Topshop's collaboration with Ashish must be one of the most enduring relationships between a designer label and high street brand, beaten only by Stella McCartney’s tenure at Adidas. The quirky and slightly OTT designer, probably best known for his sequins and overblown slogans, has brought his signature kitsch to Topshop once again, with a new collection that arrives online and in stores this Thursday (29th May).
This time around, his signature sequins have almost entirely been phased out, and replaced with LED lights. They line the soles of his platform sneakers and edge along the seams of transparent backpacks, taking their holographic feel to new heights. “I think the LED lights are almost like light-up sequins,” he told Vogue.co.uk, “Sequins are like a long-term love, this collection is like my holiday fling!”
And it’s an appropriate way to look at the range, which was inspired by the idea of a ‘Paradise Hotel’ and riffs heavily on vacation motifs. Beach towels, dresses and oversized t-shirts are plastered with slogans like “My name is _. My room number is _.”, “Please Service” or “Son of a Beach”, for a tongue-in-cheek twist on the designer’s sense of humour.
Then there are racer-back swimsuits, fishnet dresses and plastic sunglasses, with one round eye and one square. It’s all kitsch, over the top and only for the brave – but that makes it one of the most exciting high street drops of the year.
Kate Phelan, Topshop’s creative director said “Ashish brings his humour and style together to create a fashion collection for beach to bedroom, pool to club. Light-up trainers, towelling hoodies and towel wrap-dresses make hotel style the ultimate look for summer.”
While we’re not sure that Ashish alone can bring towelling back into fashion, the collection is definitely a punchy summer update, designed for those of who prefer making a statement over playing it safe.
Available at Topshop from 29 May 2014.