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Designer Profile: Ashley Williams

Designer Profile: Ashley Williams

Not one to play by the rules, Ashley Williams is a designer who likes to plug the depths of her adolescence for new-season inspiration. The SS17 collection is a case in point: her teenage heartthrob, River Phoenix, runs through the core of it. Literally and figuratively. As far as ‘90s pinups go, the floppy haired, vegetarian, lost Hollywood boy was always the outsider, and a weird teenage girl’s dream. Which is exactly what drew Williams to him, and is exactly why her SS17 collection is as relevant, real and ground-breaking now as it would have been to our 13 year old selves. “Hatchet-faced majorness and Hollywood Hills trailer trash” are some of the core attributes required by wearers of Williams SS17. Some loves never die, and this is an old flame that won’t go out.

According to the Williams entourage, the “love affair began back in the day”. With River Phoenix, that is, and with clothes. Expect T-shirts emblazoned with photographs of the ‘80s actor and a popping colour palette to match. Jersey essentials have been hand-printed with the slogan “First Born”, a sweeter-than-sweet retro-inspired graphic designed by Williams’ boyfriend, Palace Skateboard’s founder Lev Tanju. Varsity jackets, ‘80s evening puff ball dresses and cherubic prints all figure heavily in this radically real collection. Chic, playful luxury from the hands of one of London’s brightest rising stars.

You can read about what happened when we met Williams ahead of her SS17 London Fashion Week show here.