Fall 2018 Haute Couture: Ashi Studio's Far Away Travels

© Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop

© Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop

Each collection that Mohammed Ashi of Ashi Studio creates has a story built around an imaginary woman and her adventures. For Fall/Winter 2018 Haute Couture, he dreamed of Amara, a strong and fierce woman, who “craves voyaging,” and is willing “to venture into the unknown to quench her curiosity.”

To help her on her journeys to these faraway lands he created a protective wardrobe, cocooning her in voluminous coats with large collars that could be pulled up, or with sleeves inspired by military uniforms or capes with elongated sleeves, while dressing her in trousers under long romantic skirts.

The designer ennobled raffia that could be found in long fringes around a collar or a cuff, or along the fastening of a jacket.


Ashi stuck to his signature volume, moulding his large ruffles like a sculpture or using elaborate plisse, and he pushed the demands on his atelier by embroidering tiny flowers on the plisse, a technical feat. He also used a grey moiré taffeta that used to be the height of fashion in the ‘50s, but is now seen less often due to the lack of expertise in handling the delicate fabric. “This fabric looks very simple, but it’s actually extremely difficult to handle. It’s like sewing paper,” he explains.


Of note were the beautiful reversed tulip shapes found on the sleeves of a coat, as well as the print taken from Persian rugs and a contemporary interpretation of the burka transformed in a lace voilette.


The designer stuck to neutral colours of ivory, taupe and black, but for the first time introduced midnight blue in a collection.


The overall feel of the collection was less ornate than usual yet still emanating uber-luxury thanks to the choice of fabrics and the attention to intricate detailing.