borders’ being a strong peg, a lot of people were sceptical about the first London Fashion Week (LFW) post the historic Brexit vote. “This is the first international event on our shores since the EU vote and it’s definitely sparked a lot of interest from all over the world. People want to know if London feels different. We need to send them a clear message that London is open to outsiders and the UK is a place of business opportunity,’ stated Caroline Rush, British Fashion Council chief executive, as quoted by International Business Times. The message seemed clear as designers came together to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and multiculturalism. Among them is Delhi-born designer, Ashish Gupta whose new collection celebrates unity and a mixing of cultures, paying homage to his Indian roots with a strong political message–a point that was only driven further home as he made his way onto the catwalk adorning a t-shirt that read ‘immigrant.’
With glittering fairy lights overhead, the soothing strums of a live sitar performance created the perfect ambience as an array of models embellished with beautiful Indian crowns, jewellery and flowing drapes on both men and women. Among the genderless collection are vibrant sarees, lehengas with slogan t-shirts, painted faces based on Goddess Kali, and their presentation showcased the beauty of Indian culture in a poignant display of oneness at a time when racial attacks and hate crimes have been at an all-time high.
Addressing the shows theme of marriage, Barbora Kozusnikova writes for Wonderland Magazine, “His marriage theme was not only a literal one, between a man and a woman, but one between cultures, between India and Great Britain. Not a relationship of the past, of the empire, but one on an equal level. He has expressed, loud and clear, the benefits of embracing different cultures, the beauty of coming together. The show has left us with profound feelings of peace and respect, apart from the obvious awe for the collection.”
We’ve posted below some photographs taken backstage of the beautiful models and even more incredible collection. Click here to see more images taken by Philip Trengove published by Dazed and read the full write up by Barbora Kozusnikova for Wonderland Magazine with photographs by Cleo Glover.
Feature image courtesy of Philip Trengove via Dazed Digital