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January 22 2020


Ahluwalia was launched by London-born Priya Ahluwalia in 2018, after graduating from the MA Menswear course at The University of Westminster and winning the H&M Design Award 2019. AW20 marks Ahluwalia’s fourth collection, having already shown during Paris Fashion Week in collaboration with Adidas (AW19) and through a standalone presentation at London Fashion Week Men’s (SS20). The Autumn Winter 2020 “Frequency” collection was shown last weekend at LONDON show ROOMS.

As part of her designs, Priya's new collection takes elements from her dual Indian-Nigerian heritage and London roots to explore the life of vintage and deadstock clothing, using textile techniques to give them new life. As her inspiration, Ahluwalia looked at the year 1965 through a cross-disciplinary overview of the times, going against the cultural cliches of Swinging Sixties or Flower Power. It's her most personal collection yet. Her prints reflect a sense of constrained psychedelia through a controlled visual trip of colours, lines and textures. Transformed into garments, these inspirations form graphic shapes reminiscent of op-art. The set design for the presentation was imagined to subvert the mundane domestic environment of 1965, and in collaboration with Chris Melgram. With the show soundtrack, Leo Gibbons continues with the inspiration from the era, using the genres of dub and ska to reference the Windrush generation of the times.

Following her exploration of a smarter world with the Browns Fashion capsule collection back in November, Ahluwalia continues to infuse the sportswear design portfolio with formal tailoring. Thanks to a simple question of what to wear with what, the end result is a combination of matching twinsets, then masterfully mismatched for the presentation by Ahluwalia’s collaborator and stylist Riccardo Maria Chiacchio. Being conscious is always at the core of Ahluwalia’s ethos. While continuing to source deadstock textiles and using leftover materials from her past projects, the designer expands her network of sources and introduces new techniques. Rather than printing or bleaching onto denim, she uses laser to embed the curved shapes onto the jeans. And even with the few new textiles that are being used, such as the jerseys and polyblends, it’s been made sure they have been recycled.

This new collection also marks a new chapter in two partnerships. The recognisable three white stripes appear in the ready-to-wear, as Ahluwalia uses archival fabrics from Adidas, while also customising their iconic Superstar trainer silhouette. Everyone’s favourite school shoes Clarks’ Wallabees and desert boots complete the total look, also customised to fit right into the time-travelling story of 1965.

Lucie Chiquer © Modemonline