by Kimberly Foster @KimberlyNFoster
London-based designer Ashish's fall 2016 runway show is a gorgeous one, but it brings up a mix of emotions. Led by Indian designer, Ashish Gupta, the label is known for fun, cutting-edge designs. This year they did not disappoint with colorful sequined nighttime wear. Ashish pushed the 70s rival to the limits of gauche with mini dresses, oversized suits and jumpsuits that might make even an extra in Saturday Night Fever demure.
But the most striking part of the show were the colorful afros that adorned the heads of all the models. They afros were a clear tribute to the disco era. A tribute to Black aesthetics that does not feel outright exploitative is rare. Ashish toes the line, but I'm still trying to process the discomfort the images of non-Black models with the oversized wigs aroused.
Perhaps the hair at Ashish is a testament to the growing acceptance of Black hair and Black features in non-Black spaces or maybe it's yet another example of things we've long been attacked for being treated as an oddity. In any case, the show featured a significant number of Black models which is always a pleasure to see.