Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams Spring 2018 London Fashion Week Fashion Week SPACE Style

Fashion Bytes: Ashley Williams Roars at London Fashion Week

Photos by Indigital Images

Welcome to Fashion Bytes, a cheat sheet for your favorite runway designers. From style inspirations to behind-the-scenes scoops, here’s everything worth knowing at London Fashion Week Spring 2018.

The brand: Ashley Williams

The history: She’s only been done with school for five years, but Ashley Williams is a London Fashion Week standout, thanks to her cheeky wordplay (example: studded diamante barrettes that spell out GIRLS RULE), super-warm knitwear and celebrity style squad. Her fans include Rihanna, Harry Styles and Alexa Chung.

MORE ON THE SHOW

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SPACE

SPACE Designers Talk Summer Capsule Exclusives and Cool, Cool Summers

Two of our favorite words: Exclusive and Summer. And while technically speaking we can’t quite claim the latter just yet, today marks the kickoff of an only-available-here capsule collection from some of the most exciting emerging designers at SPACE.

A Marques’Almeida look from the exclusive SPACE capsule collection for summer

Aimed at outfitting your hot city nights as well as your getaway adventures, the collection features pieces made especially for us from Ashley Williams, Marques’Almeida, Simon Miller and more.

Inspired by their take on summertime fun, we chatted with some of our favorite SPACE designers about the season—past, present and future.

SPOILER ALERT: ADORABLE THROWBACK IMAGE AHEAD

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SPACE Designer Ashley Williams: Sneaking Out of Parties with Kate Bush and a Cowboy Hat

Every season Ashley Williams sends out a small poster in lieu of a more typical show invite, and every season it has something to do with being in a slightly sour state of mind. The poster we unwrapped upon arriving for the first show of London Fashion Week, however, went to new heights—or would that be new lows? In Ashley’s world, they’re sort of the same. The poster said “Genuine Misery”; the image was a teeth-baring guard dog.

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“My business partner and I, we have this thing, ‘Optimistic emo,'” the designer told me backstage. It’s like an unofficial rule that keeps them in line, she explained; they can be real about their bad moods, but they have to be good-natured about them, too. And while misery is definitely next season’s key word—emblazoned as it is on a killer sweatsuit or two—it’s evened out by a British cowgirl thing and a backstory about sneaking out of parties to go sit by yourself in the woods.

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You’ll see it in our slideshow: together those elements—on an urban/outdoor runway—make misery look like good company.

CLICK IN TO SEE THE RUNWAY SHOW AND GO BACKSTAGE

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Ashley Williams Will Never Grow Up, She Will Never Grow Up

With Alexa Chung and other brilliant Brit It girls in the front row—wearing current-season Ashley Williams graphic teesthe SPACE designer presented a spring collection heavily stamped with the words, “First Born.” As if playing with the messy family dynamics of that phrase, the runway was strewn with what appeared to be the chaotic scene of a teenager’s bedroom.

And yet, the pieces presented were very much for grown-up cool girls. There were work suits for girls who like mom jeans, there were long-sleeve T-shirt dresses for skatepark club nights, there were exaggerated puffy sleeves, matchy two-piece slogan sets and cropped bombers and letterman’s jackets. And they all quietly insisted that we take them seriously. It’s typically a boring cliché to call someone’s work their “best yet,” but we’re finding ourselves wanting to do that here after kicking of the first day of London Fashion Week.

Ashley Williams | Portia Hunt for Nordstrom

All images by Portia Hunt

Ashley Williams | Portia Hunt for Nordstrom

CLICK TO SEE THE CRAZY RUNWAY AND THE KILLER COLLECTION

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How to Wear a Fashion Tiara, with Fashionista.com

Dear Fashionista Reader,

We’re with you; although the site isn’t as splashy and image-filled as some, the email newsletters with their dishy trend and celeb features are spot on, and our lives are way better because of those crack reporters and their solid industry info. And yes, we did peep this week’s feature on rocking a tiara—so good!

_11771670Ashley Williams crystal tiara from SPACE, a shop for emerging and advanced designers

It’s possible that you may now be in the position of knowing how and when and where to place one of these bad boys on your head—if only you actually owned one. Well, dear reader, we’ve got our own tutorial right here, and it comes with a none-too-precious jeweled crown from SPACE designer Ashley Williams.

CLICK TO SEE HOW THIS LONDON DESIGNER DOES THE LOOK (AND HOW YOU CAN TOO)

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SPACE

New Year’s Resolutions from SPACE

So how are those 2016 resolutions going?

SPACE NEW YEAR

Look, we know it isn’t easy, but if there’s comfort in solidarity, you can find it here—at SPACE. We asked twelve of the world’s most exciting emerging and advanced designers (like Hannah Weiland of Shrimps, pictured center, above) what lies ahead on their calendar—personally, professionally and you know … in terms of the gym and late night pizza delivery and all that.

HERE’S WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

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London Fashion Week S/S 2016: SPACE Brand Aries and London’s Legendary Palace Skateboards

Fashion Week crossover warning: The shows are in Milan now,
but we have a few more things we want to share with you from London.

One of the signs of a great partnership is when one half of a duo has a lot to say about the other half. While out in East London visiting with Aries co-founder and co-designer Sofia Prantera, she brought up Fergus Purcell, her other creative half, quite often. And while she could have dropped any number of names alongside his (he worked with Marc Jacobs, Supreme and Alexander McQueen, for instance), the one we talked about was London’s legendary Palace Skateboards.

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Skate culture is central to the Aries story. Prantera and Purcell came of age in the time of raves and ramps, and after graduating from London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins in the ’90s, they worked together at Slam City Skates, the board brand that made it possible for Palace to come along later.

SPACE designer Ashley Williams also mentioned Palace Skateboards when she gave us her London List, so the Soho shop was already in my to-do notes, but when I took a recent spin through before leaving town, I looked at it all with a very Aries-centric lens.

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London Fashion Week S/S 2016: Designer Ashley Williams Is in a Bad Mood, and It Showed

Actually, it isn’t so much that the young, critically acclaimed designer is in a bad mood, but more that she’s in a different mood. SPACE designer Ashley Williams is known for her offbeat cartoony pop, but as she approached spring 2016 she realized she didn’t want to be permanently assigned to that particular brand of street-smart streetwear.

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So, she sent out poster-sized invitations announcing a bad mood (you can see it in the full post) and at showtime, she sent out a crew of bad girls clad in red and black. Bad taste, good taste, bad behavior, good intentions, bad memories, good style: All of these things and more were woven into tee shirts and sweatshirts, studded with crystals, striped pink, and writ on slinky dresses and shapeless dresses, bathing suits, and baggy trousers in the form of anthropoids, abstract graphics and angsty statements.

We visited her at a pop-up immediately after the show and chatted it through, and not to worry: It’s a good bad mood. You’ll see.

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