A S H L E Y
W I L L I A M S
A U T U M N / W I N T E R
2 0 2 1
8 June. 2021
OF PAP MAGAZINE
For AW2021 Ashley Williams decided to reflect on her brand DNA. A re-rub of her classic hits, Ashley delved deep into her archive and resurrected classic pieces, prints, shapes and silhouettes. From her iconic yellow, red and black ‘Tina’ cat print, through to cobweb breasts and airbrushed pooches, the collection runs like a cherry-picked immaculate selection for fans who scour resell sites for sold out past pieces.
In theory if you choose carefully and buy less, then major fashion should never go out of style. “Working at home this past year made me re-look at my personal wardrobe and dig out past pieces I loved, wore, then forgot. It was fun to think about old and new and wearing things in a different way.”
Mind altering magic mushrooms, ghosts, ghouls and pentagram prints sit jarringly alongside sickly-sweet strawberries, teddy bears, bows and high heels on signature fuzzy, grungy, mohair knits. Ever the contrarian, clashing colours and political prints confuse with ‘Jesus Hates’ and ‘Jesus Saves’ intarsia to be worn either way depending on your mood.
When something is pushed to the hilt of saccharine, Ashley brings it back to the gutter with tribal tattoos, ratchet rats and belly-bar prints. Twee twinsets and kitschy micro kilts are toughened up with bondage style straps and zippers, whilst 80’s meringue shaped frou-frou gowns inspired by Lady Diana Spencer come as a canvas for Ashley’s airbrushed sugary sentimental art.
There is a constant duality at play with Ashley’s work which stands as an outward realisation to a constant internal plight. Sexuality is both overt and hidden. Ugly is beautiful. Right is wrong. Silhouettes are simultaneously slouchy and sexy. Her glamour is sludge. Her clique is cultured. She is both perverse and pop. “I love horror movies and hardcore as much as I love Britney Spears” she confirms.
The Ashley Williams universe is bulging with expansion and includes some of the most avant garde taste makers of today. Campaigns celebrate characters including Adwoah Aboah, Pixie Geldof, Finn Buchanan, Lily McMenamy and Kasper Kapica. This season the models Remington Williams, Akuol Deng and actress Iris Law take centre stage in her casting call whilst Lotta Volkova, Blackpink, Miley Cyrus, Anwar Hadid and Dua Lipa are all steadfast fans.
Alternative and intelligent left leaning miscreants magnetise towards Ashley Williams. Subcultures who want to subvert and look simultaneously sassy and powerful. So rather smartly, Williams is giving her core fanbase exactly what they didn’t know they want. She has designed the ultimate clothing thirst trap.
Words by Ben Reardon
Photography by Angelo Pennetta Styling by Danielle Emmerson & Danny Reed Hair by Kiyoko Odo Makeup by Nico Lou Monheim Carrasquillo Casting by Danielle Emmerson & Danny Reed