The spring Ashi Studio collection started with a culinary experience. “I was in a Japanese restaurant and they gave me charcoal to eat,” said Paris-based designer Mohammed Ashi.
Served as a foamy concoction topped with a shivering sliver of gold leaf, it was so mesmerizing that it led him down a rabbit hole of Japanese culture, on a quest to grasp the philosophy behind it.
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He alighted on waka, a short and concise Japanese poetic form, and the practice of calligraphy that goes with it. But rather than reference any of this directly — save for a headpiece that looked like his dish — Ashi set out to represent strong emotions through sculptural silhouettes.
A suit opened the show, its strict lines broken by a bristle of raffia. It was followed by a filmy skin-baring gown with a transparent bodice that continued in a tumble of drapes hugging the hips; sheathes that were cut high at the sides, and cocoon-like minis that owed their roundness to the way kimonos drape on the shoulder.
Everywhere, the palette of black and white was livened up with shimmer and shine, meant “just to give that tickle you feel on the skin when reading a poem,” he said. Embellishments such as seashells and sequins gave fabrics a distinctive sound that were audible even through the booming soundtrack and added an ASMR thrill.
Reconnecting with the sculptural side explored earlier in Ashi’s career turned his sophomore offering into more substantial fare. Gauging from their reactions, this seemed to whet the appetite of the couture cognoscenti in the room.
Launch Gallery: Ashi Studio Couture Spring 2024
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