“I want to create an energy…I want to create a lifestyle…among peers. Everyone gets to leave here with a new friend. That to me means more…than fashion. That to me is life.”
You all remember Ashton Michael, one of the most respected designers and stylists in the entertainment and fashion industry. After having the pleasure of interviewing him back in September, Ashton invited me to walk in his SS17 Ritual Collection, and I accepted without hesitation. It was there that I was able to get a true look into the culture and lifestyle that Ashton Michael’s label is all about.
There was a sense of community between everyone working backstage. From the hair and make-up team to the models to Ashton himself, I could feel the communal energy. A big part of that vibe came from the fact that almost all of the models walking in his show were friends of his. He discussed the importance of fashion and lifestyle in his pep talk right before the show, and that set the tone for the night.
The first few looks went out flawlessly, as expected. Then something completely unexpected happened. The lights and music were cut completely. Looking back, I can’t help but think about how fitting it was to the collection itself; talk about a real witchcraft ritual. But what happened next shows you just how much of an impact that his lifestyle brand brings to its peers. One by one the audience turned their phone flashlights on, illuminating the runway, and the sound of stomping feet kept the rhythm alive as the models continued to walk the runway. What could have been a disaster ended up being a portrayal of everything Ashton Michael wants his brand to embody. And just as his sorrows inspired him to create beauty in his collection, the show itself took a “sorrow” and transformed it into something beautiful.
I want to end on this: Fashion and music, or in this case, lack thereof, bring people together. It’s not exactly what you create that is most important in this industry, (though I could not help but envision my friends and I squad up in the black, gold, velvet, leather, and fringe ensembles as if we were in our own little coven) but rather, who you effect, who influence you, and believe in you. That is what transforms art into magic.
Ashton Michael’s SS17 Ritual Collection truly was…magic.